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Highest year of school completed (HSCP)

Census of Population and Housing: Census dictionary
Reference period
2021

Definition

This variable records the highest level of primary or secondary schooling completed. The data is used to help build a picture of the education levels attained in each area of Australia and to assist in the planning of educational facilities.

Scope

Persons aged 15 years and over

Categories

CodeCategory

1

Year 12 or equivalent

2

Year 11 or equivalent

3

Year 10 or equivalent

4

Year 9 or equivalent

5

Year 8 or below

6

Did not go to school

&

Not stated

@

Not applicable

V

Overseas visitor

Coded using the Australian Standard Classification of Education (ASCED), 2001.

See the Glossary for further information about the meaning of ‘or equivalent level of education’.

Number of categories: 9

Not applicable (@) category comprises:

  • Persons aged under 15 years

Question(s) from the Census form

What is the highest year of primary or secondary school the person has completed?

    What is the highest year of primary or secondary school the person has completed?
    What is the highest year of primary or secondary school Person 1 has completed?

    For people currently at school, select the highest year of schooling they have completed, not the year they are currently undertaking.

    More information

    Person's highest year of school completed

    Year 12 or equivalent

    Year 11 or equivalent

    Year 10 or equivalent

    Year 9 or equivalent

    Year 8 or below

    Did not go to school

      More information

      Additional information relating to the question on: What is the highest year of primary or secondary school the person has completed?

      More information

      What is the highest year of primary or secondary school Person 1 has completed?

      For people currently at school, select the highest year of schooling they have completed, not the year they are currently undertaking.

      More information

      Select 'Year 12 or equivalent' if the person has completed:
      • Year 13
      • 6th form
      • Matriculation
      • Highest year of school available.
      If the highest year of schooling the person has completed was in primary school, select 'Year 8 or below'.

      For persons who left school and then returned after a break, select the highest year of schooling they have completed irrespective of when it was completed.

      Include school level education undertaken at other institutions (e.g. at a TAFE).

      How this variable is created

      This variable is sourced directly from the highest year of primary or secondary school question on the Census form. The responses are captured automatically from mark box responses. Respondents are asked to only mark one response. Where respondents provided more than one response, the responses are accepted in the order they appear on the form and extra responses are rejected.

      History and changes

      The question relating to Highest year of school completed where respondents reported their highest level of educational attainment was first asked in the 1911 Census. In 2016 some minor adjustment to the wording of the question instructions was made for the purposes of clarity.

      No changes have been made for 2021.

      Data use considerations

      The 'Still at school' category has been excluded from the classification since 2006. It allowed the level of highest educational attainment to be determined for people still at school. From 2006 onwards, those still studying at school and the year level they are currently in can be identified by cross-classifying Highest year of school completed (HSCP) and Type of educational institution attending (TYPP). Full-time/part-time student status (STUP) may also be used.

      Related variables and glossary terms

      • Type of educational institution attending (TYPP)
      • Full-time/part-time student status (STUP)
      • Level of highest educational attainment (HEAP)
      • Attainment of Year 12 or Certificate II or higher (YR12C2P)
      • Attainment of Year 12 or Certificate III or higher (YR12C3P)

      Other ABS sources