Publication Date



Disadvantaged, Home schooling, Online learning, Literacy education, Digital literacy, Skills, Home environment


Submitted to: Australian Government Department of Education, Skills and Employment. This Ministerial Briefing Paper is also available from the Department's website here.


The purpose of this briefing paper is to provide evidence of the likely impact on educational outcomes for vulnerable children learning at home as a result of the COVID-19 response measures, and the merits of a range of delivery models. The paper is structured in four sections. Section 1 reports data from three international research programs and from the Australian National Assessment Program ICT Literacy. The purpose of this section is to use data collected in large-scale assessment programs that have representative national samples of participants to describe the profile of disadvantaged students in Australia. Section 2 discusses themes emerging from the literature pertaining to equity and access in Australia; the preparedness and skills of teachers and students to teach and learn using technology; student engagement; and the role of parents. Section 3 presents different models of home learning. Section 4 summarises evidence-based actions, which will support learning, particularly for vulnerable children in the short and medium term, and which will contribute to a flexible, resilient, and responsive education system in the event of any future interruptions in schooling.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Place of Publication

Canberra, Australia


Australian Government Department of Education, Skills and Employment