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Tuesday, 26 Sep 2023

Summary - The estimated economic impact of the Girls Academy Program (2018)

Publication author(s):

PricewaterhouseCoopers

Publication abstract:

The report summarises the findings of a cost benefit analysis (CBA) to estimate the economic impact of the Role Models and Leaders Australia (RMLA) Girls Academy, a program designed to overcome barriers to education for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander girls and young women. The CBA was undertaken by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) and compeleted in September 2018.

This summary outlines the main findings of the CBA, which estimated the Girls Academy Program improved a student’s chance of completing Year 12 by 5-7 percentage points, and that the Benefit-Cost ratio was 1.31:1, indicating returns of $1.31 to society for every $1.00 spent.

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Role Model and Leaders Australia (RMLA) delivered the Girls Academy Program. RMLA engaged PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) to conduct a cost benefit analysis (CBA) to estimate the economic impact of raising Year 12 completion rates among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young women. The CBA was finalised in September 2018.

Approach

PwC assessed the economic and fiscal impacts of two scenarios: the average lifetime outcomes for Indigenous young women who complete Year 12, compared to the average of lifetime outcomes of Indigenous young women who did not. 

Data

The CBA used Australian Census of Population and Housing data and Year 12 completion data from Girls Academy schools to make comparisons over time, across regions, and within schools. The data related to two time periods 2011 (prior to the introduction of the Girls Academy Program) and 2016 (following introduction of the Girls Academy program). In 2016, 70 Girls Academy girls completed Year 12. The CBA used data from the Productivity Commission, Australian Census of Population and Housing, and Australian Institute of Health and Welfare to estimate the education, employment, welfare, justice, and health benefits.  

Summary of the Main Findings

The CBA estimated that:

  • The Girls Academy Program improves a student’s chances of completing Year 12 by 5 - 7 percentage points.  
  • Given the improved likelihood of completion and assuming this is due to the Girls Academy program, the Benefit-Cost ratio of 1.31:1 for the Girls Academy Program, indicating that the Girls Academy Program returns $1.31 to society for every $1 spent.