Improving the performance of the nation’s schools could deliver benefits more than twice the current annual economic output, according to an analysis conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers.


Commissioned by the Federal Government, the analysis calculated the potential value to Australia of reforming its education system to be in the order of $3.6 trillion over the lifetime of a generation born in 2012.


School Education Minister, Peter Garrett, said that the report also shows that the cost of inaction of in the question of reform has been valued at a cost of $1.5 trillion between 2012 and 2092.


And the cost of not reforming is more than monetary, with the report finding that not improving the school system would have knock on effects to health, innovation, civic engagement and crime rates.  


“Australia’s total economic output is currently about $1.5 trillion per year. This PWC analysis tells us that if we improve our schools to be competitive with those of world leader Finland, that over the life of a child born this year, our plan would generate an extra $3.6 trillion for the national economy,” Mr Garrett said.


“This means the benefit of better schools over 80 years would be worth more than twice the value of everything Australia produces today.


“But if we don’t make changes aimed at lifting our education performance we stand to lose an amount equivalent to everything Australians have produced all year in 2011-12.

The PwC analysis is based on and updates earlier work done by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) which modelled the potential economic benefits to countries if they increased their educational performance in line with that of Finland.


To read the PwC report or for more information on the National Plan for School Improvement visit