Education | Latest News & Analysis | The Sydney Morning Herald


Students fell months behind in literacy and numeracy due to COVID-19

'Simply staggering': NSW students fall months behind due to COVID-19

NSW students were hit harder than experts expected by COVID-19, falling up to four months behind in reading and up to three in numeracy.

  • by Jordan Baker


Crown's James Packer with Todd Nisbet in 2019..

Crown keeps executive accused of 'bullying, belittling, name-calling' underlings

As the gambling company faces scrutiny over its fitness to run a casino in Sydney, revelations have emerged of "intimidating" behaviour by one executive that prompted allegations of misconduct.

  • by Nick McKenzie
Column 8 Granny dinkus with mask.

Giuliani used to get pyjamas for free

While the C8 kids come from everywhere.

Street Talk.

Universities at risk of losing international students to overseas competitors

New research shows more than half of Australia-bound students stuck overseas are considering studying elsewhere.

  • by Lisa Visentin
Toongabbie Christian School's head of library services, Kerry Pope, is among the association of teacher librarians calling for higher staff numbers in schools.

'It’s a crucial role': Teacher librarians push to boost their numbers in schools

New staffing standards for teacher librarians aim to ensure school libraries are adequately staffed to meet 21st century needs.

  • by Natassia Chrysanthos
Column 8 Granny dinkus with mask.

Putting a lid on agricultural arguments

And getting above one’s station.

Broulee Public School after last summer's fires.

'We thought the fire would skirt around the town': 175 NSW schools at high risk during bushfires

An audit of NSW public schools in bushfire-affected areas has found more than half face a medium or high risk in a future fire.

  • by Lucy Cormack
Access to physical hardware, laptops or tablets, and reliable internet has been essential this year.

Disadvantage and the digital divide in education

The Three Rs still matter, but so do the Three Ds: devices, dongles and data.

  • by Melodie Potts Rosevear
An action plan, drawn up in 2018, would have made the teaching of writing a priority in NSW from next year

No action on declining writing standards in NSW schools for two years

An action plan drawn up in 2018 would have made the teaching of writing a priority in NSW from next year. But it was never implemented.

  • by Jordan Baker
Students play a grand piano during lunch time at Lindfield Learning Village

'Unlearning what school is': Why this public school is like no other

At this public school tucked in the leafy backstreets of the upper north shore, students don't wear uniforms or use the term 'homework' and even call teachers by their first names.

  • by Jordan Baker
Premier Gladys Berejiklian wants to take 1000 international students and skilled migrants a week from January.

Berejiklian and Morrison split over return of international students, skilled migrants

The NSW Premier wants to use a third of the state's hotel quarantine slots for students, skilled migrants and specialist workers.

  • by Michael Koziol
Sydney Uni

Are heads of Australian universities worth a million dollars?

Vice-chancellors need to be academics, politicians and diplomats, with a savvy head for business. But are they worth more than a million dollars a year?

  • by Jordan Baker
The new partnership will see UNSW combine with the universities of Wollongong and Newcastle for future energy research.

Three NSW universities combine to lead research into energy solutions

It has the support of NSW Energy and Environment Minister Matt Kean, who said the government would work with NUW Energy to "create a sustainable and prosperous economy".

  • by Natassia Chrysanthos
Christine has come up with a plan for computer games for the visually-impaired.

Christine is visually-impaired and loves playing video games. So she designed an AI to help her

The year 10 student invented a concept to make gaming more accessible for people like her: harnessing virtual reality headsets and sensory gloves to enable gamers with visual impairment to play online with their friends.

  • by Natassia Chrysanthos
Tiarna, 18, just finished the HSC and felt the stresses of the pandemic distracted her from study

'Digital poverty': emergence of a new kind of poor

COVID-19 has forced many services online, perhaps permanently, but those without computer access - particularly students - are being left behind.

  • by Jordan Baker
Physiology academics - Professor Hans Zoellner, Dr Alan Freeman, Professor Rebecca Mason,  Emeritus Professor Brian Morris, Dr Jaimie Polson and Associate Professor Bill Phillips - protest against redundancies in their discipline.

Academics fear Sydney University job cuts will threaten medical research

About 39 per cent of full-time positions in the university's pathology and physiology disciplines - which study diseases and how the human body works - will be made redundant.

  • by Natassia Chrysanthos
Catholic Schools NSW is calling for changes to the way schools are run.

'Let teachers be teachers': Catholic sector says schools tied up in red tape

Catholic Schools NSW says the numbers of administrative support staff in schools has ballooned over the past 30 years, but it's still not enough to keep up with red tape.

  • by Jordan Baker
About 100 nurses will be deployed in school across NSW over the next four years.

Teachers say nurses in NSW schools should not replace counsellors

The placement of nurses in schools has been welcomed by experts but the teachers' union says they should not replace counsellors.

  • by Pallavi Singhal
The Mabel Fidler Building at Ravenswood.

Old private school loan scheme costs government $122m over five years

High-fee schools Wenona, Ravenswood and Shore were subsidised thousands of dollars in 2019, in legacy funds from a scheme wealthy schools were excluded from 15 years prior.

  • by Natassia Chrysanthos
The year 5 and 6 students of Cobargo wrote a book about the fire that ravaged their community last summer

Tale of loss and hope: The children helping fire-ravaged Cobargo heal

A book written by children is helping the community heal after the summer bushfires.

  • by Jordan Baker
Universities have been forced to recalibrate course fees because of changes to federal legislation.

'Unprecedented interference': Universities push for more changes to foreign veto bill

It comes as the government agreed to amend its foreign relations bill this week to limit the scope of its powers to tear up agreements with foreign universities.

  • by Lisa Visentin
Column 8 Granny dinkus with mask.

Wardrobe malfunctions caused by muffled brass

Not cross, just extra salty.

Australian National University vice-chancellor Brian Schmidt.

Global rankings are distorting universities' decisions, says ANU chief

Australian universities are letting world ranking ambitions skew what they teach at a cost to local history and politics, says Australian National University vice-chancellor Brian Schmidt.

  • by Jordan Baker
Year 12 students Andrhea Alabe and Clare Wilkes leave St Marys Senior High School for the last time after their final HSC exam on Wednesday.

70,000 students put a difficult year behind them as HSC ends

The principal of the state's largest year 12 cohort faced a "mammoth" task: preparing 30 back-up HSC venues for 450 students.

  • by Natassia Chrysanthos
Kamala Harris, the Vice-President-elect, who studied social sciences.

Don't be a HASS-been, HSC leavers: the humanities will make you job-ready (just ask Kamala Harris)

Now the HSC is over, students wanting to study humanities and social sciences at university should not buy the hype and switch their preferences to science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

  • by Annamarie Jagose
Parents said their children left exam halls feeling discouraged.

Outdated HSC has failed the test of time

We need a different form of end-of-school credentialing that accurately reflects what our young people can do.

  • by Greg Whitby
Schools will have access to an average of 1700 hours of tutor time under a plan to help students catch up after COVID-19

Tutors could become a fixture of NSW schools to close education gap

"Once in a lifetime" tutoring opportunity could become a feature of public schools if a $337 million plan succeeds in helping students catch up.

  • by Jordan Baker
Universities are expecting the return of international students from the start of next year.

Plans for international students to return to NSW from early next year

A university chief is concerned the staged return of international students from next year will "not make a dent in the loss of 300,000 international students".

  • by Anna Patty
Composite image of Yu Fisher, Queenie Thai and Pang Gunawan. 

'It's totally dead now': Overseas student exodus cost Sydney's economy $2.5b

The number of international students living in Australia will halve, dropping by up to 300,000 by mid next year, if international borders remain closed.

  • by Anna Patty and Matt Wade
Moorabbin Aviation Services flight instructor Stefan Alman with student Vincent Christian.

Wings clipped: Overseas student applications 'nosedive'

Student visa applications from outside Australia have fallen between 80 and 90 per cent per month since Australia shut its borders on March 19.

  • by Adam Carey
Schools dispute the results of one HSC exam more than any other

Schools dispute the results of one HSC subject twice as often as any other

Principals questioned about 200 HSC results over the past five years, but one subject was responsible for a fifth of the queries

  • by Jordan Baker
New think tank to end culture wars over assessment

New education centre aims to end culture war over student testing

Student testing has become a battleground for culture wars, warns the head of a new think tank aimed at restoring confidence in assessment.

  • by Jordan Baker
The Geelong College is part of the  Coalition of Regional Independent Schools Australia, which says the new needs-based school funding regime disproportionately hurts country schools.

Regional, rural schools seek funding sweetener

About 50 independent schools, including more than a dozen from Victoria, say the new needs-based school funding regime threatens the future of many regional and remote non-government schools.

  • by Madeleine Heffernan
An analysis of PISA data found girls at single sex schools out-performed those at co-ed schools on many measures.

What can data tell us about single-sex education for girls?

Performance data may well show girls do better academically in single-sex school settings. What is harder to determine is why.

  • by Peter Adams
Erin Allott fears she will either have to take her son out of his school or send her children to two different schools

Out-of-area enrolment crackdown leaves parents with tough decision

An out-of-area enrolment crackdown has left some parents unable to send their youngest child to the same public school as their siblings

  • by Jordan Baker
Sydney Girls High School students Caitlin McManus-Barrett, left, and Anne-Marie Schlesinger.

How patterns of study are shifting for HSC science students

Physics and chemistry enrolments have declined in the two years since new syllabuses were introduced, but teachers are not worried.

  • by Natassia Chrysanthos
Gateway Community High School Principal, Roger Ashcroft, and chief executive Theresa Collignon will welcome 30 students to the new Gateway Community High School next year.

No uniforms, no homework: Sydney's 'non-school' for students falling through the cracks

Classes will emphasise experiential learning, so English could be inspired by Netflix and maths might involve examining the garden.

  • by Natassia Chrysanthos
Parents can return to school grounds for graduations, speech days, P&C meetings

Parents can return to school grounds for speech days, P&C meetings

When the HSC is over, parents and carers can begin returning to school grounds for presentation days, formals, graduation ceremonies and P&C meetings.

  • by Jordan Baker
NSW Education Minister Sarah Mitchell said she was confident the merger would deliver "teaching and learning opportunities to equal the best in the world", but teachers have rejected it.

NSW town 'ambushed' by plan 'hatched in secret' to merge four schools

The government says it will develop "state-of-the-art" facilities on the new site, but teachers at all four schools vowed to reject the decision based on a lack of consultation.

  • by Natassia Chrysanthos
North Sydney Boys High School.

Teen arrested over copycat email threat at north Sydney school

A single threat was received by North Sydney Boys on October 29, which was inconsistent with emails sent to about 30 schools.

  • by Laura Chung
Emma Woodcock with (L) Cameron Gee and (R) Nicholas Shannon. Emma is the first girl to head the Knox Grammar cadet unit. Wahroonga, November 2, 2020. Photo: Rhett Wyman/SMH

Women in uniform: Knox cadet unit to be led by a girl for the first time

Sixteen-year-old Emma Woodcock will be the first girl to lead the Knox Grammar cadet unit - the largest in Australia - in almost 100 years

  • by Jordan Baker
The majority of self harm posionings were in girls, the research found.

Rise in self harm poisonings at schools a concern, experts say

For the first time, research has uncovered the extent of poisonings at schools in Australia.

  • by Rachel Clun
Lane Cove West Public School principal Tanya Weston with deputy Principal, Callum Thomson.

Men still promoted at a higher rate than women in NSW public schools

While men made up 17.3 per cent of the public primary school workforce in 2018, they received 22.9 per cent of the promotions, a study has found.

  • by Jordan Baker
James Mathers said Shore was a "very important institution" in his family, and he did not want to see it lose its way.

Shore old boy campaigns to overturn school’s 'Gucci factor' and policies

The former president of the old boys union is calling for the school to reform its enrolment policies, high fees and capital expenditure to curb a sense of entitlement.

  • by Natassia Chrysanthos
he selective school text will change next year
High school

Changes to selective school test to favour different kind of student

Thinking skills will be the focus of the new selective schools test, which experts say will tilt it in favour of critical and creative thinkers.

  • by Jordan Baker
Tanya Plibersek: "Setting targets and making it something that an organisation can be held to account on is an important element of that. Equality doesn’t happen by accident."

Tanya Plibersek on her election shame: 'Doing my job as well as I can is the only way to atone'

Labor’s shadow minister for education and training shares the personal cost of politics, why she is culturally Catholic and the devastation she felt after the 2019 federal election.

  • by Benjamin Law
WA's universities have defended the ATAR.

NSW Education Standards Authority defends 'cruel' HSC maths exam

NESA chief executive officer Paul Martin said he understood families were upset, but that the exams were designed to be fair and challenging for students.

  • by Natassia Chrysanthos
Premier of New South Wales Gladys Berejiklian

School email threats originated in eastern Europe: Premier

North Sydney Boys High School was evacuated on Thursday morning after a threat was received on the phone, which is being treated as a local copycat incident.

  • by Mary Ward
Watch Sydney Technical High School student Raj Taware solve the four-part final extension 2 mathematics question.

It's the hardest question in the HSC. Could you solve it?

This year's brain-teaser was an "integration" problem: the technique used to figure out the area or volume of unusual shapes or curves. Whether you could crack it determined 11 per cent of your total mark.

  • by Natassia Chrysanthos
Students from Willoughby Public School return to school on Tuesday afternoon after being evacuated when the adjacent high school received threatening emails.

HSC exam halls may not be evacuated under new protocols following email threats

Cybercrime Squad Commander Detective Superintendent Matt Craft said police would assess each email threat on a "case by case basis".

  • by Laura Chung