Key Findings

From our international expert reference group conversations.


Our first meeting with our international expert reference group (IERG) about our preliminary findings from our stakeholder interviews yielded the following interesting provocations:

  • Specific national histories are reflected in moves to autonomy in schooling systems. There are, however, some similarities, such as the timing and sequencing in the social democratic agenda in Sweden.

  • Travelling discourses and policies of autonomy enacted very differently in different national contexts

  • The Australian school system (three sectors – Public, Catholic, Independent/Private) is unique. Australian research cannot ignore the influences of autonomous private systems since federation.

  • The IERG expressed interest in the idiosyncratic nature of Australian Federalism, and how concerns for equity have evolved.

  • Similar problems in other national contexts between schools in urban areas and rural locations. For example, rural and remote schools may be hard to staff, it may be difficult to keep staff, or hard to get qualified teachers. The market plays in favour of schools in urban areas.

  • The IERG expressed interest in how parent groups and unions have historically pushed back against autonomy reforms in Australia

  • Fruitful area for research in the autonomy and social justice area - what is taken for granted and common sense?

  • Shift in the educational justice scholarship - What is public about public education when you have different providers and the idea of the ‘public good’ is being eroded. What is the public? What is public education? Whose public?

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