The report highlights a number of structural weaknesses in Australia’s education system and proposes a path towards a cooperative rather than competitive federalist approach to schooling.
The paper presents an argument and a proposed strategy for structural reforms in Australian schooling. It notes that while many aspects of Australian schooling are strong, some measures do not consistently indicate optimum performance, and there are signs that overall performance is weakening in comparison to the performances of the school systems in other economically advanced countries.
In particular, combinations of trends in social geography and selectivity in schooling are leading to high concentrations of students with high levels of educational need. This has negative implications for the common national goal of higher levels of education and skills across the Australian community and Australia’s tradition of equality of opportunity in education or what the Ministerial Council for Education, Employment, Training and Youth Affairs (MCEETYA) terms the ‘common good’.