During August and September the team visited a further 5 schools for data collection – ranging from outer metropolitan to regional and rural centres.

This iconic Ballarat streetscape was one of our transit stops to a nearby school.

Distance from Melbourne certainly makes a difference to the culture and demographics of schools in former country towns. Some, like the mystery school whose carpark outlook features, draw pupils from a range of nearby population centres. Our outer metropolitan schools were the most notable for their mix of ethnicities, and more students from non-English speaking backgrounds.

Our final sample for the Teenagers Reading survey came in at just over 550 respondents. Just over half of these were female. The ages ranged from 10 to 18, with the bulk of the sample being 12-16 year-olds. Most listed the place they lived as “City (including suburbs)”, with 20% from small country towns or rural properties.