This paper begins by outlining the ‘education revolution’ policy direction of the Australian federal government, and the ways in which it envisages meeting its goal of having a 40% of the population between 25 and 34 with a Bachelor’s degree by 2025, and ensuring that 20% of tertiary students come form LSES backgrounds. This is contrasted with the achievements of the UK government’s ‘Widening Participation’ strategy. It then discusses the institutional and policy challenges which broad social inclusion goals generate for secondary and tertiary sectors – challenges which are likely to fundamentally reshape both sectors whilst also forcing them to become partners in a national educational mission.

The article then examines a framework from the OECD designed to strengthen schools in disadvantaged areas, with disadvantaged students in order that they complete secondary schooling and proceed to tertiary education.

In response to the OECD’s recommendations, the paper then focuses on one example of a program in which both sectors are collaborating – for mutual benefit – to increase the numbers of LSES students aspiring to and accessing tertiary education and achieving success in tertiary studies, and makes predictions about its future success. This US initiative (AVID) has had significant success for over thirty years and is currently being trialed in a number of Australian schools and universities.

It concludes by advocating that schools and universities partner more closely, and that AVID may well be a useful means of achieving this, whilst also enriching schools’ cultures and facilitating greater academic success at both university and school, for disadvantaged students.