Public Opinions on Australian Schools and Schooling

Conducted by Dr Deana Leahy and Professor Neil Selwyn, this study is one of the first national accounts of public opinion towards the state of classroom education in Australia.

Contrary to many political and media debates, most Australian adults don’t see the country’s schools, teachers or classrooms as ‘failing’. In fact, they are largely positive about how kids are taught – despite controversy around declining international rankings, teacher quality and standards.

However, many adults feel that the school curriculum should include ‘life skills’ such as First Aid, critical thinking, money management and job preparation.

Key findings

From a nationwide survey of 2052 Australian adults, the key findings are as follows:

  • 76% believe Mathematics should be prioritised more in schools, followed by English (75%)
  • 70% think the most important aspect of school to education is basic literacy and numeracy, followed by respectful students (55%) and high-quality teachers (55%)
  • 56% rate the performance of Australian public schools as ‘OK’, while 23% rate them as ‘very good’ or ‘excellent’
  • 52% think the standard of education will remain the same in 10 years’ time, while 31% believe schools will be ‘better’ or ‘much better’
  • Only 7% supported the increased teaching of Languages, and even less supported The Arts (4%)

Learn more

To discover more about this study, read the full research report.

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Public Opinions on Australian Schools and Schooling


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