School sports programs have been conducted in Australia for as long as schools have been established. As a result, Schools Sports bodies (Primary and Secondary) in the states have been operating for many years. Interstate school sporting competitions in Australia based on state representative teams can be traced back to the 1920’s when Australian Football and Netball events were conducted and started to expand rapidly during the 1970’s. To enhance the organisation, associations comprising officials from each State and Territory were formed, culminating in the early 1970’s in the formation of the Australian Primary Schools Sports Association and the Australian Secondary Schools Sports Federation as bodies responsible for co-ordinating all aspects of interstate competition.
School Sport Australia, was formed in 1981 to act as the parent body for all school sport and as the focal point for an expanding organisation.
A major review of school sport was completed in 1986. The review board, appointed by the Australian Education Systems Officials Committee, strongly endorsed the direction of the Council on national and international level school sport. The Council is directly responsible to the Australian Education Systems Officials Committee, who also appoint the President and Executive Officer.
A further review, commissioned by the Australian Education Systems Officials Committee was conducted in 1991 and specifically examined the place of interstate sporting competitions in school sport. This review concluded that “interstate sporting competitions do have a place in contemporary school education.” Recommendations from this report (The Good Sport Report) have been addressed by the Council and were also been taken into account in the development of the National Junior Sport Policy released in 1994.
More recently, a review of the Roles and Purpose of the Council was also conducted which identified future directions and priorities for school sport in Australia.