Skip to Content

Report on Government Services 2018

Part B, Chapter 4

School education

This chapter focuses on performance information for government-funded school education in Australia.

Download the chapter

  • Key Facts
  • Indicator Framework
  • Indicator Results
  • Indigenous Data

Nationally in 2016:

  • there were 3.8 million full time equivalent students enrolled in school
  • the majority of students (65.3 per cent of full time equivalent students) were enrolled in a government school. The majority of schools were government owned and managed.
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students accounted for 7.0 per cent of full time students at government schools and 2.5 per cent of full time students in non-government schools.

Recurrent expenditure by Australian, State and Territory governments on school education in 2015‑16 was $55.7 billion, of which $42.4 billion was spent on government schools.

Australian schooling aims for all young Australians to become successful learners, confident and creative individuals, and active and informed citizens positioning them to live fulfilling, productive and responsible lives. It aims for students to excel by international standards, while reducing educational disadvantage.

To meet this vision, the school education system aims to:

  • engage all students and promote student participation
  • deliver high quality teaching with a world-class curriculum.

Governments aim for school education services to meet these objectives in an equitable and efficient manner.

The performance indicator framework provides information on equity, efficiency and effectiveness, and distinguishes the outputs and outcomes of school education. The performance indicator framework shows which data are complete and comparable in the 2018 Report.

Indicator framework

An overview of the School education performance indicator results are presented. Information to assist the interpretation of these data can be found in the indicator interpretation boxes in the School education chapter and attachment tables.

Expand allCollapse all

Equity — Access indicators

Attendance and participation by target group

Years 7–10 attendance rate, all schools — comparison of the attendance rate of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students with the attendance rate of non–Indigenous students, 2017 (per cent)

Most recent data for this measure are not comparable, but are complete, subject to caveats
 NSWVicQldWASATasACTNTAust
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students 82.0 83.7 82.3 69.0 77.1 83.1 80.8 58.6 78.3
Non-Indigenous students 91.6 92.3 91.8 91.6 91.2 89.9 90.4 89.8 91.7
Source: Attachment table 4A.20

Effectiveness — Access indicators

Attendance and participation

Years 7–10 attendance rate, all students, 2017 (per cent)

Most recent data for this measure are not comparable, but are complete, subject to caveats
 NSWVicQldWASATasACTNTAust
Government schools 89.9 91.2 89.6 87.9 89.2 87.5 89.0 73.8 89.6
Non–government schools 92.7 93.4 93.4 93.2 92.7 92.4 91.5 81.4 92.9
All schools 91.1 92.2 91.0 90.1 90.5 89.3 90.2 76.6 91.0
Source: Attachment tables 4A.18—20

Effectiveness — Appropriateness indicators

Retention

Apparent retention rate, year 10–12, the number of full time school students in year 10 that continue to year 12, 2016 (per cent)

Most recent data for this measure are comparable and complete, subject to caveats
 NSWVicQldWASATasACTNTAust
Government schools 72.0 81.7 82.7 78.3 95.3 73.4 105.9 65.1 79.5
Non–government schools 85.0 89.5 94.8 83.7 93.3 66.1 77.6 62.4 87.9
All schools 77.2 85.0 87.3 80.5 94.5 70.8 92.2 64.2 82.9
Source: Attachment tables 4A.25–27

Efficiency  — Inputs per output unit indicators

Recurrent expenditure per student

Most recent data for these measures are comparable and complete, subject to caveats

Government expenditure per FTE student, government schools, 2015-16 — includes user cost of capital

 NSWVicQldWASATasACTNTAust
$ 17 627 15 656 16 867 19 404 16 990 17 320 20 960 24 664 17 275
Source: Attachment table 4A.14

Government expenditure per FTE student, non‑government schools, 2015-16

 NSWVicQldWASATasACTNTAust
$ 10 122 9 490 10 512 10 775 9 731 11 084 8 935 18 874 10 147
Source: Attachment table 4A.14

Outcome indicators

Student outcomes (national testing)

Most recent data for these measures are comparable and complete, subject to caveats

NAPLAN Reading — proportion of students achieving at or above national minimum standard, 2017 (per cent)

 NSWVicQldWASATasACTNTAust
All students — Year 3 95.5 ± 0.3 95.8 ± 0.4 95.5 ± 0.4 93.9 ± 0.6 93.1 ± 0.8 94.4 ± 0.9 95.6 ± 1.1 71.9 ± 6.1 94.9 ± 0.2
All students — Year 9 93.2 ± 0.6 92.0 ± 0.7 90.8 ± 0.8 92.7 ± 1.1 89.1 ± 2.2 88.7 ± 2.0 93.9 ± 1.6 65.6 ± 9.9 91.7 ± 0.4
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students — Year 3 88.0 ± 1.4 88.7 ± 2.6 86.1 ± 1.7 75.0 ± 3.2 75.5 ± 3.9 89.1 ± 2.9 87.1 ± 6.9 43.3 ± 7.4 81.6 ± 1.3
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students — Year 9 79.4 ± 1.6 80.6 ± 3.1 71.6 ± 2.7 63.9 ± 4.2 65.8 ± 5.4 77.3 ± 4.7 83.8 ± 8.6 31.3 ± 9.8 70.6 ± 1.7
Source: Attachment table 4A.28

NAPLAN Numeracy — proportion of students achieving at or above national minimum standard, 2017 (per cent)

 NSWVicQldWASATasACTNTAust
All students — Year 3 96.0 ± 0.3 96.0 ± 0.4 95.7 ± 0.4 95.1 ± 0.5 93.0 ± 0.8 96.2 ± 0.8 96.7 ± 1.0 76.3 ± 5.8 95.4 ± 0.2
All students — Year 9 96.4 ± 0.4 95.5 ± 0.6 96.0 ± 0.5 96.4 ± 0.7 94.3 ± 1.9 95.4 ± 1.2 96.2 ± 1.3 81.2 ± 6.7 95.8 ± 0.3
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students — Year 3 88.6 ± 1.3 89.7 ± 2.2 84.3 ± 2.2 77.4 ± 3.3 72.8 ± 4.0 93.4 ± 2.7 87.3 ± 6.3 49.7 ± 7.3 82.2 ± 1.3
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students — Year 9 88.1 ± 1.3 86.8 ± 2.9 86.5 ± 2.2 80.4 ± 3.9 80.0 ± 4.0 91.4 ± 3.3 89.5 ± 5.8 60.6 ± 8.6 84.0 ± 1.4
Source: Attachment table 4A.36

NAP Science literacy — proportion of all students achieving at or above the proficient standard, 2015 (per cent)

 NSWVicQldWASATasACTNTAust
Year 6 57.2 ± 3.6 53.6 ± 3.8 54.3 ± 4.6 57.7 ± 3.3 50.7 ± 3.9 59.1 ± 4.7 60.5 ± 5.1 31.8 ± 5.6 55.1 ± 1.8
Source: Attachment table 4A.40

NAP Civics and citizenship literacy — proportion of all students achieving at or above the proficient standard, 2016 (per cent)

 NSWVicQldWASATasACTNTAust
Year 6 56.3 ± 5.8 55.9 ± 5.3 52.2 ± 4.4 52.4 ± 5.3 55.2 ± 6.3 52.9 ± 5.6 59.5 ± 6.2 34.2 ± 8.0 54.5 ± 2.4
Year 10 42.6 ± 4.9 38.9 ± 6.1 31.8 ± 6.3 43.3 ± 6.8 33.6 ± 5.5 30.2 ± 5.6 46.4 ± 5.1 23.1 ± 9.6 38.3 ± 2.7
Source: Attachment table 4A.43

Attainment

Year 12 certificate attainment rate, all students, 2016

Most recent data for this measure are not comparable but are complete, subject to caveats
 NSWVicQldWASATasACTNTAust
% 73 80 72 77 92 60 79 50 76
Source: Attachment table 4A.56

Student outcomes (international testing)

Most recent data for these measures are comparable and complete, subject to caveats

Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) — proportion of Australian 15 year old students who achieved at or above the national proficient standard, 2015 (per cent)

 NSWVicQldWASATasACTNTAust
Reading literacy 59.5 ± 2.5 63.0 ± 3.3 59.7 ± 3.1 62.8 ± 3.3 60.5 ± 3.7 48.5 ± 4.1 65.1 ± 4.5 48.2 ± 7.3 60.6 ± 1.4
Mathematical
literacy
54.8 ± 2.8 57.7 ± 3.4 52.8 ± 3.5 60.0 ± 4.1 53.5 ± 4.3 44.4 ± 4.3 61.3 ± 4.2 47.4 ± 6.8 55.4 ± 1.6
Scientific literacy 59.2 ± 2.3 62.8 ± 2.8 59.6 ± 2.9 65.5 ± 3.0 60.4 ± 3.9 48.3 ± 3.5 67.9 ± 3.6 50.8 ± 5.4 60.8 ± 1.2

Source: Attachment tables 4A.49–51

Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) — proportion of students who achieved at or above the intermediate international benchmark, 2015 (per cent)

 NSWVicQldWASATasACTNTAust
Mathematical achievement — Year 4 69.9 ± 5.9 74.1 ± 4.3 68.8 ± 5.6 66.8 ± 7.0 69.5 ± 8.0 68.0 ± 10.2 82.3 ± 6.8 48.7 ± 13.8 70.2 ± 2.6
Mathematical achievement — Year 8 62.7 ± 6.8 69.8 ± 4.1 62.3 ± 6.1 64.6 ± 5.3 61.9 ± 6.9 60.6 ± 7.3 69.9 ± 4.2 39.7 ± 10.2 64.4 ± 3.1
Scientific achievement — Year 4 75.1 ± 5.5 77.7 ± 4.6 75.6 ± 4.9 70.0 ± 7.2 76.8 ± 7.2 75.7 ± 9.5 84.7 ± 5.6 57.8 ± 14.4 75.4 ± 2.7
Scientific achievement — Year 8 68.4 ± 6.1 71.2 ± 3.2 67.3 ± 5.6 70.3 ± 4.9 66.9 ± 6.5 65.6 ± 7.9 75.8 ± 4.5 46.7 ± 12.4 68.8 ± 2.6
Source: Attachment tables 4A.52–53

Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS) — proportion of students who achieved at or above the intermediate international benchmark, 2016 (per cent)

 NSWVicQldWASATasACTNTAust
Year 4 80.4 ± 4.4 86.0 ± 3.1 78.3 ± 4.4 81.0 ± 4.3 74.5 ± 5.0 77.7 ± 6.2 82.0 ± 3.7 74.7 ± 11.1 80.9 ± 2.0
Source: Attachment table 4A.54

Destination

Proportion of school leavers aged 15–24 years who left school in 2016 and who in 2017 were fully engaged in further education, training and/or employment

Most recent data for this measure are comparable and complete, subject to caveats
 NSWVicQldWASATasACTNTAust
% 80.6 ± 5.4 75.5 ± 3.6 63.5 ± 11.6 61.6 ± 11.5 64.4 ± 13.8 51.9 ± 21.4 73.3 ± 20.8 63.2 ± 32.5* 69.3 ± 4.5
Source: Attachment table 4A.57

Notes

FTE = Full time equivalent. NAPLAN = National Assessment Program - Literacy and Numeracy.

These data and caveats for these data are available in chapter 4 and attachment 4A.

Some percentages reported in these tables include 95 per cent confidence intervals (for example, 80 per cent ± 2.7 per cent). Confidence intervals for the Student outcomes (national testing) indicator are calculated by ACARA and take into account sampling and measurement error. See definitions of key terms (section 4.4) for more information.

* Indicates the estimate or proportion has a relative standard error between 25 per cent and 50 per cent and should therefore be used with caution.

Performance indicator data for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in this chapter are available in the attachment tables listed below. Contextual data and further supporting information can be found in the chapter.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander school education data
Table number Table title
 Attendance and Participation
Table 4A.18 Student attendance rates, government schools, by Indigenous status (per cent)
Table 4A.19 Student attendance rates, non-government schools, by Indigenous status (per cent)
Table 4A.20 Student attendance rates, all schools, by Indigenous status (per cent)
Table 4A.21 Student attendance rates, by Indigenous status and remoteness, 2017 (per cent)
Table 4A.22 Student attendance level, government schools, by Indigenous status (per cent)
Table 4A.23 Student attendance level, non-government schools, by Indigenous status (per cent)
Table 4A.24 Student attendance level, by Indigenous status and remoteness, 2017 (per cent)
 Retention
Table 4A.25 Apparent retention rates of full time secondary students, all schools (per cent)
Table 4A.26 Apparent retention rates of full time secondary students, government schools (per cent)
Table 4A.27 Apparent retention rates of full time secondary students, non-government schools (per cent)
 NAPLAN reading
Table 4A.28 NAPLAN reading: Proportion of students who achieved at or above the national minimum standard, by Indigenous status and geolocation (per cent)
Table 4A.29 NAPLAN reading: Mean scores, by Indigenous status and geolocation (score points)
 NAPLAN writing
Table 4A.32 NAPLAN writing: Proportion of students who achieved at or above the national minimum standard, by Indigenous status and geolocation (per cent)
Table 4A.33 NAPLAN writing: Mean scores, by Indigenous status and geolocation, 2017 (score points)
 NAPLAN numeracy
Table 4A.36 NAPLAN numeracy: Proportion of students who achieved at or above the national minimum standard, by Indigenous status and geolocation (per cent)
Table 4A.37 NAPLAN numeracy: Mean scores, by Indigenous status and geolocation, 2017 (score points)
 NAP
Table 4A.42 National Assessment Program, proportion of Year 6 students at or above proficient standard in science achievement performance, by equity group, Australia
Table 4A.45 National Assessment Program, proportion of students at or above proficient standard in civics and citizenship achievement performance, by equity group, Australia
Table 4A.48 National Assessment Program, information and communication technologies: proportion of students attaining the proficient standard, by equity group, Australia