This article examines access to and exclusion from basic education in Ghana over the period 1991-2006, using data derived from the Ghana Living Standards Surveys. It uses the CREATE 'zones of exclusion' model to explore schooling access outcomes within the framework of the household production function. Empirical findings indicate that the period was marked by large-scale quantitative access gains in Ghana. However, rates of progress through the system, as well as rates of dropout, showed no such improvements. Progress towards completion of the basic phase of education was found to be the preserve of the relatively privileged, raising questions of equity in relation to both the supply and demand for schooling. While Ghana may be one of few countries in Africa to achieve universal initial access to education, considerable challenges lie ahead in terms of improving rates of retention and completion.