National Report on Schooling in Australia 2012

Part 4

Student participation



Goal 1 of the Melbourne Declaration on Educational Goals for Young Australians is that Australian schooling promotes equity and excellence. The first condition set down for achieving this goal is that ‘all Australian governments and all school sectors must provide all students with access to high-quality schooling that is free from discrimination…’¹

The extent to which young people access and participate in schooling is thus one component of measuring progress towards this goal.

Participation in schooling is also central to the first agreed outcome of the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) National Education Agreement (NEA) that all children are engaged in and benefiting from schooling.

Two measures of participation in schooling specified as key performance measures for schooling in the Measurement Framework for Schooling in Australia 2012 are:
• enrolment: the number and proportion of children enrolled in school
• attendance: the rate at which children attend school.

Attendance at school is also a performance indicator within the reporting framework of the NEA, and the number of students enrolled in school, while no longer a performance indicator², remains as a stated output.³

This section provides data and commentary on enrolment and attendance in Australian schools in 2012, including these performance measures. It also includes data and commentary on the apparent progression and retention of students through secondary school.


¹ Melbourne Declaration, p. 7

² Enrolment in school was deleted as a performance indicator from the revised NEA of July 2012.

³ National Education Agreement, July 2012, p. 5