Foundation skills and developmental readiness are necessary for successful entry into education and the workforce and therefore determinants of wellbeing.
Context statement: Indicator of children’s readiness to start school. When children transition to school already equipped with basic skills for life and learning, they have higher levels of social competence and academic achievement, which in turn increase the likelihood of achieving their potential. For disadvantaged and vulnerable children and families, targeted early intervention positively influences social and economic outcomes.
In 2018, 21.7% of Australian children were developmentally vulnerable on one or more domains of the Australian Early Development Index. Boys were almost twice as likely to be developmentally vulnerable as girls (28% compared with 15%). Indigenous children were twice as likely to be developmentally vulnerable on one or more domains as non-Indigenous children (around 40% compared with 20%, respectively).
Developmental vulnerability has remained relatively stable since 2009 for all Australian children; however, the proportion of developmentally vulnerable Indigenous children declined from 47% in 2009 to 41% in 2018 (AIHW 2021).
For more information, see Transition to primary school.
Reference: AIHW (Australian Institute of Health and Welfare) 2021. National framework for protecting Australia's children indicators. Cat. no. CWS 62. Canberra: AIHW.
Context statement: Completing Year 12 or an equivalent non-school qualification (including vocational education and training qualifications) is an indicator for future success and for taking on further education or training.
The National School Reform Agreement (NSRA) that commenced on 1 July 2019 set a national target of 90% for the completion of Year 12 or equivalent or Certificate III attainment for young people aged 20–24 by 2020 (COAG 2019).
The proportion of people aged 20–24 who completed Year 12 or Certificate III and above has steadily increased over time; from 83% to 89% between 2008 and 2020 (ABS 2020), landing close to the National School Reform Agreement target (COAG 2019). However, there was no significant change between 2020 and 2018 (both 89%) (Productivity Commission 2020). Women (92%) were more likely than men (87%) to have completed Year 12 or a Certificate III or above, consistent with previous years.
For further information see Secondary education: School retention and completion.
COAG (Council of Australian Governments) 2019. National School Reform Agreement. Canberra: Department of Education and Training.
Productivity Commission 2020. Performance reporting dashboard. Education: National School Reform Agreement details. Viewed 25 August 2020.
Context statement: Measure of non-school qualification level which is associated with better material living conditions, better health and greater civic involvement.
The proportion of people aged 25–64 with a non-school qualification at Certificate III level or above has been steadily increasing since 2004. In 2020, two-thirds (67%) of Australians aged 25–64 had a non-school qualification (Certificate III level or above). Since 2004, the gap in attainment of non-school qualifications between men and women aged 25–64 years has generally narrowed over time, with proportionally more women (67%) than men (66%) having a non-school qualification (Certificate III level or above) for the first time in 2020 (ABS 2020).
For further information see Higher education and vocational education.
For international comparisons, see International comparisons of welfare data.
Reference: ABS (Australian Bureau of Statistics) 2020. Education and Work, Australia; Reference period: May 2020. Canberra: ABS.
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