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

In Australia, recent reports show that:

  • Compared to other wealthy nations, Australia’s education system is one of the most unequal and inequitable.
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students are on average six times more likely to be below the national minimum standards for literacy and numeracy.
  • Students from rural or remote communities are less than half as likely to go to university – and are more likely to drop out if they do.
  • Student performance in Australia has been declining, with students now nearly a year behind in science, maths and reading compared to just ten years ago.
  • COVID-19 has only exacerbated these problems, with estimates showing that the achievement gap has tripled in 2020 for students who are experiencing disadvantage.

Statistics like these show that circumstances that are out of a student’s control – the postcode they’re born in, their parents’ own education level, their cultural background – often dictate the education they are able to access.

And the lower the level of education a student obtains, the further their opportunities in life diminish: it impacts their employment and earning opportunities, their health and their general wellbeing.

Without intervention, the gap in educational outcomes grows over time and is carried on to the next generation – creating a cycle of disadvantage.

How we’re making a difference

Despite the barriers that some students face, it is possible for them to catch up. A great teacher can make all the difference for a student, and great leaders in education can change the system.

For over a decade, Teach For Australia has offered development programs for teachers, school leaders and mentors who can give the students the knowledge, skills and confidence to pursue their potential.

New teachers placed in schools across Australia
States and territories
Applications received to become teachers
Partner schools

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 low socioeconomic communities

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.