Publication Date



In this article, school sector differences in tertiary entrance performance were examined using longitudinal data from the state of Victoria in Australia for 2011. Analysis of students’ Tertiary Entrance Aggregate, from which the Australian Tertiary Admission Rank is derived, revealed non-trivial effect sizes of sector on performance. Results showed that students in Catholic and Independent schools performed at 0.24 and 0.38 standard deviations higher than their peers in the government sector once socioeconomic status, Year 9 performance in the National Assessments of Performance—Literacy and Numeracy, gender and language background had been controlled for. In other words, the results demonstrate “value-added effects” for the Catholic and Independent school sectors. Quantile regression showed that Independent-government school sector differences decline (moderately) with higher Tertiary Entrance Aggregate scores. For the Australian Tertiary Admission Rank, Catholic and Independent school students averaged 6 and 8 ranks higher than government school students, respectively, net of the same set of predictors. First-differences and fixed-effects models—which control for all stable (including unobserved) differences between students—estimated increments of 4.5 and 6.0 Australian Tertiary Admission Ranks, for the Catholic and Independent school sectors compared with the government sector.

Document Type

Journal Article

Access Rights

ERA Access

Access may be restricted.