Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (2020) People with disability in Australia 2020: in brief, AIHW, Australian Government, accessed 07 July 2022.
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. (2020). People with disability in Australia 2020: in brief. Retrieved from https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/disability/people-with-disability-in-australia-2020-in-brief
People with disability in Australia 2020: in brief. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 02 October 2020, https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/disability/people-with-disability-in-australia-2020-in-brief
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. People with disability in Australia 2020: in brief [Internet]. Canberra: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2020 [cited 2022 Jul. 7]. Available from: https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/disability/people-with-disability-in-australia-2020-in-brief
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) 2020, People with disability in Australia 2020: in brief, viewed 7 July 2022, https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/disability/people-with-disability-in-australia-2020-in-brief
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Attaining a higher level of education is generally associated with better employment outcomes and higher income, which are key factors in attaining economic security and independence.
An estimated 1 in 10 (10%) school students (aged 5–18) in Australia have disability, and almost 1 in 18 (5.4%) have severe or profound disability. Almost all (89%) children with disability go to primary or secondary school—the same proportion as children without disability.
Most (89%) school students with disability go to a mainstream school, while 12% go to a special school; 1 in 5 (20%) students with severe or profound disability attend a special school. Of school students with disability who attend a mainstream school, those with severe or profound disability (21%) are more likely than other students with disability (13%) to go to special classes in a mainstream school (2018).
People with disability are more likely than people without disability to leave school early and to have a lower level of education.
Level of educational attainment
Aged 15–64 who left school before age 16(b)
Aged 20 and over who have completed Year 12
Aged 20 and over who have a Bachelor degree or higher
(a) Living in households (2018).
(b) Who acquired disability before age 15.
People with disability who left school in more recent years are less likely to have left school before age 16, consistent with improvements in school retention for people with disability over time. Around 1 in 10 (11%) people aged 15–24 who acquired disability before age 15 left school before age 16, compared with 3.6% of those without disability.
Whether a person has completed Year 12 varies by age, with those in the older age ranges less likely to have done so. Among people aged:
Most school students with disability (57%) receive support at school, though not all students with disability who need support with their education receive it: 1 in 10 (10%) school students who need support do not receive it and 1 in 5 (21%) who receive support need more.
Around 1 in 12 (8.3%) people aged 15–64 who are studying for a non-school qualification have disability. Very few (1.5%) have severe or profound disability. People with disability aged 15–64 are less likely to be studying for a non-school qualification (9.1%) than people without disability (15%).
For more information, including breakdowns by sex and age, and lists of data sources, see the full web report.
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