Sending your child to a public high school doubles their risk of being bullied, compared to private school students, and girls are more likely to be victims, one of Australia's most comprehensive surveys has revealed.
The Household, Income and Labour Dynamics Australia (HILDA) survey commissioned by the Federal Department of Social Services interviewed more than 13,000 people each year from 2001 to 2012.
On Wednesday, the researchers from the University of Melbourne revealed growing disparity between the prospects of male and female students, those with university qualifications and those without, as well the reasons why up to 14 per cent of Australian parents continue to choose private education over public schools across the country.
The report's authors found that 22 per cent of parents of high school students at public schools believed their children were bullied while at school, compared to 11 per cent at independent schools and 15 per cent at Catholic schools.
Girls were more often affected by bullying across the nation's public schools, according to the report's authors, bucking the trend for girls' generally higher educational outcomes.
"Parents and guardians on average report worse educational outcomes and prospects for boys, the notable exception being the experience of bullying [girls] in high school," wrote University of Melbourne professor Roger Wilkins.
Parents of children at independent schools reported higher satisfaction with education at primary and high school levels, with 68 per cent believing their child would go on to study at university compared to 49 per cent at public schools.
The CEO of Independent Schools Victoria, Michelle Green, said the survey didn't only address academic results.
"They appreciate independent schools' emphasis on pastoral care, personal development, teaching quality, and discipline and safety which helps lift results, it also helps reduce bullying and other behavioural issues," she said.
A spokesman for the NSW Department of Education said it had zero tolerance for bullying and had developed an Anti-Bullying Plan developed in consultation with the school community.
The report also revealed that while many high school students aspire to attend sandstone universities such as the University of Sydney or the University of Melbourne, graduates of those universities stand to earn up to 10 per cent less than the graduates of technical universities such as RMIT or UTS.
Regardless of the institution, degrees still carry big income power, with a university qualification holder being able to expect to have their income boosted by up to 42 per cent for men and 32 per cent for women, highlighting the continuing inequality between the sexes, where six per cent more women now obtain degrees than men, reflecting a "societal shift", according to Professor Wilkins.
The report also found that computer literacy was directly related to earnings, with those males who had high computer literacy earning up to 25 per cent more than their less skilled counterparts. For women, low computer literacy meant a potential 12 per cent deficit in earnings.
While educational outcomes of both sexes have vastly improved over a four decade period, more and more over-educated Gen Ys are living at home.
The research found that 51 per cent of men aged between 18 and 29 were staying in the nest with mum and dad, where they were up to 10 per cent more likely to remain at home than women.
So what is the key to educational advantage according to HILDA?
Be born a male, attend a private school, study at a technical university, become highly computer literate and hold off moving out of home.