One of four reports commissioned by the Review of Funding for Schooling, this paper compares Australia's education system with international standards. It identifies its strengths and weaknesses and makes recommendations for improvement.
Australia’s school system is among the better performing systems in the world. Taken as a national average, our children at age 15 are scoring relatively well on mathematics, literacy and science tests compared to their counterparts around the world. Indeed some of our schools would rank in the ‘world’s best’ category on this criterion of performance.
This overall result for Australia is not as strong as it has been in the past, however, and it masks a wide; degree of variability within our education system. That variability relates to educational outcomes, and to equity – that is, the degree to which people from all backgrounds are able to realise their potential in school.
This report reflects the contributions and analysis of the three partners in this project: the Melbourne Graduate School of Education, the National Institute of Labour Studies (NILS) and consulting firm theNous Group. It aims to do three things:
To understand what is contributing to good or bad performance by our schools and why;
To understand the degree of ‘lift’ needed in our schooling system and why this is important
To offer advice on what we know works to lift school performance, which in turn suggests where resources and effort should be concentrated in the future.