School quality in Australia: Exploring the drivers of student outcomes and the links to practice and schooling quality

On 11 January 2019, the Australian Government released the report School quality in Australia: Exploring the drivers of student outcomes and the links to practice and schooling quality, prepared by Deloitte Access Economics.

The report attempts an empirical analysis of the drivers of student outcomes, and school quality, using a consistent and comprehensive dataset of Australian students and schools.

The study estimated the relative importance of a broad range of factors relating to student learning outcomes drawing on the rich suite of information collected on  principal, teacher and student experiences as part of the 2015  Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) and the 2015 Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) assessments. Together these two sources of data provide information on students at three stages of schooling: Year 4 (TIMSS), Year 8 (TIMSS) and age 15 (PISA).

The empirical analysis also estimates the relative contribution of elements of school and classroom practices to student performance, with a focus on factors that are amenable to education policy. Consistent with other research, the report identifies teaching practice as being the most influential school-based factor driving student outcomes. School leadership and classroom environment were also influential.

The study builds on a 2016 study by Deloitte on The Economic Impact of Improving Schooling Quality.