Education – The Centre for Independent Studies


A quality school education is vital for individual well-being and for a healthy society. All children should have access to an education that is responsive to their needs as well as upholding high standards of academic rigour. CIS’s focus is on policies that restore the role of parents in education and devolve greater authority and responsibility to schools to meet these goals.



Featured Publication


Writing matters: reversing a legacy of policy failure in Australian education
Deidre Clary, Fiona Mueller
28 July 2021 | AP23

Since the middle of last century, Australian education has seen the adoption, variable implementation and occasional jettisoning of a parade of methodologies including learning styles, multiple intelligences, critical literacy, constructivism, whole language, process writing, genre theory and text types, balanced literacy and learning progressions. Most…

Mind the Gap: Understanding the Indigenous education gap and how to close it
Glenn Fahey
24 June 2021 | RR41

Indigenous educational disadvantage remains among the most pressing and persistent public policy challenges in Australia. Despite bipartisan and intergovernmental commitment to ‘Closing the Gap’, has done little to move the needle in education outcomes. Dispiritingly poor education outcomes persist despite the best of intentions, considerable…

Confronting Indigenous educational disadvantage: A Kimberley perspective
Lorraine Hammond
24 March 2021 | AP20

The challenges of education in Australia’s remote majority indigenous communities are complex and persistent. The best intentions and considerable resourcing over decades haven’t translated into consistently higher quality instruction and unfortunately, not a significant improvement in broader education outcomes. This paper documents the challenges faced…

A 2021 education resolution: keep an eye on the Australian Curriculum
Fiona Mueller
11 February 2021 | OP179

The COVID-19 pandemic is stimulating debate about the relationship between the governed and their leaders, both elected and appointed. In Australia, the world’s tenth-oldest continuous democracy, there is an unanticipated but positive opportunity for a nation-building refocus on the principles and aspirations that underpinned the…

Worlds Apart: Remote Indigenous disadvantage in the context of wider Australia
Jacinta Nampijinpa Price
25 January 2021 | PP34

Remote and very remote Indigenous communities have become victims of a ‘wicked problem’. A combination of high impact factors that, when pooled together, are having devastating effects on communities. Education and employment rates in remote and very remote Indigenous communities put them on par with…

Media & Commentary

Pandemic is yet to teach us its true lessons
Glenn Fahey
12 September 2021 | Australian Financial Review

Reassuring NAPLAN results offer hope that Australian students may escape serious educational harm from the pandemic. However, it would be premature to put the concerns to bed just yet. The…

It could be 2022 by the time we see the full impact on our kids’ education
Glenn Fahey
25 August 2021 | Daily Telegraph

Parents, educators, and policymakers will be relieved by new NAPLAN results showing NSW students are achieving more or less the same as they did pre-pandemic. But it would be wrong…

Australian education is not keeping up
Glenn Fahey
22 August 2021 | Canberra Times

For too long, education policy and practice has failed to keep pace with the evidence. New Centre for Independent Studies research shows why the educational science must be more readily…

NAPLAN future secured, but improvements will continue
Glenn Fahey
18 July 2021 | Canberra Times

The decision to keep NAPLAN – but continue to improve it – is a positive step for Australian schooling. The agreement reached by Australia’s education ministers earlier this month puts…

Truancy the Roadblock to Closing the Indigenous Achievement Gap
Glenn Fahey
08 July 2021 | Epoch Times

The decision to remove attendance targets for Indigenous students shows how policymakers have the wrong priorities for addressing the education gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous students. Closing the attendance gap…