Education | Latest News & Analysis | The Sydney Morning Herald


TAFE NSW is selling it’s equine training facility in Scone.

TAFE site to be sold off for ‘less than it cost’ decades ago

The state government is planning to privatise a NSW TAFE facility that is valued at less than what it cost more than 25 years ago.

  • by Anna Patty


Kun DENG, an engineering student studying at the UNSW study hub in China.

Australian university study hubs keep students engaged in China

Australian universities are relying on campuses in China to keep international students engaged at a time when local authorities are discouraging them from studying in Australia.

  • by Anna Patty
Many in education fear Mark Latham has disproportionate influence over education policy

‘The Latham test’: Does One Nation have too much influence over NSW education?

Concerns that Mark Latham has disproportionate influence over education policy in NSW have prompted a stinging response from Education Minister Sarah Mitchell.

  • by Jordan Baker
Decades of research can tell us what works in education.

We know what works in education. Let’s do it.

Until Australian school education commits to achieving the highest standards by acknowledging we still have much to learn, we are selling our students short.

  • by Peter Adams
Chanel Contos, whose online petition calling on people to come forward with allegations of sexual assault is forcing schools to change.

We all bear responsibility for changing dangerous sex culture

Men must shepherd in a more respectful and kinder era of relations between women and men, girls and boys.

  • by The Herald's View
Teens were asking Dr Melissa Kang (right) about consent long before her daughter Georgina Carr began reseaching it as part of her work as a sex education researcher.

What curriculum says about consent isn’t necessarily what’s taught in classrooms

To teach consent, teachers need time and support.

  • by Georgia Carr
School have been giving conflicting advice as to how to cheer on events such as school carnivals.

Cheering prohibited: Parents frustrated by inconsistent COVID-19 rules in schools

The president of the P&C Federation says parents are becoming frustrated with inconsistencies in the application of all kinds COVID-19 rules between schools.

  • by Jordan Baker
Chanel Contos, whose online petition calling on people to come forward with allegations of sexual assault is forcing schools to change.

Parents at private boys’ schools back more teaching of sexual consent

Parents at Sydney boys’ schools say they are concerned about the culture surrounding their sons and back calls for the schools to do more teaching about sexual consent.

  • by Caitlin Fitzsimmons
Parents of sons must have these conversations earlier, and more explicitly.

Parents must talk to their sons about consent - earlier, and more explicitly

There is only so much schools – and girls’ schools, especially – can do. We cannot change the culture of boys’ schools. But parents can.

  • by Daisy Turnbull
International students carry a heavy burden.

Universities brace for Chinese student hit after COVID

Australian universities have received reports through their Chinese networks that local recruitment agents have been encouraged not to send students to Australia.

  • by Lisa Visentin and Eryk Bagshaw
A frame grab from a viral television ad in New Zealand encouraging conversations around online porn and real life sexual relationships.

Online porn key issue for schools when tackling sexual assault allegations

Sex and education experts say porn is one factor to tackle in more open and honest conversations with teenagers about sexual relationships and consent.

  • by Natassia Chrysanthos
Asher Learmonth, head prefect at  Cranbrook: ‘You don’t need a sister or mother to understand this. Women are people just like you.’

Men, be brave like young Asher, and help him redefine masculinity

A head prefect’s speech to his school assembly should be a wake-up call to men in general. But who’s listening?

  • by Brandon Jack
Jess* was among the first women to submit a testimony. She was in year 11 when she passed out in a taxi and woke up in the bed of a man she knew had been a few years older than her at a neighbouring school. He was having sex with her.

Rape culture reckoning as wave of sexual assault claims unleashed

Kate was surprised to hear her phone buzz with a text from a man she knew from school, apologising for his sexual behaviour as a teenager. That the message came this week - long after the fact - was no coincidence.

  • by Natassia Chrysanthos
At Walgett Community College, 11 our of 21 teaching and leadership positions are vacant

The multimillion-dollar ‘unsafe’ school where half the jobs are empty

Walgett Community College has had 29 principals in 23 years and is struggling to attract teachers despite more funding per student than Sydney Grammar.

  • by Jordan Baker
pks000202.001.001 for sundaylife.  Picture by Penny Stephens.  Generic teenagers in love pic.   Hugging, leaning in a bus shelter.

Hardcore porn to blame for disturbing teenage sex culture

The ‘education’ our teenagers are receiving on how to relate to one another is sitting in their pockets, as they walk through the front doors of their schools and homes.

  • by Sarah Golsby-Smith
Asher Learmonth, head prefect at  Cranbrook: “You don’t need a sister or mother to understand this. Women are people just like you.”

Our boys’ treatment of girls has been disgusting: Cranbrook prefect pleads for respect

In the wake of an online petition launched by a former Kambala student Chanel Contos about girls enduring sexual abuse, the head prefect of Cranbrook senior school addressed its boys in assembly this week. He confronted appalling behaviour by some students and pleaded for the schools’ boys to show respect.

  • by Asher Learmonth
Matthew Langsam and Genevieve Bryant show off the fruits of their labour.

Exhibition celebrates ‘amazing’ HSC students’ design skills

A portable breathing apparatus and redesigned tactile indicators for blind people are among the 42 major works on display at the Powerhouse Museum.

  • by Josh Dye
Ruth Wilson has just finished her PhD on Jane Austen.

After achieving her PhD at 88, Ruth wants a Jane Austen-led reading revolution

Ruth Wilson, 88, who has recently finished her PhD, has used her lifelong love of Jane Austen to develop a new way of approaching novels in classrooms.

  • by Jordan Baker
Detective Superintendent Stacey Maloney has welcomed the conversations among Sydney school and parent circles this week, after hundreds of former schoolgirls’ claims of sexual assault were published in an online petition and in the media.

School sexual assault claims cannot be seen as a ‘branding issue’, says sex crimes boss

The head of the NSW Police sex crimes squad has welcomed the conversations playing out in Sydney schools this week, after hundreds of former schoolgirls came forward with claims of sexual assault.

  • by Natassia Chrysanthos
Teachers’ goals are to keep young people alive, keep them safe and keep them educated. In that order.

Schools can’t end the scourge of sexual assault, adults behaving like adults can

Teachers can only do so much to counteract the flow of passive leadership and wilful blindness that allows sexual assault to flourish.

  • by Briony Scott
Column 8 Granny dinkus with mask.

When planned obsolescence doesn’t merit a bagging

And the weird turn pro in the Illawarra.

Scots College and Cranbrook School at Bellevue Hill.

‘Pretty dark culture’: Sydney boys’ school heads express regret over rape claims

Eastern suburbs schools will introduce co-educational sex and consent initiatives in the coming months, after a petition started by 22-year-old Chanel Contos unveiled hundreds of sexual assault claims.

  • by Natassia Chrysanthos
Chanel Contos started an online petition calling on people to come forward with allegations of sexual assault and demand better consent education in schools.

Schoolgirls right to call for proper sex education

Young people are right to demand the protection that comprehensive relationships and sex education affords.

  • by Katrina Marson
Opposition leader Anthony Albanese.

Albanese courts Christian groups in social justice pitch

The Labor leader will use a speech on Monday that Australia “shouldn’t walk past those who are in need or suffering” as it emerges from the deepest financial crisis since the Great Depression.

  • by Rob Harris
The public good that teachers provide was never more apparent than in the past year.

Teacher salaries must reflect importance of their work

A toxic mix of workload pressures and salary disparity has led to serious teacher shortages.

  • by Geoff Gallop
Matt Gerrard has bee caught out by the small print.

‘It’s counter-intuitive’: Students hit with higher fees if they tweak degrees

When the Education Minister introduced new university fees last year he promised ‘no existing student will be worse off.’ Now, students who alter their degrees are getting an expensive shock.

  • by Natassia Chrysanthos and Lisa Visentin
Dr Sue Thomson, deputy CEO (research) at the Australian Council for Education Research.

Why small class sizes may not be a big deal for students

Class sizes may exert some influence on parents’ choice of one school over another, but experts say the latest data shows smaller class do not necessarily increase academic performance.

  • by Madeleine Heffernan
Chanel Contos started an online petition calling on people to come forward with allegations of sexual assault and demand better consent education in schools.

‘It’s a difficult culture to break’: Sydney private schools respond to sexual assault claims

St Catherine’s principal Dr Julie Townsend wrote to her school community on Saturday after a petition unveiled hundreds of former Sydney schoolgirls’ allegations of rape at the hands of their male peers.

  • by Natassia Chrysanthos
MUST REMAIN ANONYMOUS. A youung woman was raped at a party at Pearl Beach in 2016 and successfully secured a prosecution. Bondi, February 20, 2021. Photo: Rhett Wyman/SMH
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‘Too many think silence is consent’: Victim says rape ‘endemic’ in eastern suburbs

A young woman from the eastern suburbs who secured a conviction against a former friend who raped her at a party says the court process is traumatising and Australia still has a culture of blaming the victim.

  • by Caitlin Fitzsimmons
Former West Australian premier Geoff Gallop led an inquiry into the changing nature of teachers’ work

‘Wake-up call’: Give teachers a 15 per cent pay rise, inquiry says

A NSW Teachers Federation inquiry has called for a 10 to 15 per cent pay rise for teachers, saying low pay is dangerous to the quality of education in public schools.

  • by Jordan Baker
Dr Mark Allon and the 2000-year-old Gandharan Buddhist manuscripts.

Academic tussle as ancient relics from black market brought into country

A Sydney academic is using an Indiana Jones-type defence for bringing the “Dead Sea Scrolls of Buddhism” into Australia for research.

  • by Michaela Boland
Chanel Contos started an online petition calling on people to come forward with allegations of sexual assault and demand better consent education in schools.
Graphic content

Hundreds of Sydney students claim they were sexually assaulted

A petition has been swamped with stories of schoolgirls as young as 13 allegedly being sexually assaulted by their male peers. They have called for sexual consent lessons to be taught much earlier.

  • by Natassia Chrysanthos
The independent school sector is the smallest but fastest-growing in Australia

Independent schools defy COVID-19 downturn to record fastest growth

The independent sector might be Australia’s smallest but it is recording the fastest growth, mostly in low-fee suburban schools.

  • by Jordan Baker
The government has released data showing strong employment results for university graduates with vocational degrees.

Foreign students are our fourth largest export, even with the pandemic

International education supports at least 250,000 jobs around the country.

  • by John Brumby
Agreements reveal how the Catholic and independent school bodies will spend the Morrison government’s $1.2 billion “choice and affordability fund” for non-government schools.

‘Moral imperative’: Rush risks poor-quality curriculum, educators warn

Unions and principals warn the government is pushing the new curriculum into classrooms too soon, risking poor-quality syllabuses, under-prepared teachers and short-changed students.

  • by Jordan Baker
040125...News...GrahamTidyPic...LucyGibson story...Australian of the Year Awards at Parliament House. Members of the public show their patriotism with a mass of Australian flag hats. Ellen Stephens, 13 of Bruce, centre also wore flags on her cheeks.

Compulsory classes recommended to improve democracy and civic engagement

A Senate committee has recommended more time teaching Australian values and Indigenous history to improve a ‘disturbingly low’ level of civic engagement and debate.

  • by Rob Harris
Dallas Mclnerney, chief executive officer of Catholic Schools NSW and Adrian Piccoli from the University of NSW Gonski Institute.

Catholic leader dismisses school funding reform as ‘flight of fantasy’

A proposal by former education minister Adrian Piccoli to reduce segregation and disadvantage in schooling has been slammed by the leader of NSW Catholic schools.

  • by Anna Patty
Paul Martin, CEO of NESA, speaks at The Sydney Morning Herald Schools Summit held at the ICC.

Schools will trial ‘untimed syllabuses’ before ambitious statewide reform

NSW Education Standards Authority chief executive Paul Martin said he believed the idea, where students progress through school according to their ability rather than their age, had merit but implementing it next year “was too radical for the moment”.

  • by Natassia Chrysanthos
Sarah Mitchell, Minister for Education and Early Childhood Learning, speaks at The Sydney Morning Herald Schools Summit held at the ICC in Sydney on February 17.

NSW Education Minister targets unis using teacher training as a ‘cash cow’

Education Minister Sarah Mitchell wants to “firm up” accreditation of initial teacher education degrees, with no university too prestigious or influential to have their accreditation stripped.

  • by Natassia Chrysanthos
Morning meeting: Premier Daniel Andrews with Docklands Primary School students.

Australia needs national COVID-19 schools plan, experts say

Schools should be the last venues to close and the first to open in future outbreaks, say the authors of a report into COVID-19 in Victoria’s early learning centres and schools.

  • by Madeleine Heffernan
Former West Australian premier Geoff Gallop lead the inquiry into teachers’ work value

Former premier warns teaching profession facing crisis, change urgently needed

After investigating teachers’ work for a year, former Western Australian premier Geoff Gallop says workforce planning has been inadequate and the profession is in crisis.

  • by Jordan Baker
Former boy’s high Marist Catholic College North Shore welcomed its first girls into year 7 this year

Another boys’ school to become co-ed as Sydney gets a new girls’ school

As an eastern suburbs school becomes the latest boys school to reveal plans to become co-ed, a new single-sex school has opened in Granville.

  • by Jordan Baker
NSW Education Minister Sarah Mitchell says educators are not too noble to be questioned

Educators not too noble to be questioned, warns NSW Education Minister

NSW Education Minister Sarah Mitchell will argue that accountability has become a dirty word in some education circles but reform will never be achieved if some areas are regarded as taboo.

  • by Jordan Baker
Premier Gladys Berejiklian.

Fast-tracked career progression to principal for NSW’s top teachers

The NSW government wants to lure the state’s best students to a career in teaching.

  • by Alexandra Smith
Measuring students against progress rather than achievement was a bad idea.

Ditching unworkable fantasy cooked up by out-of-touch academics a win for students and teachers

The government must hold the line against overreaching and misguided efforts to steer the education system in the wrong direction.

  • by Glenn Fahey
An online tool looks at NAPLAN results by suburb rather than school.

Money can’t buy good grades, state-wide NAPLAN data reveals

A new tool compares NAPLAN data by suburbs rather than by schools, and shows more money does not always lead to better outcomes.

  • by Jordan Baker and Nigel Gladstone
Premier Gladys Berejiklian and Education Minister Sarah Mitchell visit a mobile after-school care hub

Demountable after-school care ‘hubs’ rolled out to create more places for students

The “hubs” - which will have play space, offices, toilets and kitchens - will cater for between 45 and 60 students per session.

  • by Jordan Baker
Grant Wheeler outside Fisher Libary at the University of Sydney.

‘Confusion’ leads to mass underpayment of Sydney University staff

An audit of the University of Sydney has revealed that its library staff have been underpaid for many years.

  • by Anna Patty
Patricia Davidson, the next vice chancellor of Wollongong University

‘So much death’: New uni boss fighting COVID in US says vaccines bringing hope

Some people cry, and others become emotional as they receive their COVID vaccine, says the incoming Wollongong uni chief who has been inoculating patients the US.

  • by Jordan Baker
Gerry Hueston, chair of Plan International Australia.

COVID has crushed girls’ education. Here’s how we can fix it

Up to 20 million girls worldwide have been pushed out of school due to closures. The Australian government could help them by increasing its investment in a global campaign.

  • by Gerry Hueston