OECD improving school leadership activity : Australian country background report

Publication Date



A report prepared for the Australian Government Department of Education, Science and Training by Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER); submitted November 2006, revised March 2007.


The report provides an overview of school leadership developments and issues in Australia, as a contribution to the OECD's Improving School Leadership Activity. Australia does not have a single school system. Under the federal political structure, education is the responsibility of the eight states and territories. While schooling across the country has many commonalities, there are a number of differences that affect school operations. The situation is made even more complex by the existence of a substantial and growing non-government school sector, which enrols 33 percent of all students and encompasses a wide variety of school types. However, in recent years there have been significant steps towards achieving greater national consistency across the eight states and territories. Nevertheless, caution is needed in generalising across the diversity of Australian schooling.