Writing about schooling and education in Australia for an international audience is not an easy task. Now resident in Canada, I appreciate it is no less difficult for colleagues in any jurisdiction. The view from the outside often misses complexities obscured by distance. Having previously met with senior officials from the Ministry of Education in Toronto, who patiently described their system of schooling and recent reforms to curriculum and the surveillance and improvement of the workforce, is not sufficient preparation for someone working in education in Quebec. For many, this is obvious; others may not appreciate the extent to which a discussion about Canadian politics, culture and education requires territorial caveats, qualifications and distinctions to render the story credible for an informed Canadian or Quebecois.