The first case study in Power in Coalition begins in Sydney with the education campaigns of the public education coalition. Born out of tensions between teacher unions and government, the education coalition was at its most successful when running an independent inquiry into public education – called the Vinson Inquiry (Vinson Inquiry Report). This report allowed the coalition to set the debate on education, leading to major public policy victories – including a $250 million program for reducing class sizes for young school students (from Kindergarten to year 2).
Central to the public education coalition was the large, democratic and resource rich NSW Teachers Federation (http://www.nswtf.org.au/). However, the coalition would not have had its success without the union’s strong partnership with school parents and principals.