1301.0 - Year Book Australia, 2012  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 24/05/2012   
   Page tools: Print Print Page

Education and training


High-quality education, starting from early childhood through to young adulthood and beyond, is central to Australia's future prosperity and social cohesion. Currently, data collected in the early childhood, education and training sectors are somewhat fragmented and sector specific. They are collected from a variety of sources and provide a good deal of information on participation in education and training, but much less on educational pathways and outcomes for students. There is currently no repository for nationally comparable and consistent data across education and training sectors and federal, state and territory jurisdictions.

Concept of the ALLD

With the sponsorship of the Strategic Cross-Sectoral Data Committee, comprising senior officials across various levels of government, education sectors and relevant information agencies, the ABS has developed a model to show how administrative data could be structured into a student-centred longitudinal database. The model would bring together information on early childhood education, schooling, vocational education and training (VET) and higher education (figure 12.25). Other information could also be incorporated, such as childhood development information from the Australian Early Development Index (AEDI), or the results of literacy and numeracy testing and academic results. Linking these data to population data sources, particularly to the ABS Census of Population and Housing, would provide a comprehensive and coherent national picture of education and training from administrative sources with the contextual factors that influence learning. All of this information could be stored in an enduring, linked statistical and researchable database, with in-built privacy protection.

12.25 ALLD overview(a)
12.25 ALLD overview(a)

(a) ECEC: Early childhood education and care; VET: Vocational education and training; AEDI: Australian Early Development Index; NAPLAN: National Assessment Program - Literacy and Numeracy; TIMSS: Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study; PISA: OECD Programme for International Student Assessment.
Source: Concept Paper: Australian Longitudinal Learning Database (ALLD).

Construction of the ALLD

The ALLD would be able to provide information at national, state and territory, and small area levels. However, strict ABS confidentiality methods would ensure that no individual or educational institution (e.g. a school) would be identifiable upon release.

Key benefits of the ALLD

By using data linkage methods, the ALLD would be a cost-effective way of improving data availability without imposing undue burden on respondents or data agencies. As the database would focus on students rather than institutions, there is great potential to establish an integrated picture of education outcomes, pathways and transitions from across the various education sectors. Linking the Census with education data would also provide a greater understanding of the relationships between educational participation and non-participation rates of children and socio-economic characteristics. Overall, the ALLD, as a longitudinal researchable database, would have the ability to create a comprehensive picture of the education characteristics and outcomes of students throughout Australia. By giving policy-makers and the public a clearer understanding of the factors affecting educational outcomes, the ALLD offers the potential to improve outcomes for Australia’s children.

Next steps

The ABS will continue consultations with data custodians to foster data sharing and integration and progress the development of the ALLD.


Previous Page | Next Page

Statistics contained in the Year Book are the most recent available at the time of preparation. In many cases, the ABS website and the websites of other organisations provide access to more recent data. Each Year Book table or graph and the bibliography at the end of each chapter provides hyperlinks to the most up to date data release where available.