How does socio-economic status affect student destinations?

This report was originally published 08 July 2015.


This document presents results from 3,581 interviews undertaken with students who completed Year 12 in 2013 (Year 12 completers) and 7,000 students who left school before finishing Year 12 (early school leavers). It focuses on the main differences in post-school destinations based on parental socio-economic status (SES).

Main post-school destination is based on self-reported participation in further education and current employment status. The classification system prioritises education related post-school destinations over participation in employment. SES was defined by calculating the highest level of parental education and parental occupation at the time of the survey.

Key results

  • Among Year 12 completers, bachelor-level study increased as parental SES increased.
  • Among Year 12 completers participation in other post-school destinations including entering an apprenticeship, a VET course and part-time employment increased as parental SES decreased.
  • Among early school leavers, the proportion looking for work and not in the labour force or further education and training increased as parental SES decreased.

Main post-school destinations by socio-economic status (SES) (%)

A horizontal bar chart describing the main post-school destinations of Year 12 completers and Early school leavers by socioeconomic status.
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