Australia does not have equitable and inclusive education

The current system is segmented, unfair and underperforming. We have the fourth most socially segregated system in the world (behind Hungary, Chile and Israel), which means disadvantaged students are concentrated in disadvantaged schools.

Entrenched gaps in educational opportunity and attainment in Australian schools are among the highest in the OECD.

Right now in Australia:

  • Postcode is one of the most powerful and consistent indicator of educational outcomes 
  • Student performance is strongly tied to their socio-economic background 
  • Lowest performing students are not meeting minimum standards of achievement 
  • First Nations students, are more than two years behind their peers in maths, science and reading 
  • Almost 1 in 5 students are leaving school before the end of year 12 and of those in school between 25% and 40% of students miss around one month of school a year 
  • It is estimated there is a significant cohort of around 50,000 young people who are detached and unaccounted for 
  •  1 in 3 of our young people are un or underemployed. The cost of lost opportunity to the economy annually is $4.5B. 

“Students should leave school with a Learner Profile that incorporates not only their ATAR (where relevant) together with their individual subject results, but that also captures the broader range of evidenced capabilities necessary for employment and active citizenship that they have acquired in senior secondary schooling"

(Lamb et al., 2020)


Young people from disadvantaged backgrounds are the worst off

Young people from rural, remote and low socioeconomic status communities; those from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities; those with specialised needs; and those who are refugees remain more likely than their peers to be missing out on opportunities to learn the skills necessary for life satisfaction, workplace engagement, and individual goal fulfilment.


of Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander young people, aged 20-24, have completed year 12 or Cert III equivalent compared to 90% of non-Indigenous population (Productivity Commission, 2021.)


of regional and remote 24 year olds were fully engaged in employment, education or training compared to 73% of their major city counterparts (Lamb, S. et al. 2020)


as many young people living in the lowest SES areas are not in education, employment or training compared to their high SES counterparts (Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2021b.)


of people aged 20 and over with disability have completed Year 12, compared to 66% of young people without disability (Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2020)


The way we recognise learning contributes to the problem


Learning Creates Australia
Level 1, 136 Exhibition Street, Melbourne VIC 3000