My journey through “Educational Opportunity in Australia 2015” Part 1

I have encountered this landmark study a few days ago as mentioned in my Educational opportunity in Australia 2015. I have start reading the study, the key finding already contained some really interesting information. I had a browse through the study as well to see the data and information available as well. There are a sea of data to demonstrate and back up the findings in the study, also offer some really interesting insights into the Australian education in general.

I will probably try to do this in a 5 to 6 part series, to be honest I think this is still not doing justice to the data and information I had read so far. We will see how we go with it I guess. The study had broken the result into four milestone and they are as following.

  • Milestone 1: For the early years, the milestone is the proportion of children who, at the point of entry to school, are developmentally ready as measured across five domains: physical health and well being, social competence, emotional maturity, language and cognitive skills, and communication and general knowledge.
  • Milestone 2: For the middle years, it is the proportion of Year 7 students who meet or exceed international proficiency standards in academic skills.
  • Milestone 3: For the senior years, it is the proportion of young people who have completed school and attained a Year 12 certificate or equivalent.
  • Milestone 4: For early adulthood, it is the percentage of 24-year-olds who are fully engaged in education, training or work.


There are more detailed information which you can read from the full report, but I am summarizing what I think are the most important and relevant points as following.

Milestone 1: At the point of entry to school. #2

  • Learners in the lowest socio-economic quintile are 2.08 times more likely to miss out on the milestone than learners in the highest socio-economic quintile (31.7 per cent vs 15.2 per cent). These differences are greatest in the aspects of school readiness that matter most for academic achievement.
  • Of the factors that increase the risk of not meeting the milestone for readiness for school, socio-economic status has the strongest effect.

Milestone 2: Year 7 #3

  • National data on socio-economic differences are not available for this measure, but parental education provides a proxy measure. Learners whose parents did not complete Year 12 are 3.72 times more likely to be missing out on the milestone than learners with at least one parent with a university degree (49.5 per cent vs 13.3 per cent).
  • Learners begin to become separated across schools at this stage. A disproportionate share of learners at the lowest level of socio-educational advantage attends government schools (79.6 per cent).
  • Most of the variation in learner progress up to the middle years is accounted for by student-level factors, but school-level factors still exert some influence, especially social intake as measured by mean school socio-economic status.

Milestone 3: Completion of school at age of 19 #4

  • Year 12 attainment among 19-year-olds varies substantially by socio-economic background. The socio-economic status gap is a much as 28 percentage points between highest and lowest. About 40 per cent of young people from the lowest socio-economic status backgrounds do not complete Year 12 or its equivalent by age 19.
  • The nature and quality of school completion for young people varies, and this is important because it affects access to later opportunities. Only 56 per cent of young people gain an Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR) that allows competitive access to university. This is linked to student background, with socio-economic status having a strong effect.
  • Completion is linked to achievement in school. Only one in two of the lowest mathematics achievers (lowest decile) at age 15 completed Year 12 by age 19. For the highest achievers, 94.3 per cent had completed Year 12 by age 19.
  • Schools that serve largely middle-class populations do better on a range of scholastic and student outcomes. Those serving low socio-economic status communities do not do well. Segregation – the separation of populations along social, ethnic and racial lines – is a key driver.

Milestone 4: Engaged in education, training or work at age 24 #5

  • Young people who are not fully engaged in education or work are disproportionately female and from low socio-economic status backgrounds, located more often in regional and remote locations, and Indigenous.
  • Not completing Year 12 and not achieving well in school are predictors of later outcomes, though others are ‘under-attached’: despite completing Year 12 and engaging in some training and gaining some work experience, they have not progressed through further education courses or secured a stable attachment to the labour market.
  • Socio-economic background is a strong predictor of enrolment in university: two-thirds of young people from high socio-economic status backgrounds (highest quintile) enter university by their mid-20s, while only onequarter of those from disadvantaged backgrounds (lowest quintile) do. Students living in major urban areas of Australia are more likely to attend university than those living elsewhere.

I am pretty sure I covered all the most important and interesting parts from the key findings. There are already some really interesting finding and study will then goes into detail with massive amount of data. I will attempt to go through each main section and list some of the examples.

Reference: #1 to #5 Educational opportunity in Australia 2015

One more interesting study to share “Educational opportunity in Australia 2015 “

I was just browsing news and came across this “Educational opportunity in Australia 2015“. I have downloaded the study and reading it now, it is a 100 plus page work, so it will take me some time to fully digest and understand the information inside of it. However just by going over the executive summaries and key finding, it is already shaping up to be a very interesting read.

The results show the proportions succeeding and missing out at each stage (our best estimates, based on available data). They show about six in 10 or more of all children starting school get through early and middle childhood with the kinds of academic and social skills needed for later success. The same proportions complete school and are fully engaged in education or work by their mid-20s. For this large group of young Australians, school works well and they succeed across all stages. They make the most of the opportunities our education and training system provides. #1

We all know education in general is very beneficial and higher social economical background offers an advantage in this as well. What this study did is not only affirming this and applies some solid numbers and stats to it.

But what we learn from the patterns is that young people who are missing out can recover and gain ground. Being behind at any point need not be a life sentence, even for the disadvantaged, though even here the chances of recovery and of gaining ground are still in favour of students from more advantaged backgrounds. The most advantaged learners are not only less likely to fall below expected standards in the first place but more likely to catch up again if they do.#2

The study contained a treasure trove of information and I will keep posting as I am going through it. A quick browse already got me eager to read more of it, need to sleep less and read more :).



#1 & #2: Educational opportunity in Australia 2015

Hammondville, Holsworthy and Wattle Grove Public School Catchment Map Added

Back to the South West Sydney again and only three public school’s catchment mapped. I will probably try to slowly fill out the center of Sydney and then move slowly towards west and then finally the south west corner.

  • Hammondville Public School
  • Holsworthy Public School
  • Wattle Grove Public School

As usual contact the school in question or Department of Education for the final confirmation and you can also access the full NSW and Sydney Public School Catchment Map 通过点击此链接。



Advantage and Disadvantage of Multi-lingual

I recently this article “No advantage to being multi-lingual, Australian study finds” on SMH. This is another interesting one, as Australia and particular Sydney is traditionally immigrant country, just matter of when. There is also a very diverse origin of where the migrants came from. This makes sporting match fun as there is always supporters for whoever is playing and multi-lingual matter of fact for many children.

So this topic is certainly of much interest to many, the basic finding in the article is that being multi-lingual offers no advantage and disadvantage academically. This I agree with myself, provide the person in question is proficient in English, it is certainly case for all my friends. This in my experience generally holds true for kids who come before high school, for the older kids they tend to suffer a little with the humanitarian subjects which is not surprising.

Whilst being multi-lingual offers no advantage academically, it certainly offers a lot of advantages later on in your life. A couple of my friends secured excellent jobs with promising career due to their multi-lingual skills, these are positions they would have never secured without the proficiency in other languages.

For many children of immigrants in Australia, speaking the same language as their parents offers the closeness in relationship sometimes very difficult to achieve otherwise. I also had friends that never mastered the mother tongue that their parents spoke and because the limited English skill the parents command, the home conversation often limited to what I call “kitchen talk”. This is limited to day to day thing, like what you done today, what we having for dinner etc. However discussion of news topic, deeper discussions etc are all next to impossible.

Chipping Norton, Newbridge Heights and Nuwarra Public School Catchment Map Added

A mini update here, only three public school catchment mapped this time around.

  • Chipping Norton Public School
  • Newbridge Heights Public School
  • Nuwarra Public School

As usual contact the school in question or Department of Education for the final confirmation and you can also access the full NSW and Sydney Public School Catchment Map 通过点击此链接。


What the Chatswood Public School Catchment May Like in 2016 and 2019

Facing mounting enrolment pressure, a number of new public schools are being opened or expanded in Sydney North Shore area. What this means is once the new expansion and schools open, the existing catchment will change significantly. One prime example of this is Chatswood Public School. The school itself is under extreme enrolment number pressure and current proposal is to shift entire year 3 and 4 to the new demountables to be build on the grounds of Chatswood High School.

There is Lindfield West Public School opening to the north west, Mowbray Public School being expanded to host triple its current capacity to the west. Artarmon Public School is getting 12 new classrooms to the south. Out of all three Artarmon Public School is also under similar enrolment pressure and also mounting new enrolment from all the new apartments being build in its catchment area. What this means is that even with the new expansion the boundary between Artarmon and Chatswood Public is unlikely to change. To the west with the fairly large Lindfield West Public School opening in 2019, I am expecting large slice of western part of Chatswood Public School’s catchment will be shift to the new school to relief the pressure, however this is three years away still. Mowbray Public School expansion is scheduled to finish in 2016 and I suspect South West part of Chatswood Public School’s catchment will be sliced off and given to Mowbray Public School to give an immediate relief on enrolment numbers. All the other Public Schools around Chatswood Public Schools are also over crowded and I am not expecting major changes in boundaries between them. Following is what I speculate Chatswood Public School’s catchment may look like in a few year time.

Possible Future Chatswood Public School Catchment

As usual contact the school in question or Department of Education for the final confirmation and you can also access the full NSW and Sydney Public School Catchment Map 通过点击此链接。


Chatswood Public School expansion plan

I was not feeling well for the last few days and basically spend the nights sleeping. I want to share something that I came across while researching on the Mowbray Public School. We all know Chatswood Public is severally overcrowded and enrolment had increased by 40 percent from 2008 to 2014. Also with the completion of new multi level apartments in rapid succession, this is just going to get worse in a big way. What this proposal wanted to do is build 12 demountables and refurbish the existing ones on eastern side of Chatswood High School to accommodate 300 students form year 3 and 4 to alleviate the pressure on the Chatswood Public School. More detail can be found on Chatswood Public School website by clicking this link.

Chatswood Public School Expansion plan

I also agree with many that this really is a rob Peter to pay Paul situation. Public Schools at secondary level are just as crowded. How short sight of State governments to close and sell off all those public schools, now they had to scramble to find and open new schools at great cost in today’s much inflated real estate price.

However with the opening of Mowbray Public School’s expansion in 2016 and Lindfield West Public School in 2019, I think it is very likely that large section of Chatswood Public School Catchment to the west will be partitioned off and handed to those school. This will allow Chatswood Public School some room and space to deal with increase in enrolment that the new constructions around station will result in. It is unlikely after all the new apartments in Chatswood are built and occupied that Chatswood Public School in its current state can handle the influx, so something really has to be done about it.

As usual contact the school in question or Department of Education for the final confirmation and you can also access the full NSW and Sydney Public School Catchment Map 通过点击此链接。


Como and Jannali East Public School Catchment Map Updated

Much thanks to Kate pointing out my error with the Como Public School Catchment in my map. I have now updated the catchment map to reflect this.

As usual contact the school in question or Department of Education for the final confirmation and you can also access the full NSW and Sydney Public School Catchment Map 通过点击此链接。


Mowbray Public School

I have not done a specific school introduction for a while, mostly due to I have not had the chance to collect the information needed. Starting this back up with Mowbray Public School which I manage to find some time to visit on last Sunday. I could not find information on when the Mowbray Public School was established and there seem to be distinctive lack of general information on this school via online searching. This rather unfortunately as I was hoping to get some background information on the school.

Mowbray Public School is located on the Mowbray Road in the suburb of Lane Cove North. North of the Mowbray road belongs to Willoughby council and south of the road is part of the Lane Cove Council. Lane Cove Council recently rezoned pretty much entire section alone the Mowbray road and apartments just spring up like weeds in my garden after a good summer rain. I drove past this section of the road almost weekly and in the space of a few years, the entire southern side of Mowbray road in Lane Cove West is either built, being built or waiting to be built. This, of course, is one of the reasons that Mowbray Public school is undergoing a major expansion.

In 2014 there were 378 students enrolled and compare to 2008’s number of 267 students, this is an increase of 42% over the space of six years. This might sound high, but actually not uncommon in North Shore area. In 2014, 36 per cent of the students in the school are from none English language background. This number actually is fairly consistent over the years, fluctuating between 35 to 41 per cent. This number may rise in the next few years, with a lot of Asian buying in the area in the recent time, a fair number gets pushed over into Mowbray Public School’s catchment due to sky-high property price in Chatswood.

Mowbray Public School does very well academically and consistently ranked as one of the state’s top public school.


Mowbray Public School Catchment is bounded by Epping road to the south, Pacific High Way to the east, Chatswood golf club, Coolaroo Park to the north and Lane Cove River to the west. A really major expansion for the school is currently underway and proposed to be finished by 2016. The enrolment number is estimated to triple from 360 to 1000. What this means is that it will likely absorb part of the catchment of nearby schools that are currently overcrowded and under stress. Following is the current catchment map, once the new expansion completes, this will probably expand significantly. I will do another post to guess the possible changes in the catchment this will result in. You can search for a particular school or address in the search box in the top right-hand corner of the embedded map or zoom into an area of interest on the map.

The catchment use to be a good mix of multi and single dwellings, however recently following Lane Cove council’s rezoning, apartments are going up in a maddening fashion alone the Mowbray Road. This no doubt contributes to the need to expand the school’s capacity as it will no longer able to deal with the significant increase in population. I drove pass Mowbray Road weekly and it was really interesting to see the progress of the new classrooms close up last weekend. I took a few pictures and it is certainly a massive expansion and definitely the biggest of all the schools I have visited so far. In the following Google Map cut out, I draw out roughly what the new building situates compare to the old set up. The bottom area as marked on the map alone the Mowbray Road is where the new building is going up, essentially all the old classrooms got demolished to make room for it. About 20 new demountables are placed in the northern part of the school as marked on the map. Expect these to be removed once the new classrooms are completed and ready for use.

Mowbray Public School Pre Expansion Satellite Map With Marking

I quite like the new design, it pretty much maintained all the open space and oval. Public school often utilized for a variety of activities outside of school hours and maintaining these open spaces are very important inside and outside of school hours. The new classrooms look great and I am looking forward to its completion and students moving out of demountables. Due to the mounting pressure with the increase in enrolment, it is rare in North Shore area to maintain such lovely amount of open space which will be great for the community in the long run.

Following is the new classrooms that are under construction.

IMG_20151101_134912261_HDR IMG_20151101_134829846

Following is the lovely existing oval view of demountables are currently up to replace the existing classrooms while the new classrooms are under construction.

IMG_20151101_135103961 IMG_20151101_134620198

As usual contact the school in question or Department of Education for the final confirmation and you can also access the full NSW and Sydney Public School Catchment Map 通过点击此链接。


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Crawford, Doonside, Marayong and Marayong South Public School Catchment Map Added

Back to the bread and butter of what I do, four more school added for the Western Sydney. I have not decided which direction to go after this batch, whether keep heading west and or going to try to fill out the south west instead. With the this batch, I am not super happy about the catchment for Marayong Public School, part of it may very well belong to the Black North Public School instead, so I will revisit this again in the future.

  • Crawford Public School
  • Doonside Public School
  • Marayong Public School
  • Marayong South Public School

As usual contact the school in question or Department of Education for the final confirmation and you can also access the full NSW and Sydney Public School Catchment Map 通过点击此链接。