1301.0 - Year Book Australia, 2007
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 24/01/2007
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Education can occur within a variety of environments, some more formal than others. Typically, formal learning occurs within the distinct sectors of preschool, school, vocational education and training, and higher education. Structured learning within formal institutions is characterised by delivery that is systemic, planned and organised ahead of time, and which usually involves some evaluation of achievement. Many other kinds of structured learning can take place outside formal institutions and can continue after a person has completed schooling or gained trade or higher qualifications. For instance, structured learning might be undertaken in the workplace, in order to acquire, develop or upgrade work-related skills. Non-formal education, while intentional, is delivered in an informal and unstructured way, on an ad hoc basis. It does not necessarily involve any student-teacher relationship or evaluation of achievement. Non-formal education includes on-the-job training and self-directed learning.
Primary, secondary, and preschool education involved around 4 million students and staff in August 2005. The education industry contributed 4.6% of Australia's gross domestic product in 2004-05 and 7% of employed persons in May 2005.
Core measures of educational activity in Australia currently focus on participation (the process of education), attainment (the outputs, whether a qualification or not) and educational resources (the inputs, such as funding and human resources). The structure of this chapter reflects these core measures. After a brief discussion of government responsibilities in education, the chapter describes the hierarchy of participation from preschool through to higher education. It then examines educational participation and attainment, and concludes with information on sources of educational funding.
The chapter concludes with the article Skilling mature age Australians for work.