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Tennant, Haysell: Employment of same-sex attracted teachers in schools

Australia, 1975-2020

Schools do not exist for the sole purpose of educating young people in the knowledge and skills that are mainly agreed as essential for employment, citizenship and social life in general. They are also about inculcating belief systems that may be more or less explicit, closed or open to critical challenge.… Continue Reading »

Educational Workers League

New South Wales, 1931-1936

The Educational Workers League (EWL) was formed in Sydney in June and July 1931 by a group of teachers in the context of the Great Depression and frustration with the New South Wales Teachers Federation. Its existence spanned five years of crippling economic crisis, political upheaval and social distress. Although membership remained small, the League, its formation, its members, its activities and policies were significant in the immediate and long-term history of the Teachers Federation; in movements for change and reform in teachers’ employment and working conditions; and in the reform of the education provided for the children of the state.… Continue Reading »

Selective public high schools

New South Wales, 1960-2020

Selective high schools in New South Wales are those public secondary schools that enrol students who have achieved highly in annually-held, competitive and state-wide entrance tests. There are academically selective schools in the nongovernment sector also, but it is those in the public sector that are commonly known as ‘selective schools’.… Continue Reading »

Victorian Public Grammar Schools

Victoria, 1854 -1950

Within a few years of Victoria being declared a separate colony in 1851, its legislature voted to grant £35,000 for the establishment of grammar schools – schools intended to prepare scholars for the newly-established University of Melbourne. After some deliberation, it was decided to distribute the funds amongst the four leading religious denominations; and five schools, known as ‘public grammar schools’ were founded – four in Melbourne and one in Geelong; namely, Melbourne Grammar School, Geelong Grammar School, Scotch College, Wesley College, and St Patrick’s College.… Continue Reading »

Correspondence School of Victoria – its first 60 years

Victoria, 1909-1969

Victoria established compulsory schooling for all children in 1872, but there were long-standing problems of access for children in some rural and remote areas of the state. One possible solution that enabled governments to meet their educational obligations was to introduce correspondence schooling. This was effective for families isolated from other families with children.… Continue Reading »

Adelaide High School: Inventing a state high school

South Australia, 1875-1920

The Education Act of 1875 in South Australia provided for the foundation of a system of public, mainly elementary schools. It also allowed “infant schools, evening schools, schools for the teaching of any branch of science or art, and advanced schools for continuing the education of scholars who shall have obtained prizes at public schools, or otherwise proved themselves qualified for admission: Provided that the course of training in all such schools shall be secular” (clause 12).… Continue Reading »

School choice and school markets

Australia, 1788-2018

For most of Australia’s European settlement history opportunities for parents and others to choose schools for the children in their families and care were absent or highly constrained. The major effort over the long term was to provide schools for increasing proportions of the population, and by the end of the nineteenth century, to compel families with limited interest in schooling children, to force their attendance.… Continue Reading »

New South Wales Teachers Federation: Part 2, The second 50 years

New South Wales, 1968-2018

Over the course of its second fifty years, the Teachers Federation remained explicitly aware of its dual roles, industrial and professional, and the interconnection of the two when applied to education and educators. Also remaining important was its role in what the 1968 celebrations called “community activities” and later decades would stress as “social justice”.… Continue Reading »

New South Wales Teachers Federation: Part 1, The first 50 years

New South Wales, 1918-1968

The New South Wales Teachers Federation has, over its one-hundred-year history, operated in two major roles, industrial and professional. As an industrial trade union it has concerned itself with teachers’ salaries, working conditions, and staffing of public education institutions. As a professional body it has endorsed and campaigned for a wide range of matters related to teaching and learning.… Continue Reading »

Blackburn, Jean, and social justice through education

Australia, 1919-2001

Jean Muir was born on 14 July 1919, to a family that was rising from the working class. After overcoming the difficulty of a father who opposed any more than elementary education for girls, Jean Muir was able to progress beyond Lloyd Street Higher Elementary School in Melbourne. She spent four years at the academically selective University High School (1933-1936).… Continue Reading »