Labor has promised further school funding increases and flagged other reforms such as universal access to early childhood education for three- and four-year-olds, tougher requirements for entry into teaching degrees, and the creation of a National Principals’ Academy to provide leadership training.
But Labor also shares a great deal in common with the Coalition.
Both preference a strong federal role in schooling. Both support (at least in theory) the principles of the SRS, and there is significant alignment between parties when it comes to reforms in the National School Reform Agreement.
Labor has also been promoting the idea of a national evidence institute for some time and many reforms in the school reform agreement build directly on those established by Labor as part of its “education revolution” agenda from 2007 to 2013.
While the parties will draw dividing lines to make a choice between them look stark, they have more in common than they would like to admit.
Dr Glenn C. Savage, Senior Lecturer in Education Policy and Sociology
Glenn C. Savage is a Senior Lecturer in Education Policy and Sociology at the University of Western Australia. His current research examines the development of national schooling reforms and how policies in federal systems are mediated by transnational flows of policy ideas and practices.
He currently holds an Australian Research Council ‘Discovery Early Career Researcher Award’ (DECRA) titled ‘National schooling reform and the reshaping of Australian federalism’ (2016–2019).
* This is an abridged version of a longer piece in The Conversation.