Author Archives: Chris Bonnor

Chris Bonnor

About Chris Bonnor

Chris Bonnor is a Fellow of the Centre for Policy Development. Thanks to Dean Ashenden for assistance in the preparation of this article.

Kids are back at school, but some have fallen well behind

The Grattan Institute wants help for disadvantaged students left stranded by the switch to remote learning during the pandemic. Around $1 billion would fund the small-group tutoring needed. Is it going to happen? 

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CHRIS BONNOR. This virus might lead to education reform.

Education reform is well overdue. As the need to act with speed has seen governments jettison rusted-on assumptions and ideologies in areas such as employment, health and welfare – can school education be next? After all, there are just as … Continue reading

Posted in Education | 3 Comments

CHRIS BONNOR. Two very wicked problems in school funding

Australia certainly isn’t short of policy headaches, but one promises to be of migraine proportions: our school funding regime has reached new heights of absurdity and needs urgent review.

Posted in Education, Politics | 3 Comments

CHRIS BONNOR. The pendulum swings (yet again) for NSW schools

One thing we used to tell beginning teachers was to never punish the whole class because a few students were misbehaving.

Posted in Education | 2 Comments

CHRIS BONNOR. SMH Schools Summit flies many kites

If you want a headline or two, put on a big event. That has just worked for the SMH with its current Schools Summit.

Posted in Education, Politics | 6 Comments

CHRIS BONNOR. School fixes and fantasy

Two weeks ago I commented on the forthcoming Education Council of Ministers meeting and how it was apparently going to tackle our latest reported dive in student achievement. I declared that the chance of an enduring solution emerging from that … Continue reading

Posted in Education | 2 Comments

CHRIS BONNOR. PISA – the never-ending story

It’s PISA time again and Australia’s student achievement levels continue to be miserable. The finger-pointing is in full swing…again. Someone should re-shoot ‘Groundhog Day’ around the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), with a cast of education ministers, their shadows, … Continue reading

Posted in Education | 1 Comment

CHRIS BONNOR. Britain’s private schools in the firing line

It seems that there is more to UK politics than Brexit: Britain’s Labour conference has passed a motion to effectively abolish private schools and redistribute their students and even their properties to the state sector. Are there implications of such … Continue reading

Posted in Education | 4 Comments

CHRIS BONNOR. Rich school, poor school

This week the ABC kicked open the door to an overdue debate about school funding – a debate claimed to have been settled by Malcolm Turnbull two years ago. In a stunning interactive report on its website, Inga Ting and … Continue reading

Posted in Education | 5 Comments

CHRIS BONNOR Selective schools … again

Making stupid policy on the run is hardly new, but Gladys Berejiklian’sdecision to establish a new selective school in Sydney’s south-west has set new precedents. Few people seem to support it, even fewer will benefit. It ignores the debate about … Continue reading

Posted in Education | 3 Comments

CHRIS BONNOR The education election: it’s the same old song

A couple of weeks ago I wrote that school education was taking a back seat in the election campaign. With just a few days to go not much has changed: the various protagonists are making more noise, while managing to … Continue reading

Posted in Education | 1 Comment

CHRIS BONNOR. An election without education?

Commentators often express dismay that debates about policy go missing in action at election time. This time around, the vacuous reigns supreme as the election degenerates into a policy parody – despite longer term policy work by the ALP and … Continue reading

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CHRIS BONNOR. Separating scholars in Australia’s schools

The beginning of the school year is a time of excitement and expectation for students and their families: a new year, new friends, and often a new school. It is also exciting for teachers and school principals as they welcome … Continue reading

Posted in Education | 2 Comments

CHRIS BONOR. The Best of 2018: The elite schools’ arms race goes nuclear

Yes, it was Sunday and the news is usually more sensational than during the week. But the extravagant building plans of some ‘elite’ schools, revealed in the Sun Herald, were certainly eye-opening. According to the report, two of these schools … Continue reading

Posted in Education | 3 Comments

CHRIS BONNOR. The ABC of school funding

Years ago the late Bernie Shepherd and I began wading through a mountain of My School data about schools. We soon discovered that the public funding of private schools was growing so rapidly that they would soon get more money … Continue reading

Posted in Education | 3 Comments

CHRIS BONNOR. Discrimination recriminations in the debate about private schools.

Debates about discrimination in schools need to go much further, argues Chris Bonnor

Posted in Education | 3 Comments

CHRIS BONNOR. Ruddock review kicks up a storm

If short term reactions are any guide it seems that many of those who submitted to the Ruddock review into religious protections might have some cause for regret. While it is early days, it is likely to throw a timely … Continue reading

Posted in Education | 7 Comments

CHRIS BONNOR. Catholic schools’ funding: here we go again.

I have a great idea to fix the drought. Give farmers drought relief, extend it to better-endowed areas with access to water – and continue it long after the rain returns. The farmers I know would be horrified if this … Continue reading

Posted in Education, Religion and Faith | 6 Comments

CHRISTINA HO AND CHRIS BONNOR. ‘Hubs of concentrated advantage’: selective schools need a rethink

In the debate about selective schools personal stories and beliefs can drown out evidence, especially when that evidence challenges the status quo. So we hear plenty of anecdotes about the successes of selective school students, but relatively few about the … Continue reading

Posted in Education | 1 Comment

CHRIS BONNOR. Gonski’s second coming

When they update the history of Australian school education the name Gonski, and the names of those he has worked with, deserve to be up there in lights. He’s done it again: an exhaustive investigation into what we need to … Continue reading

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CHRIS BONNOR. Is it time to shut Goulburn’s Catholic School doors … again?

For those who don’t have a life and follow the school funding saga, the recent spat over Catholic school funding won’t come as any great surprise. Labor’s proposed extra $250 million commitment has attracted criticism, most recently from The Australian … Continue reading

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CHRIS BONNOR and LYNDSAY CONNORS A school funding horror story: special deals are back

Almost a year ago we thought that peace had been declared in the school funding wars. True, the Turnbull government’s ‘Gonski’ school funding changes fall well short on many fronts but the government did try to bury the special deals … Continue reading

Posted in Education | 2 Comments

CHRIS BONOR. The elite schools’ arms race goes nuclear

Yes, it was Sunday and the news is usually more sensational than during the week. But the extravagant building plans of some ‘elite’ schools, revealed in the Sun Herald, were certainly eye-opening. According to the report, two of these schools … Continue reading

Posted in Education | 1 Comment

CHRIS BONNOR. Indigenous education: closing – and opening – the gaps.

The reports and narratives around the strategy to close the gap between indigenous and non-indigenous Australians are quite well-known, if only because they don’t change much from year to year. With the possible exception of education, not many targets are … Continue reading

Posted in Education, Indigenous affairs | 1 Comment

CHRIS BONNOR AND CHRISTINA HO. Selective school decisions coming back to haunt us.

Almost alone in Australia, New South Wales has been expanding its number of selective schools, accompanied each time by arguments about the need to increase choice and cater for the gifted and talented. And each time we are left with … Continue reading

Posted in Education | 3 Comments

CHRIS BONNOR. Schools: will we ever join the dots?

I have this little website, Edmediawatch, which monitors media reports about schools. It is a long-running repository of policies, decisions, research and commentary. I even have an ‘Edu-fact check’ section which uses a variety of f-words to pass judgment on … Continue reading

Posted in Education | 3 Comments

CHRIS BONNOR. Wealthy parents flock to public schools

The results of the 2016 census are continuing to roll out. This time it is the turn of school education to grab the headlines, most recently with Fairfax telling us that wealthy families are turning away from elite private schools.

Posted in Education | 3 Comments

CHRIS BONNOR. Labor’s National Schools Forum – Gonski 2.0 in a day?

Remember the newly elected Rudd Government’s 2020 Summit back in 2008? It was a high-profile gathering of a sympathetic audience to address pre-selected policy issues and options. Far from coming up with answers, the education sessions at the Summit managed … Continue reading

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CHRIS BONNOR. A rare opportunity to fix schools

A little news item can tell a big story. This week the Guardian reported on a survey that revealed that Australian parents want schools to teach more social skills. It raises many questions: whose job it is anyway, what will … Continue reading

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CHRIS BONNOR. Gonski is back, but who noticed?

The Government has called for submissions into the “Review to Achieve Educational Excellence in Australian Schools” – aka the “second Gonski  review”.  Gonski was about money and equity, this review is about what schools should do.

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