Educational inequity

In Australia, a student’s postcode, socioeconomic status and background can dictate the type of education they can access.

The facts about educational inequity in Australia

Large, entrenched gaps in educational opportunity exist from early childhood through to adulthood. Our system is failing up to one in three children and young people, and too often these gaps grow as students get older. In particular, the system isn’t serving:

  •  Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students, who are on average six times more likely to be below the national minimum standards for literacy and numeracy
  • Students from refugee or asylum backgrounds, who miss out on basic literacy skills as they are placed in grades based on age instead of ability
  • Students from rural or remote communities, who are less than half as likely to go to university— and are more likely to drop out if they do

Student performance in Australia is in decline. Students are now nearly a year further behind in science, maths and reading compared to just 10 years ago. And COVID-19 has only exacerbated the unfair, costly and widening gap between students. Estimates show the achievement gap has tripled for students experiencing systemic disadvantage.

How we’re making a difference

Educational inequity is the result of multiple complex factors. Teach For Australia chooses to focus on the people within the system. Evidence shows that teaching is the most significant in-school factor that can positively affect student achievement.

We offer leading development programs for teachers, school leaders, and mentors who can give their students the knowledge, skills and confidence to pursue their potential.

teachers placed in classrooms
partner schools
of schools are in regional, rural or remote communities
states and territories

How we measure our impact

We measure and evaluate the impact of our work across six key areas, and the results are published annually in our impact reports.

1. Rigourously recruit Australia’s top talent into teaching

Through our flagship Leadership Development Program, we recruit individuals with exceptional skills and expertise into schools serving low socioeconomic communities and develop them as teachers and leaders.

Throughout the program, our teachers are known as Associates.

2. Partner with schools serving communities of low socioeconomic backgrounds

We build sustained partnerships with schools, and our Associates bring subject area expertise to fill real teaching vacancies across Australia.

3. Develop highly effective teachers as leaders

Our programs accelerate leadership development, so great teachers can become great leaders, enacting positive change within their classrooms, schools and communities.

4. Improve student and school outcomes

Together with our partner schools, we work to ensure that students achieve significant academic growth, experience increased access to opportunities and develop attitudes and aspirations that propel them forward.

5. Build a pipeline of leaders within schools

We give high-calibre people the tools to drive change in the system and raise student outcomes.

6. Drive change and innovation in the education system

We continue to empower, connect and inspire our Alumni towards a lifetime of action towards educational equity.