4211.0 - Education and Training Newsletter, August 2011  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 16/08/2011   
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Welcome to the latest edition of the Education and Training newsletter. Since the previous newsletter, the ABS has been focussed on developing data that is comparable across a greater range of education and training sectors. Issues such as data standards, enhanced collaboration, timeliness and relevance of published data, and improved efficiency and resource use across the sectors, are also being addressed.

Our work program has comprised:
  • developing and implementing the National Early Childhood Education and Care Collection
  • commencing the transition of the annual National Schools Statistics Collection (NSSC) into a unit (student) record level collection
  • planning for the Australian Longitudinal Learning Database (ALLD)
  • servicing regular surveys related to child care, education, training and work
  • providing high quality statistics and advice for national performance reporting processes including CoAG national agreements.

In 2011 we released Experimental Estimates of Preschool Education, Australia, 2010 (cat. no. 4240.0), the first report from the National Early Childhood Education and Care collection. This represents the outcome of a major new project involving collaboration between the ABS and providers of preschool services in all states and territories, together with the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. The inaugural publication contains experimental estimates of episodes of preschool programs and children enrolled and attending preschool programs across Australia.

We have launched the first two articles in the new Perspectives on Education and Training series. This series is designed to highlight information that is available from ABS education collections. These articles, 'Pathways in vocational and higher education' and 'Social inclusion', are based on the 2009 Survey of Education and Training (SET), which collected detailed information on the qualifications of the Australian population, participation in non-formal learning activities including work-related training and a broad set of socio-demographic characteristics.

Enumeration of the Australian survey in the Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies will commence in October 2011. This high profile survey of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development is being conducted by the ABS with funding from the Commonwealth Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations. The survey is designed to measure adult competencies in literacy and numeracy, and problem solving skills. It has a particular focus on skills needed for success in the information age.