In 2000, only one country outperformed Australia in reading and scientific literacy, and only two outperformed Australia in mathematical literacy. But by 2009, six countries outperformed Australia in reading and scientific literacy, and 12 had students who were better at maths.

(Gonski, 2013)

Among Australia’s strongest students, only 15% reached the highest levels of mathematical proficiency in PISA testing compared to 40% of students in the five best systems. We also lagged behind the top systems in stretching our most able students in reading or science, while more Australian students (close to 15%) failed to reach proficiency in these two areas.

(Grattan, 2015)

Students from regional and rural areas are less likely to complete Year 12 than their metropolitan peers.

(Victorian Government, 2015)

Australia is near the bottom of OECD countries in terms of equity in education (OECD, 2015)
It costs at least AU$8000 to have a student repeat a grade, much more in some schools. At the current rate, we’re wasting about AU$200 million on every new cohort of Prep (or Kindergarten) students as they move through school.

(Grattan, 2015)

Students of parents with low education fall very far behind others in the country. In NAPLAN data, the gap between socially disadvantaged students and students whose parents have a degree is ten months in Year 3 but two and a half years by Year 9.

(Grattan Institute, 2016)

22% of children in Australia are ‘developmentally vulnerable’ in their first formal year of schooling and are therefore at risk of being locked into a trajectory of long-term low achievement.

(ACER, 2016)

24% of students report they don’t receive useful feedback on their progress (Learning Frontiers 2014)
The typical Australian primary-school student is absent for 16 days of school a year, and the typical secondary school student is absent for 24 days of school in a year. (Grattan, 2014)
Students in disadvantaged schools make around two years less progress between Year 3 and Year 9 than similarly capable students in high advantage schools. (Grattan Institute, 2016)
Almost two-thirds of Australians whose parents achieved a university qualification have also achieved a tertiary level qualification. This compares with those whose parents achieved Year 10 or below, where 21% were able to gain a tertiary qualification.

(EDUCATE AUSTRALIA FAIR?: Education Inequality in Australia Report, 2017)

Australian research shows that achievement can be spread over 5 to 8 year levels within a single class: a Year 7 class may have students working at a Year 1 level, while others have mastered concepts from Year 8.

(Grattan, 2015)

About six in 10 or more of all children starting school get through early and middle childhood with the kinds of academic and social skills needed for later success. (Mitchell Institute, 2015)
There are growing disparities between Australia’s schools and these disparities are increasingly associated with average socioeconomic background. In Finland only 5-9% of total variance in student performance in PISA is associated with differences between schools. In Australia, the percentage is considerably greater and is increasing – from 20% in 2000 to 28% in 2012.

(ACER, 2016)

Nearly half of young people (49.4%) in the lowest ranked areas are not studying at age 17, compared with 2.5% in areas of least educational disadvantage.

(EDUCATE AUSTRALIA FAIR?: Education Inequality in Australia Report, 2017)