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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
The performance-based system, known colloquially as ‘payment-by-results’, whereby teachers’ remuneration was partly determined by the success of their pupils at prescribed examinations, was introduced into Victorian government-aided schools in early1864. Although criticised by many throughout its 40-year existence, the system was not finally abolished until 1906, following the recommendation of a Royal Commission on Education (Fink).… Continue Reading »
Early childhood care and education (ECCE) in Aotearoa New Zealand is provided by a variety of non-governmental organisations and private providers. The government sets the regulations under which ECCE centres must operate, and subsidises their costs through the Ministry of Education using formulae based on enrolments and attendance. The subsidy is a bulk grant, with the individual ECCE centres having control over how the money is to be spent, and what other revenue they might seek (such as parental fees).… Continue Reading »
In each of the Australian colonies, usually in the 1870s, there were education acts passed that established public school systems. Their defining characteristics have usually been described as ‘free, compulsory and secular’. The Act that came closest to establishing all three of these conditions at the same time was the Victorian Education Act of 1872.… Continue Reading »
After the federal Labor government, led by Prime Minister Gough Whitlam, won office in 1972 it moved quickly to implement its election promises for school reform.
The Interim Committee for the Australian Schools Commission was appointed in December 1972, to be chaired by Professor Peter Karmel. The Committee was to examine the position of government and non-government primary and secondary schools throughout Australia and make recommendations on their needs and on ways of meeting the needs.… Continue Reading »
The words public and private have been used in attempts to describe the ownership, governance and purposes of Australian schools and education from close to the beginnings of British colonisation in 1788. They are concepts that had little meaning for Indigenous society before, and for some time after initial colonisation.
The meanings of these words shift over time.… Continue Reading »
A prescription for radical change
In April 1988 Administering for Excellence, the report of a taskforce headed by Brian Picot, identified ‘serious weaknesses’ in New Zealand’s three-tiered 110 year-old education system that in its view justified replacement by an entirely new two-tiered structure. The Taskforce envisaged the replacement of the Department of Education by a Ministry of Education and the abolition of regional education boards.… Continue Reading »