Why I'm optimistic about school funding reform after COAG's 'no deal'

School funding reform was the big ticket item at the most recent Council of Australian Government's (COAG) meeting, held 19 April. The state and territory leaders failed to reach an agreement with Prime Minister Gillard on her National Plan for School Improvement, itself a response to the landmark Gonski Review of School Funding. As I argue in this piece for The Conversation, far from constituting failure, but opens up the opportunity for deeper, bilateral negotiations and flexible agreements with each state, with additional time for getting the details right. You can also read my piece for The Drum, published the morning of the COAG meeting, on why agreement on this was unlikely (Hint: the offer from the Commonwealth contained big question marks). Finally, if you missed me on ABC News24 discussing the COAG meeting as it was underway, you can catch it here. Ditto joining Radio National's 'Outsiders' Segment on Sunday Extra. It has been a real privilege to join the national conversation on such critical reforms and share my research on the institutions and processes underpinning them.

UPDATE: On 23 April NSW Premier Barry O'Farrell announced it had reached 'an historic agreement' with the Gillard Commonwealth government on reforms to school funding, which would occur in partnership. Some of my early thoughts can be read in this Conversation article, alongside eminent education policymakers Carmen Lawrence and Jim McMorrow. I also spoke at length with ABC 774 Melbourne and SYN FM radio about the prospects of agreements with the remaining states and territories.  Additional analysis found in podcast links on my publications page.


Intergovernmental relation on television

The Council of Australian Governments met on July 25th to discuss the establishment of a National Disability Insurance Scheme and education reform. I had pleasure of chatting to news program hosts about likelihood of intergovernmental reform on these contentious and costly proposals on both ABC  News24 and SkyNews. You can watch a clip from my ABC television interview here.

UPDATE: On September 2nd I spoke on ABC News24 about the Gillard Government's response to the Gonski Review. In short, the prime minister is caught between a rock and a hard place.

A ‘fair go’ in education? Insight on SBS

How fair is Australia’s education system? Are all children getting a fair go? These are the questions that Insight – Australia’s leading current affairs discussion program – will explore. I’m honoured to be joining educators, students, parents, Schools Minister Peter Garrett and other experts as a guest on the program. It will be broadcast on SBS on April second at 8:30pm. Click here to join the debate or here for more information on other guests and alternative viewing times.

UPDATE: Transcript now available.