The department undertakes research programs to review and inform policy.

Many research reports are publically available:

The Longitudinal Surveys of Australian Youth (LSAY) is a research program funded by the department that follows young Australians over a 10-year period, as they move from secondary school to adulthood.

The National Youth Affairs Research Scheme was a cooperative funding program between the Australian Government and state and territory governments between 1985 and 2016.

Since 2017, the Australian Government has released three reports prepared by Deloitte Access Economics investigating various aspects of schooling quality:  The economic impact of improving schooling quality; School quality in Australia:  Exploring the drivers of student outcomes and the links to practice and schooling quality; and Unpacking drivers of learning outcomes of students from different backgrounds.

On 27 October 2018, the Australian Government released the reports, Student Wellbeing, Engagement and Learning across the Middle Years and The Effects on Schooling Outcomes of Early Developmental Vulnerabilities in Children, prepared by The Centre for Adolescent Health, Murdoch Children's Research Institute. These reports following the experiences of students in the middle years of schooling (Years 3 to 7).