11 March 2016
Media Release - #2016027, 2016

Productivity Commission inquiry into the national school and early childhood education evidence base

Joint media release with
Senator the Hon. Simon Birmingham
Minister for Education and Training

Treasurer, the Hon. Scott Morrison and Minister for Education and Training, Senator the Hon. Simon Birmingham today released the terms of reference for the Productivity Commission's inquiry into the national evidence base for school and early childhood education.

The Australian Government is committed to working collaboratively with the states and territories to build a world-class education system by developing a comprehensive national evidence base to inform and help improve educational outcomes for children.

Starting today, the inquiry will examine the current information available in early childhood education and schooling and make recommendations about how to improve the evidence on which future government action is based.

The Productivity Commission will consult broadly with government, non-government stakeholders and the public in developing its recommendations.

The inquiry will examine factors that may be barriers to improving data sharing and access for research and analysis of data.

Australia's capacity to remain competitive in the digital economy is contingent upon its ability to harness the value of data.

Improved access and greater ability to link and analyse national data could enhance the quality and scope of national education evidence that can be used to monitor educational outcomes and inform policy development and evaluation.

The inquiry will lead to improved data and information through better co-ordination of the evidence on which government can consider support for students in early childhood education and schooling.

Each day schools and early childhood education providers throughout Australia generate data which, if harnessed, could significantly help students to achieve better education outcomes.

Using this data without increasing the regulatory impact on teachers or schools, can help improve education outcomes and better prepare students for higher education or to enter the job market.

The most effective utilisation of data can improve decision making by policy makers and teachers alike, while ensuring education funding is used as effectively as possible.

The Productivity Commission is expected to report back to the Government within nine months.

The inquiry's Terms of Reference will be available on the Productivity Commission website.