How many are studying?

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 90% of children aged 5–18 with disability go to primary or secondary school—the same as children without disability. However, people with disability aged 15–64 are less likely to be studying for a non-school qualification (10%) than people without disability (15%).

Most (86%) school students with disability go to a mainstream school, while 14% go to a special school. School students with severe or profound disability (26%) are far more likely than other students with disability (3.6%) to go to a special school.

People with disability are more likely than people without disability to leave school early and to have a lower level of education.

Table EDUCATION.1: Level of educational attainment, by disability status

Level of educational attainment

With disability(a)

Without disability(a)

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 (2015).

(b) Who acquired disability before age 15.

Not all students with disability who need support with their education receive it.

Table EDUCATION.2: Whether receives enough support in education, by type of student

Whether receives enough support in education

Primary and secondary school students with disability(a)

Students with disability studying for a non-school qualification(b)

Do not receive or need support



Do not receive support but need it



Receive support but need more



Receive support and do not need more



(a) Aged 5–18 living in households (2015).

(b) Aged 15–64 living in households (2015).