Educational outcomes are influenced by a person’s socioeconomic status. Those who experience disadvantage have a much higher risk than the general population of poor education outcomes.
Education alone cannot address underlying disadvantage but SVA believes there should be an equal opportunity for all children to receive a high-quality education, tailored to their needs, to maximise the chance for them to develop the skills to participate fully in society (the ‘Education Goal’). High-quality education is the path to a sustainable, independent and meaningful livelihood.
An individual’s lifetime earning capacity is largely determined by the age of 18 and education is one of the most important contributors. Children who do not receive a good education are at greater risk of later unemployment, earn less and are less likely to participate in the labour force. They are also more likely to be involved in crime and to become disadvantaged parents.
There is a strong and well documented correlation between education, participation and productivity.5 For each extra year of education, a worker’s earnings rise by 5.5% to 11%, all other things being equal, and each extra year of education may raise productivity by 3% to 6%. If the percentage of young people completing year 12 rose from 80% to 90%, gross domestic product would be $1.8 b higher in 2020.
Our Education Goal is in two distinct but related parts; (i) ensuring equal opportunity and (ii) providing high-quality education. We need to address both as there is little benefit if disadvantaged students have equal access to an education that is not appropriate for the modern economy. And disadvantaged students are also likely to fare worse than more advantaged young people who have the social capital to mitigate the impact of a misaligned formal education.