The focus of this paper is on the factors, other than access, that influence the decision for Indigenous Australians to participate in education. The authors use a number of datasets to investigate 11 research questions relating to early childhood and post-school education participation and achievement. Overall, constraints on education participation and achievement appear at the time of pre-school education and have long-lasting effects.

In order to improve the educational outcomes of Indigenous Australians, policy should focus on the earlier years of schooling. This research was funded through the NCVER Fellowship Program.