Australian education benefits from new statistics centre, Jul 2000

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July 27, 2000
Embargoed: 11:30 AM (AEST)

Australian education benefits from new statistics centre

Attention Education Editors, News Editors, Chiefs of Staff

Australia's mix of education and training statistics will be coordinated into a more coherent set by a new centre based at the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

The National Centre for Education and Training Statistics has been established by the ABS with additional funding from the Department of Education, Training and Youth Affairs, the Australian National Training Authority and relevant agencies in all States and Territories.

Education and training statistics are collected by a range of organisations with no over-arching coordination. Over time, this has led to variations in methods, classifications and standards, making comparisons across education and training sectors difficult.

The centre will resolve these problems by developing data standards, identifying gaps in the present information, and proposing ways in which it might be improved, thereby enhancing the national statistical service.

Director of the Centre, Mel Butler, says that its work will better position policy makers and planners to make informed decisions in the field of education and training.

"We will be better able to understand things like educational participation, attainment and pathways right across the education and training spectrum," he says.

Supporting this fresh approach, in August the ABS plans to release an Information Paper on a new Australian Standard Classification of Education and an update of the Directory of Education and Training Statistics, both of which will be available from the ABS's web site.

The centre will be guided by an advisory group of experts including educators, academics, State and Commonwealth policy makers, and union and employer groups.

The centre is the fourth of its kind set up by the ABS to improve the quality of Australian statistics. The other centres focus on crime and justice, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders and culture and recreation.