Centre de recherche interuniversitaire sur la formation et la profession enseignante (CRIFPE)

Votre Flash Player n'est pas à jour. Visitez le site de Adobe pour la plus récente version.


Lamb, S., Jackson, J., Walstab, A. & Huo, S. (2015). Educational opportunity in Australia 2015: Who succeeds and who misses out. Melbourne (Australie) : Mitchell Institute.




A enduring view of Australia is of a fair and egalitarian place in which opportunities exist for all to get ahead and succeed in building secure futures. Education is viewed as one of the main vehicles through which this happens. But to what extent is this true of modern Australia? To what extent are the benefits of success available to all? This study draws together information on the opportunities being provided to young Australians as they negotiate the various stages of education and training and attemptto establish themselves in the workforce during their transition to adulthood.

Four milestones are used, constructed as an index of opportunity. For the early years the milestone is the proportion of children who are developmentally ready at the point of entry to school, as measured across five domains: physical health and wellbeing, social competence, emotional maturity, language and cognitive skills, and communication skills. For the middle years it is the proportion of Year 7 students who meet or exceed international proficiency standards in academic skills. For the senior school years it is the proportion of young people who have completed school and attained a Year 12 certificate or equivalent. For early adulthood it is the percentage of 24-year-oldswho are fully engaged in education, training or work.

At each milestone mostyoung people are succeeding but some are missing out–insufficientlyprepared to take on the challenges of the following stages of their lives. For those missing out at any onemilestone,some make up ground and move back on track, while others succeeding at some points fall behindat others,for various reasons.

The results show the proportions succeeding and missing out at each stage (our best estimates,based on available data). They show about sixin 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. The same proportionscomplete school and are fully engaged in education or work by their mid-20s. For this large group of young Australians, school works well and they succeed across all stages. They make the most of the opportunities our education and training system provides.

Some children begin school not developmentally ready and remain behind across all stages. Our estimate is that this affects about 10 per cent of the population. Between entry to school and Year 7 one in 10remain behind. Roughly this number behind at the beginning of secondary school do not complete Year 12 or equivalent, and the same proportion remains marginalised at age 24, not able to secure full-time work or be in study or training. This proportion misses out across all stages and is not gaining the preparation needed to take up later opportunities in life.

There are points at which young people are succeeding, but fall behind by the next stage. This affects about one in six Year 7 students who are doing well in school, above benchmark standards, but fail to complete Year 12 or equivalent by age 19. A similar proportion of school completers are not fully engaged in education or work at age 24, and struggle to secure a foothold in the labour market.

There are also points at which young Australians are behind or missing out, but recover over following stages succeeding at the following milestone. This is affirming information because it suggests that schools, training providers and other providers can bridge gaps and can help young people overcome set-backs. It is possible for schools to promote opportunity. Approximately 12 per cent of those not yet ready for school had achieved the academic learning benchmarks at Year 7. Almost 16 per cent of those missing out in the middle years remained to complete Year 12 or equivalent by age 19. Just over 15 per cent of those who did not complete school at age 19 were in full-time work or full-time study by age 24, and many had done so through taking advantage of education and training opportunities offered to assist early school leavers.


Logos des universités associées au CRIFPE

Adresse civique

Université de Montréal
Faculté des Sciences de l'Éducation
90, avenue Vincent d'Indy
Pavillon Marie-Victorin – C-536
Outremont (Québec) H2V 2S9

Adresse postale

Université de Montréal
Faculté des Sciences de l'Éducation
CRIFPE – C-543
C.P. 6128, succursale Centre-ville
Montréal (Québec) H3C 3J7