ACARA news, December 2021

Updates to the National Report on Schooling data portal


20 December 2021

Today, ACARA has released new data on schools and schooling on the interactive National Report on Schooling data portal. The data shows that participation in education has recovered after the impact of the pandemic, with corresponding results in the rate of completion of Year 12 or VET qualifications. 

The data set tracks the participation in full-time education, training and employment of young people aged 15 to 24, including school students and those who have left school and have moved into tertiary study and/or the workforce.

“The participation for 15–19-year-olds in full-time education and/or work is 90.3%, up 5 percentage points from that during the midst of the lockdowns in May 2020, and continues the long-term upward trend,” ACARA CEO, David de Carvalho said. 

“This is the highest rate recorded in the time series since 2008.” 

Similarly, the participation for 20–24-year-olds was up 2 percentage points to 73.0 from 71.0. 

The updated data includes: 

  • Year 12 subject enrolments 
  • Year 12 certification rates 
  • participation and attainment in education and work 
  • participation in VET in schools 
  • school students with disability. 

Through the data portal, ACARA provides online access to national data on Australian schooling, including general statistics on enrolments and funding, and data on agreed key performance measures for schooling.  

In most cases, the portal allows readers to view and download data at the national level, and also by state and territory, by school sector, by calendar year and by other breakdowns such as gender and Indigenous status. 

The data portal is updated twice a year with the most recent information on schooling; the next refresh is scheduled for April 2022. See the National Report on Schooling data portal on the ACARA website


NAPLAN 2021 National Report and Test Incidents Report released


15 December 2021

Today we have released the 2021 NAPLAN National Report, which confirms the initial findings of the preliminary summary information we published in August 2021. 

This report provides further information to the preliminary release: comparisons of performance by gender, Indigenous status, language background other than English, parental occupation, parental education, and school location.

The report reaffirmed the preliminary findings that the COVID-19 pandemic and disruptions to schooling had no statistically significant impact on students’ literacy and numeracy achievement in NAPLAN at the national or state/territory level. There were, however, some significant differences apparent when assessing long-term trends in the gaps between different demographic groups.

“The NAPLAN results for 2021 indicate that when compared with 2019 – the last NAPLAN taken pre-COVID – achievement in numeracy, reading and writing remained largely stable at a national level for all students,” said ACARA CEO, David de Carvalho.

The 2021 NAPLAN Test Incidents Report has also been released today. Test incidents can include cheating, security breaches and other ‘general breaches’.

Of the 65 test incidents substantiated in 2021, 1 was cheating, 21 were a security breach and 43 were a ‘general breach’. For comparison, there were 88 test incidents in 2019.

The number of reported test incidents is extremely small and does not affect overall NAPLAN results.