In Defence of Public Education in Australia and New Zealand

Australia: Victorian teachers denounce union-backed agreement

By our reporters, 13 April 2017

The AEU has sought to suppress discussion of its latest sell-out, while falsely claiming it is a “victory” for teachers.

Australian pseudo-left groups back teachers’ union after sell-out deal

By David Cohen, 12 April 2017

The pseudo-lefts’ reluctance to openly call for a “yes” vote on the agreement only reflects their calculations that a “left” safety valve is needed to divert the hostility of teachers to the AEU.

Australian teachers’ agreement: The reality behind union “victory” claims

By Susan Allan, 6 April 2017

On every key issue the teachers’ union and the Victorian Labor government have worked together to entrench and deepen the assault on the public education system.

Australian Education Union agrees to sell-out deal with Victorian state Labor government

By Susan Allan, 30 March 2017

Teacher union claims of a “great win for our members” are a fraud.

Australia: Education Department head calls for police in schools amid anti-Muslim witch-hunt

By our reporters, 21 March 2017

The media and government authorities are continuing to use unsubstantiated allegations of “Islamic extremism” in schools to whip-up an atmosphere of right-wing hysteria.

Australian Labor’s “self-managing schools,” seven years on

By Erika Zimmer, 21 March 2017

The devolution agenda is deepening the education gap between advantaged and disadvantaged, working class students, paving the way for US-style for-profit “charter schools.”

A new wave of job cuts at Australian universities

By Mike Head, 18 March 2017

Staff and students suffer as universities axe hundreds more jobs, usually via “voluntary” redundancy schemes, assisted by the trade unions.

Australian government imposes phonics test on six-year-olds

By David Cohen, 15 March 2017

The new measures are aimed at extending the impact of the former Labor government’s NAPLAN testing regime and further undermining public education.

Australian media witch-hunts school principal removed for opposing anti-radicalisation program

By our reporters, 14 March 2017

There is growing opposition among teachers, students and parents to the anti-democratic dismissal of the school principal, and the police spying programs that he allegedly opposed.

Australian school principal removed for allegedly resisting “anti-radicalisation” program

By Mike Head, 9 March 2017

Under the government plan, teachers are required to become informants on their students.

Australian college closure highlights sham practices in private education sector

By Robert Campion, 30 January 2017

Profit-making colleges with dubious records have received millions of dollars in public funding under a scheme introduced by the former Labor government.

“Kindy boot camp” enrolments proliferating in Australia

By Perla Astudillo, 10 January 2017

Increasing numbers of parents are feeling pressured to organise tutoring for their young children in “kindy boot camps” where they undergo structured learning and constant testing.

Disability services privatised and targeted for more cuts in Australia’s public schools

By Susan Allan, 5 January 2017

An already under-funded scheme for providing disability services to public school children in the state of Victoria is to be targeted for further cuts.

An exposure of high-stakes testing in Australia’s public schools

Beautiful Failures by Lucy Clark

By Karen Holland, 15 December 2016

Probing more deeply the causes of her daughter’s crippling anxiety during the last two years of school, Clark found a general consensus that “education is broken.”

Australia: NSW Teachers Federation pushes through new agreement in anti-democratic meetings

By our reporters, 9 December 2016

Socialist Equality Party supporters challenged the union’s refusal to circulate the deal before forcing teachers to vote on it.

Australia: NSW Teachers Federation calls meetings to ram through government deal

Demand the new agreement be circulated immediately! Delay the meetings to December 15!

By the Socialist Equality Party, 5 December 2016

The union has called stop-work meetings on December 8, for 50,000 public school teachers to vote on an agreement that they have neither read nor discussed.

Australia: NSW government re-introduces public school inspectors to enforce unpopular measures

By Frank Gaglioti, 17 November 2016

Inspectors will police standardised testing on behalf of the New South Wales government, with powers to close schools and dismiss “underperforming” teachers.

Australia: New South Wales government “bumps up” standardised testing in schools

By Erika Zimmer, 16 November 2016

The new measures underscore the relationship between standardised testing schemes and the government’s cost-cutting agenda for public education.

Ex-Australian Labor minister calls for deregulation of university fees

By Mike Head, 29 September 2016

Dawkins appealed for Labor and the Coalition government to develop a bipartisan policy to further slash education spending and deny access to working class youth.

Students denounce Sydney College of the Arts merger

By our reporters, 1 September 2016

Sydney College of the Arts students and staff are continuing their protests against the University of Sydney administration’s attempts to transfer the highly-regarded fine arts tertiary institution onto another campus. Students spoke to WSWS reporters about the impact on their studies and their artistic work.

Australia: Students occupy Sydney College of the Arts

By our reporters, 1 September 2016

The ongoing protest coincided with a march on parliament by National Art School students and staff opposing merger plans at their facility.

Labour Party makes empty promises to New Zealand students

By Tom Peters and Chris Ross, 29 August 2016

Despite its highly conditional pledges, Labour has no intention of reducing ballooning debt and poverty among students.

Australian government seizes on NAPLAN test scores to justify budget cuts

By Patrick Kelly, 22 August 2016

The NAPLAN scores are being used to prepare the ground for new austerity measures for public schools and attacks on teachers’ conditions.

Australian university releases plans on arts college closure

By Elle Chapman and Richard Phillips, 18 August 2016

Under the plan, academic and professional staff positions will be slashed by 60 percent, or about 50 full and part-time jobs, and various specialised courses eliminated.

Australia’s “education revolution” sends university staff casualisation soaring

By our reporters, 11 August 2016

Universities are cutting costs, boosting class sizes and increasingly relying on poorly-paid and highly insecure casual teachers.

Australian students and staff oppose closure of fine arts college

By Elle Chapman, 20 July 2016

The plans to close the Sydney College of the Arts are part of a pro-business restructure of the University of Sydney, and a broader attack on the arts.

The Australian Labor Party and the “Gonski” school funding fraud

By Chris Sinnema—SEP candidate for the Senate in Victoria, 30 June 2016

While Labor’s planned education funding is a hoax, its plans for regressive new measures against public school teachers are immediate and real.

Build the International Youth and Students for Social Equality!

A socialist program to fight the Coalition-Labor-Greens assault on education in Australia

By the International Youth and Students for Social Equality (Australia), 16 March 2016

The IYSSE is fighting for the development of an independent, socialist movement of the working class in opposition to the assault on education and the gutting of social spending.

Australian primary teachers resign in protest at standardised, assessment-based education

By Susan Allan and Linda Tenenbaum, 14 March 2016

The two teachers decided to go public, hoping to encourage other teachers to speak out about the escalating education crisis.

Australia: Labor Party, teacher unions prepare further assault on public education

By Patrick Kelly and Frank Gaglioti, 9 March 2016

The Labor and union campaign for a new “Gonski” school funding model is a fraud from start to finish.

Rising school costs deepen class divide in New Zealand education

By John Braddock, 16 February 2016

Public education is supposed to be free, but families are being pressured to give more money to schools every year.

Australian government-union conspiracy to sack “underperforming” teachers

By Richard Phillips, 15 February 2016

The unions have torn up teachers’ hard-won struggle for job security by implementing new anti-democratic inspection regimes and streamlined sacking procedures.

Cuts and closures intensify in Australian TAFE colleges

By Erika Zimmer, 16 January 2016

Young people seeking vocational training are facing skyrocketing tuition fees.

Australian government plans to repackage university cuts

By Evrim Ludlow, 26 October 2015

Despite union claims of “victory,” the Turnbull-led Coalition will push ahead with revised schemes to slash student funding.

Australia: IYSSE campaign pushes back Griffith University’s political censorship

By our correspondents, 21 March 2015

Support from students and WSWS readers has forced the university’s authorities to drop their outright refusal to allow the IYSSE to register a club this year.

Former Australian Labor minister endorses university fee deregulation

By Oliver Campbell, 6 February 2015

The measures that the government is attempting to implement are the continuation of a bipartisan assault on higher education.

Australia: Murdoch newspaper denounces universities for “over-educating” students

By Will Morrow, 23 January 2015

An editorial in the Australian newspaper reveals the deeply-reactionary ideological agenda that underlies the bipartisan political assault on the right to university education.

Youth in Australia worse off than their parents

By Zac Hambides, 3 December 2014

This generation of young people will become the first in the post-war period to have a lower standard of living than their parents.

Australia: Vocation Ltd affair exposes impact of privatisation

By Oliver Campbell, 12 November 2014

Thousands of students have been corralled into low-quality courses provided by private operators that are effectively funded by governments.

Australian student union’s phony “day of action”

By Oliver Campbell and Zac Hambides, 27 October 2014

The National Union of Students is promoting the illusion that education can be defended by pressuring Labor and the Greens to block the Abbott government’s budget cuts.

Teaching war: Australian government targets primary school students

By Susan Allan, 22 October 2014

Australian authorities are distributing patriotic war propaganda among school children as part of the official World War I centenary commemorations.

Job cuts deepen in Australian TAFE colleges

By Erika Zimmer, 15 October 2014

The Abbott government is intensifying funding cuts and pro-market restructuring begun under the previous Labor government.

Australian budget protests: A political balance sheet

By the Socialist Equality Party (Australia), 30 August 2014

Protest organisers have channelled public opposition into the dead-end of parliamentary manoeuvre, promoting the illusion that Labor and the Greens would block the budget measures.

Australian government pushes ahead with university restructuring

By Chris Johnson and Mike Head, 28 August 2014

The Abbott government is deepening the pro-market assault on higher education begun by the previous Labor government.

Fight cuts to education and the drive to war!

By the International Youth and Students for Social Equality (Australia), 19 August 2014

The fight for education rights must be inseparably linked with the broader struggle against austerity, the attacks on democratic rights and the dangers of war.

Australia: Sydney university staff and students oppose job cuts

By Zac Hambides, 14 August 2014

Sydney university students and staff are being diverted into another round of bankrupt appeals to the campus administration and the Labor opposition to stop job cuts.

Australia: The politics of Socialist Alternative’s protest on ABC’s “Q&A”

By Zac Hambides, 13 May 2014

The incident provided a foretaste of the diversionary campaigns that will be organised by the pseudo-left as tonight’s budget measures provoke opposition.

Australian government plans sweeping privatisation of higher education

By Mike Head, 22 April 2014

Labor’s pro-market funding system will be extended to private profit-making providers, allowing them to undercut the public universities.

Oppose the use of SSAF to attack student political clubs!

Defend the democratic rights of Griffith University students!

By the International Youth and Students for Social Equality (Australia), 4 April 2014

Members of political clubs at the university are being denied rights enjoyed by all other students, and attempts are being made to restrict or even proscribe their activities.

Australia: Strong response to IYSSE campaign at University of Newcastle

By our correspondents, 7 March 2014

IYSSE members won support, campaigning against an attempted university ban on “political members” being invited onto the campus.

Oppose political discrimination at University of Newcastle

By the International Youth and Students for Social Equality in Australia, 24 February 2014

For the first time at any university, University of Newcastle Clubs and Societies is re-interpreting the Students Services and Amenities Fee legislation to justify proscribing political activities.

Australian teachers’ union backs new “performance pay” regime

By Frank Gaglioti, 20 January 2014

The AEU withdrew its court case and reached a secret deal with the Victorian state government.

Australia: New school curriculum to promote war and nationalism

By Patrick O’Connor, 14 January 2014

The education minister said he wants the syllabus “to celebrate Australia.”

Australian government announces another school funding backflip

By Patrick O’Connor, 4 December 2013

The series of shifts has provoked consternation within ruling circles, with the recently elected government seemingly unable to impose spending cuts to education.

Australian state government announces “performance pay” school regime

By Will Marshall and Patrick O’Connor, 29 October 2013

Each year, between 20 and 40 percent of teachers will be arbitrarily declared “underperforming,” denied incremental salary increases and threatened with dismissal.

University of Western Sydney academics strike over worsening conditions

By Mike Head, 24 October 2013

Picketing academics voiced wider discontent, including over the erosion of working conditions permitted by previous enterprise agreements.

Western Australia: Thousands protest against public education cuts

By our correspondents, 23 September 2013

The state government’s cuts are part of the slashing of social programs across the board, amid the unravelling of the Australian mining boom.

West Australian government axes 500 education jobs

By Joe Lopez, 22 August 2013

The WA funding model closely resembles the federal Labor government’s “Better Schools” plan.

SEP/IYSSE challenges Greens at education rallies

By our reporters, 21 August 2013

The “day of action” was organised to promote the Greens’ federal election campaign and head off any struggle against the Greens-backed Labor government.

University union spends $1 million to back Greens

By Gabriela Zabala—SEP Senate candidate for Queensland, 27 July 2013

The NTEU is backing the Greens, the very party that has propped up the minority Labor government since 2010.

Australia: Hundreds affected by fire at private university accommodation

By a reporting team, 26 June 2013

Many residents were left without accommodation, or access to their possessions, when the fire broke out in the early hours of Sunday morning.

Australian Education Union pushes sell out through delegates’ meetings

By our reporters, 22 May 2013

The substantial “no” vote gave some indication of the growing hostility among teachers to the union’s betrayals.

The political issues in the fight to defend education

By Zac Hambides—SEP Senate candidate for NSW, 13 May 2013

Labor’s agenda in tertiary education is to strangle funding and complete the transformation of universities into thoroughly corporatised institutions.

Australian Education Union convenes delegates’ meeting to ram through sell-out agreement

By our reporters, 8 May 2013

Union officials attempt to impose a new enterprise deal on Victorian public school teachers.

Australian university union seeks to divert anger over Labor’s cuts

By Mike Head, 30 April 2013

Far from fighting the funding cutbacks, the NTEU is urging university managements to find ways to implement them.

Opposition grows to Australian Education Union sell-out in Victoria

By Frank Gaglioti and Patrick O’Connor, 27 April 2013

The teachers’ union is seeking to bureaucratically suppress all discussion and speedily ram through the agreement.

Australia: Socialist Alternative and the Victorian teachers’ betrayal

By Patrick O’Connor, 25 April 2013

The pseudo-left organisation Socialist Alternative functions as a prop for the trade unions and an accomplice of the federal Labor government.

Reject the Australian Education Union’s sellout agreement!

For a political offensive of the working class to defend public education

By the Socialist Equality Party (Australia), 24 April 2013

The deal stitched up by the union behind the backs of teachers accepts the central demands of the Victorian government and opens the way for further attacks on public education.

Australia: Victorian teachers union announces sell-out deal

By Frank Gaglioti, 22 April 2013

The Australian Education Union resorted to blatant lies about the wages component of the new agreement.

IYSSE challenges unions, Greens at Australian student protests

By our correspondents, 18 April 2013

IYSSE members spoke at rallies in Sydney and Melbourne against the Labor government’s huge cutbacks to university funding.

Australian government guts university funding, promotes private schools

By Patrick O’Connor, 16 April 2013

Gillard is slashing university budgets to fund school “reforms” that will lead to public school closures and accelerate the shift of students into private schools.

Australian Education Union uses mass meeting to prepare sell-out agreement

By Susan Allan, 15 February 2013

Yesterday’s strike and mass meeting underscored the determination of the union bureaucracy to suppress any opposition to its plans for a deal that will further undermine wages, conditions and public education.

Australia: Victorian teachers prepare for mass meeting and third one-day strike

By Patrick O’Connor, 13 February 2013

The union bureaucracy has driven teachers into an impasse in the campaign for a new enterprise bargaining agreement.

University of Western Sydney victimises Professor Steve Keen

By Mark Church, 29 January 2013

By charging the well-known economics professor with “serious misconduct”, UWS is sending a threatening message to all staff and students regarding opposition to its course and job cuts.

Survey shows Australian teachers oppose NAPLAN testing

By Oliver Campbell, 7 December 2012

Ranking schools by NAPLAN literacy and numeracy test results is part of the Labor government’s regressive education agenda.

Australia: Victorian teachers’ union abandons wage claim

By Susan Allan, 29 November 2012

Even though the AEU has dropped its demand for a 30 percent wage rise, the state government is insisting on further major concessions.

Australia: Students and staff protest University of Western Sydney cuts

By Mark Church, 22 November 2012

The sweeping cuts follow similar moves at other universities across the country, flowing from the Gillard government’s “education revolution.”

Victorian TAFE teachers speak on cuts to funding

By our reporters, 21 September 2012

Workers expressed their hostility to the TAFE cuts and to both major political parties, Labor and Liberal.

Australia: TAFE teachers strike over job losses, assets sell off

By Chris Sadlier, 21 September 2012

Yesterday’s walkout was in response to new details on $300 million TAFE spending cuts.

Parti Quebecois to form minority government, after narrow election win

By Keith Jones, 6 September 2012

The Parti Québécois has won enough seats to form a minority government, ending nine years’ of Liberal rule.

Striking teachers and support staff speak out

By our reporters, 6 September 2012

Education support workers and teachers in the Australian state of Victoria voice their anger over working conditions.

Victorian teachers’ union blocks fight against Labor’s assault on public education

By our reporters, 6 September 2012

At a mass rally of 15,000 striking teachers, union officials prevented discussion on how to fight the Gillard government-led attack on public education.

Socialist Equality Party (Australia) resolution to AEU mass meeting

6 September 2012

1. This meeting rejects the 2.5 percent public sector wage ceiling, performance pay, increased teaching hours and all productivity trade-offs. We demand smaller class sizes and permanency for all teachers, including for young teachers and Educational Support staff currently on contracts.

Australian government imposes new “performance” regime on public schools

By Patrick O’Connor, 4 September 2012

Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s speech yesterday marks a major step in the further undermining of public education.

Australia: TAFE staff and students rally against funding cuts

By our reporter, 17 August 2012

About 2,000 technical college teachers and students marched through Melbourne yesterday.

Australia: Teachers face political struggle to fight Victorian TAFE cuts

By Margaret Rees, 15 August 2012

The unions are intent on diverting the anger over these devastating cuts into the dead end of a campaign for the return of a Labor state government.

Teachers strike across Australia’s largest state

By James Cogan, 29 June 2012

The large turn-out underscores the depth of concern over the “local schools” blueprint of the state and federal governments.

Oppose the exploitation of international students

By Patrick O’Connor and SEP candidate for Melbourne, 22 June 2012

The conditions of international students in Melbourne and throughout Australia testify to the contempt of the major parties for the conditions of youth.

Australia: Victorian teachers strike over pay and conditions

By our reporters, 8 June 2012

Angered by the state government’s regressive demands, record numbers of teachers stopped work yesterday.

Australia: School teachers to strike in Victoria

By Frank Gaglioti and Patrick O’Connor, 6 June 2012

About 20,000 primary and secondary public school teachers in Victoria are expected to strike tomorrow.

Australia: New South Wales teachers stop-work against devolution agenda

By our reporters, 25 May 2012

Devolving powers to school principals is part of Labor’s misnamed “education revolution”, which has imposed student performance testing and the publication of ranking tables.

Cost-cutting taking place across Australian universities

By Zac Hambides, 21 May 2012

The sackings at the University of New South Wales are the latest in a series of cuts occurring at universities across Australia.

Australia: TAFE teachers and students protest Victorian budget cuts

By Margaret Rees, 15 May 2012

Entire courses will soon be eliminated, and some students will face a quadrupling of fees, making vocational education unaffordable for many working class youth.

Australia: Parents and teachers protest against Gosford school merger

By Erika Zimmer, 7 April 2012

The amalgamation of the primary and secondary schools is part of a wider cost-cutting agenda pursued by the federal and state governments.

Students and academics protest job cuts at the University of Sydney

By an ISSE reporting team, 6 April 2012

The significant turn-out revealed the extent of concern over the threatened job losses and the wider assault on universities being driven by the Gillard government’s “education revolution.”

Oppose the job cuts at University of Sydney!

By the International Students for Social Equality, 3 April 2012

The cuts are bound up with the federal Labor government’s market-driven “education revolution” funding scheme.

Australian states impose Gillard’s “Empowering Local Schools” program

By Will Marshall, 14 March 2012

The NSW government has become the first state administration to outline the content of federal Labor’s far-reaching changes to the education system.

Australian government dismisses call to boost school funding

By Will Marshall, 3 March 2012

According to the Gonski report, Australia has one of the most inequitable education systems in the OECD.

Australia: NAPLAN “breaches” by schools almost double

By Erika Zimmer, 2 February 2012

The results point to the immense pressure on schools and teachers to achieve high scores under the Gillard government’s My School testing regime.

Australian government imposes new student union fee

By Zac Hambides, 12 November 2011

As well as an additional financial burden on students, the legislation reflects concerns in ruling circles about a developing political radicalisation among young people.