4261.3 - Educational outcomes, experimental estimates, Queensland, 2011  
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WHAT'S NEW

SOCIOECONOMIC FACTORS AND EARLY CHILDHOOD DEVELOPMENT IN QUEENSLAND

For the first time, data from the Census of Population and Housing and the Australian Early Development Census (AEDC, formerly the Australian Early Development Index) has been integrated, to produce a dataset capable of providing new insights on the role of parental and other socioeconomic characteristics on child development. This work follows on from earlier ABS studies utilising National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) data, including the Queensland study described below.

The AEDC provides some demographic data such as Indigenous status, country of birth and language spoken at home. However, there is limited parental, family and household information available to support understanding of child development.

There has been some linkage undertaken between the AEDC and other datasets (such as the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children, perinatal and births data). However, these studies have tended to focus on the impact of early health on child development and initial student achievement at school. Other research into early childhood development has generally been at the community level and does not allow for detailed analysis of children's family and household characteristics.

The integrated Queensland AEDC and Census dataset provides a new opportunity to analyse a wide range of socioeconomic characteristics associated with developmental vulnerability for children from different population sub groups. The integrated dataset allows analysis of:

  • the relationship between children's developmental vulnerability and their family environment, such as family composition, parental employment status and parental education.
  • the relationship between children's developmental vulnerability and their home environment, such as household income, tenure type and household crowding.
  • population sub groups that may be considered at risk, such as recent migrants, foster children, or children living with people other than their parents.
Maximising the value of existing administrative data by integrating it with data from the Census, particularly if undertaken at the national level, has the potential to substantially enhance the evidence base for social, economic and educational policy in Australia in a cost effective and efficient way, whilst minimising respondent burden.


SOCIOECONOMIC FACTORS AND STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT IN QUEENSLAND

For the first time, data from the Census of Population and Housing has been integrated with Queensland government school enrolments and National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) data to enhance the evidence base about the socioeconomic context of student achievement. This work follows the previous study utilising Tasmanian data, see Educational outcomes, experimental estimates, Tasmania (cat. no. 4261.6).

NAPLAN provides some demographic data such as sex, Indigenous status, language background and broad level parental education and occupation. However, to date, there has been limited family and household information available to support understanding of the contextual factors influencing student achievement.

Other research into student achievement and socioeconomic factors is generally based on international studies, including the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study, Progress in International Reading Literacy Study and the Programme for International Student Assessment. These surveys allow comparisons across different educational systems, but they are based on sample populations and do not allow fine level analysis of students' background characteristics.

The integrated Queensland NAPLAN school enrolments and Census dataset provides a new opportunity to analyse a wide range of socioeconomic characteristics on student achievement. The integrated data allows analysis of:
  • the relationship between students' academic achievements and their socio-economic environment, such as family composition, household income, tenure type and rent or mortgage costs
  • population sub groups that may be considered at risk of falling behind at school, such as children with a disability, foster children, or children living with people other than their parents
  • small area geographic data, as opposed to broad level geographic data, to investigate whether where a student lives impacts on their performance at school
  • the extent to which specific characteristics impact on student achievement, when holding all other variables constant using logistic regression analysis.

MEASURING EDUCATIONAL OUTCOMES OVER THE LIFE-COURSE

This publication is the second in a series of releases publishing the results from the Measuring Educational Outcomes over the Life-course data integration project. Information about this project is included on the Public Register of Data Integration Projects on the National Statistical Service website.

This project is consistent with the vision and strategies outlined in the Transforming Education and Training Information in Australia (TETIA) initiative. TETIA is a strategy for improving educational outcomes by first building the evidence foundation through facilitating access to data on individuals undertaking education and training, related contextual factors and relevant outcomes; and, second, addressing data gaps in child development and education and training statistics, particularly their cross-sectoral aspects.