Disadvantage – The Centre for Independent Studies


Featured Publication


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…

Dollars and Sense: Time for smart reform of Australian school funding
Glenn Fahey
01 December 2020 | RR40

Australia is among the world’s highest-spending countries on schooling. Yet, the educational return on this investment for parents, taxpayers, employers, and students, has deteriorated — despite the expectation of policymakers that increased funding would inevitably improve educational outcomes. It’s true that money matters when it…

Pain without gain: Why school closures are bad policy
Blaise Joseph, Glenn Fahey
24 May 2020 | PP28

The decision by state and territory governments to strongly advise parents to keep their children at home and essentially close schools went against the health, economic, and educational evidence. There was little health benefit, while there were substantial economic and educational costs. Victoria, Tasmania, the…

Overcoming the Odds 2: Where are the top-performing disadvantaged secondary schools?
Blaise Joseph
23 July 2019 | PP21

Students from disadvantaged social backgrounds perform worse academically on average than more advantaged students. However, some students and schools from lower socio-economic backgrounds are successful. Only 3 Australian secondary schools are both disadvantaged and high-achieving. In contrast, 21 Australian primary schools are both disadvantaged and…

Overcoming the Odds: A study of Australia’s top-performing disadvantaged schools
Blaise Joseph
18 March 2019 | RR39

Students from disadvantaged social backgrounds perform worse on average academically than more advantaged students. This study investigated Australia’s top-performing disadvantaged schools in terms of literacy and numeracy results, with the aim of finding any common policies and practices which have led to their success. Nine…

Media & Commentary

Roll out the test that stops children failing at the first hurdle
Tom Switzer
11 December 2020 | SYDNEY MORNING HERALD

Little is more fundamental to the success of an individual than literacy. If our children do not develop the abilities to read, write, speak and listen properly, almost everything else…

Give low-income parents a school choice
Glenn Fahey, Blaise Joseph
13 August 2020 | Ideas@theCentre

We have to stop using private schools as a scapegoat for everything wrong with Australian education. It’s recently been argued that to improve equity non-government schools should receive more public…

Give low-income parents a school choice: that's the key to equity
Glenn Fahey, Blaise Joseph
13 August 2020 | Sydney Morning Herald

We have to stop using private schools as a scapegoat for everything wrong with Australian education. Former NSW education minister Adrian Piccoli has argued this week that non-government schools should…

Why drop the ball on our key indigenous targets?
Nyunggai Warren Mundine
15 July 2020 | The Australian

The COVID-19 pandemic — and government responses to it — has halted large sections of the economy, resulting in business failures and increased unemployment. With so many facing straitened circumstances,…

School closures hurt disadvantaged families more
Blaise Joseph
23 April 2020 | Spectator

Schools are one of the most complex parts of the policy response to coronavirus. Policymakers seemingly have to navigate the tightrope between saving lives and harming children’s education. Late last…