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School education: a quick guide to key internet links



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ISSN 2203-5249

RESEARCH PAPER SERIES, 2020-21 UPDATED 11 JUNE 2021

School education: a quick guide to key internet links Carol Ey and Shannon Clark (originally prepared by Marilyn Harrington) Social Policy

This Quick Guide provides links to information about:

• the national policy and administrative framework for school education

• Australian Government funding for schools

• individual schools

• statistical sources—including student achievement statistics and other international statistics

• Indigenous school education

• Australian organisations

• international organisations and overseas education departments and

• state and territory government websites.

Note: the links in this guide were correct as at June 2021.

National policy and administrative framework • The Alice Springs (Mparntwe) Education Declaration, agreed to by the Australian Government

and state and territory government education ministers in December 2019, sets the goals and directions for Australian schooling.

• The Department of Education, Skills and Employment (DESE) has major responsibility for

Australian Government school education programs.

• Australian Government school education programs and funding for Indigenous school students

are administered by the National Indigenous Australians Agency, which has primary responsibility for Indigenous affairs, and DESE.

• Following the Review of COAG Councils and Ministerial Forums in October 2020, the Education

Ministers Meeting replaced the Education Council. Australian Government and state and territory government ministers responsible for education attend the meeting, which is chaired by the Australian Government Minister for Education.

• The Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) is responsible for the

development of the Australian Curriculum, the National Assessment Program, which includes

School education: a quick guide to key internet links 2

the National Assessment Program—Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN), and national data collection and reporting, which includes My School.

• The Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL) provides ‘national

leadership for the Commonwealth, State and Territory Governments in promoting excellence in the profession of teaching and school leadership’. AITSL has developed standards and provides resources across three focus areas—initial teacher education (including maintaining an accredited programs list), school leadership and teaching.

• The Australian Education Research Organisation was established in 2021 as a policy initiative of

the National School Reform Agreement to undertake education research, make high-quality evidence accessible and enhance the use of evidence in Australian education.

• Education Services Australia is a not-for-profit company owned by education ministers. It was

established by the Education Council in 2010 and provides technology services to support the school education sector.

• Prior to its abolition, the Education Council commissioned a review of the national architecture

for schooling in Australia. In October 2020, the Council decided not implement recommended structural changes—including replacing ACARA and AITSL with a single new body, the Australian Curriculum and Teaching Services—due to the impact of COVID-19. Education ministers agreed to progress reforms through a staged approach.

Australian Government funding for schools • Australian Government funding for schools is provided under the Australian Education Act 2013

(the Act) and the Australian Education Regulation 2013.

- The Act was amended in 2017 and changes to Australian Government school funding arrangements took effect from 2018. DESE’s Quality Schools fact sheets explain the changes and the transitional arrangements in place from 2018.

- The Act was further amended in 2020 to change the way that the capacity of non-government schools’ communities to contribute financially to their school (capacity to contribute) is calculated. From 2020, the Direct Measure of Income (DMI) began to be used to determine parents’/guardians’ capacity to contribute. Previous arrangements calculated capacity to contribute using the socio-economic status score of the areas where students lived. DESE fact sheets provide information about the DMI and transition arrangements and the new DMI methodology.

• The National School Reform Agreement (NSRA) is a joint agreement between the Australian

and state and territory governments that sets out strategic reforms to improve student outcomes. The NSRA commenced on 1 January 2019 and ends on 31 December 2023. It is supported by bilateral agreements between the Australian Government and state and territory governments.

• The School Funding Estimator, available on the DESE website, provides estimated Australian

Government per student funding for all schools for each year from 2019 to 2022 and for 2029 (the final year of phased funding arrangements) as well as some brief overall funding information.

• The National School Resourcing Board was established in 2017 to undertake reviews of the

Australian Government’s arrangements for school funding. Its most recent review of regional schooling resource standards loadings was scheduled to be delivered to the Minister in May 2021. The Board’s completed reviews include:

School education: a quick guide to key internet links 3

- review of the socio-economic status (SES) score methodology (June 2018)

- review of the loading for students with disability (December 2019) and

- review of needs-based funding requirements (December 2019).

Further reading—Parliamentary Library publications • M Harrington, ‘Schools funding legislation passed by Parliament—an update on the

amendments’, FlagPost, Parliamentary Library blog, 28 June 2017.

• M Harrington, Australian Education Amendment Bill 2017, Bills digest, 116, 2016-17,

Parliamentary Library, Canberra, 2017.

• M Harrington, Funding the National Plan for School Improvement: an explanation, Background

note, Parliamentary Library, Canberra, 26 June 2013. Provides information about the Gillard Labor Government school funding arrangements that commenced in 2014. As such, it does not reflect the current school funding arrangements that were implemented in 2018.

• M Harrington, Australian Government funding for schools explained: 2013 update, Background

note, Parliamentary Library, Canberra, 8 March 2013. Explains the previous funding arrangements and includes a brief history of Australian Government funding for schools and historic funding and statistical information.

Information about individual schools • The My School website, managed by ACARA, provides information about all schools in Australia

and includes key statistical data, financial information and school-wide NAPLAN results.

• The Australian Schools List, developed by ACARA, provides an update of all schools and

campuses in Australia obtained from state and territory school registration authorities. The information includes school location, school type and school sector attributes.

• The School Funding Estimator, available on the DESE website, provides for all schools estimated

Australian Government per student funding for each year from 2019 to 2022 and for 2029 as well as some brief overall funding information.

• The Parliamentary Library makes information available to members of Parliament about

Schools by Commonwealth Electoral Division based on data provided by DESE. Information includes:

- Full-time equivalent enrolments, school sector and level of education (2019) by Commonwealth Electoral Division, and

- Schools (2019) by sector, campus type and address by Commonwealth Electoral Division.

Statistics • Schools, Australia, published annually by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

• The National Report on Schooling in Australia (year) (most recent edition 2018) provides an

overview of school education in Australia, key statistics and funding information. Earlier editions (1989-2008) were published by the Ministerial Council on Education, Early Childhood Development and Youth Affairs (MCEECDYA) and its predecessors.

- The interactive National Report on Schooling data portal provides access to national data sets for schooling, including key performance measures as specified in the Measurement Framework for Schooling in Australia (2020).

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• The annual Report on Government Services, published by the Productivity Commission, provides

an overview of school education in Australia, key statistics and funding information. It provides comparative data for the Australian and state and territory governments.

• See also links to Indigenous school education statistical information in the Indigenous school

education section below.

Student achievement statistics • The National Assessment Program (NAP), managed by ACARA, includes the annual NAPLAN for

students in Years 3, 5, 7 and 9 and three-yearly NAP Sample Assessments in Science Literacy, Civics and Citizenship, and Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Literacy.

• The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Programme for

International Student Assessment (PISA) is a three-yearly international survey of the reading, mathematics and science capabilities of 15-year-old students.

• Progress in International Reading and Literacy Study (PIRLS), a project of the International

Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA), is a five-yearly international assessment of the reading ability of students in Year 4.

• The Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS), an IEA project, is a four-yearly international survey of the mathematics and science achievement of students in Year 4 and Year 8.

Other international statistics • Education at a Glance: OECD Indicators provides annual comparative data on the education

systems of member and partner countries of the OECD.

• The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Institute for

Statistics (UIS.Stat) provides internationally comparable data on education, science, culture, communication and information technology, and demographic and socio-economic information.

• The World Bank Education Statistics (EdStats) portal provides a comprehensive data and

analysis source for education topics, drawing on data including UIS, international learning assessments, World Bank databases, and household surveys.

Indigenous school education • The National Indigenous Australians Agency (NIAA) and the Department of Education, Skills and

Employment (DESE) administer Australian Government school education programs and funding for Indigenous school students. These include:

- The NIAA’s Children and Schooling Programme, which provides targeted funding that complements other Australian and state and territory government programs for Indigenous school students and

- DESE’s needs-based funding for students, including the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander student loading which provides extra funding on top of the base amount for each school student.

• The National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education Strategy 2015, agreed to by

Australian Government and state and territory government education ministers, sets out the principles and priorities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander education.

School education: a quick guide to key internet links 5

• The National Agreement on Closing the Gap commenced in July 2020, and establishes the

education targets for Indigenous Australians. Progress against the targets is to be reported in the Productivity Commission’s Closing the Gap dashboard, which is currently under development. In the interim, data is available on the Closing the Gap Agreement data webpage. Performance data on the former National Agreement on Indigenous Reform (Closing the Gap) targets is available on the Productivity Commission website.

• Productivity Commission statistical reports:

- Indigenous Expenditure Report

- Overcoming Indigenous Disadvantage and

- Report on Government Services (see separate tab for Indigenous data under the School education section).

Australian organisations The following are some educational organisations that represent the interests of school education stakeholders and/or undertake research relating to school education.

• Association of Heads of Independent Schools of Australia

• Australian Council for Educational Research

• Australian Council of Deans of Education

• Australian Council of State School Organisations—represents parents and citizens associations

in government schools

• Australian Education Union (AEU)—includes links to state and territory AEU branches and

associated bodies

• Australian Parents Council—represents the interests of parents of non-government school

students

• Australian Primary Principals Association

• Australian Secondary Principals’ Association

• Independent Education Union of Australia

• Independent Schools Australia

• National Catholic Education Commission—includes links to state and territory Catholic

Education Commissions

International organisations and overseas education departments

International organisations • The European Commission’s Eurydice network provides information about, and analysis of,

European education systems and policies.

• The United States National Center on Education and the Economy’s (NCEE) Center on

International Education Benchmarking provides information on the world’s top-performing education systems.

• OECD—Education has a particular focus on measurement and data, and also includes policy

reviews and analysis. The OECD’s Education GPS provides a range of information on individual

School education: a quick guide to key internet links 6

countries, including a diagram of the education system, and policy notes relevant to the country.

• United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)—Education is

focussed on educational development to support Sustainable Development Goal 4.

Overseas education departments • Canada—the Council of Ministers of Education, Canada is an intergovernmental body of the

Canadian provincial ministers of education. It provides links to the education ministries of each Canadian province. Note: there is no federal education department.

• China—Ministry of Education

• New Zealand—Ministry of Education

• Singapore—Ministry of Education

• United Kingdom (UK):

- England—Department for Education

- Northern Ireland—Department of Education

- Scotland—Education Scotland

- Wales—Education and Skills

- Education and training statistics for the UK (there is no UK education department)

• United States:

- federal Department of Education—includes links to state education departments

- Education Commission of the States provides access to information about federal and state education policies, legislation, research and statistics.

State and territory government websites • School term dates

Australian Capital Territory (ACT) • Find an ACT government school

• Find an ACT non-government school

• Education Directorate

• ACT Board of Senior Secondary Studies

• ACT Teacher Quality Institute

New South Wales (NSW) • Find a NSW government school

• Find a NSW non-government school

• Department of Education

• NSW Education Standards Authority

School education: a quick guide to key internet links 7

Northern Territory (NT) • Find a NT school

• Department of Education

• Northern Territory Board of Studies

• Teacher Registration Board of the Northern Territory

Queensland • Find a Queensland school

• Department of Education

• Queensland College of Teachers

• Queensland Curriculum and Assessment Authority

South Australia (SA) • Find a SA government school

• Find a SA non-government school—Catholic schools and independent schools

• Department for Education

• South Australian Certificate of Education (SACE) Board of SA

• Teachers Registration Board of South Australia

Tasmania • Find a Tasmanian school

• Department of Education

• Office of Tasmanian Assessment, Standards and Certification

• Teachers Registration Board of Tasmania

Victoria • Find a Victorian government school

• Find a Victorian non-government school—Catholic schools and independent schools

• Department of Education and Training

• Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority

• Victorian Institute of Teaching

Western Australia (WA) • Find a WA government school

• Find a WA non-government school—Catholic schools and independent schools

• Department of Education

• School Curriculum and Standards Authority

• Teacher Registration Board of Western Australia

School education: a quick guide to key internet links 8

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