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4704.0 - The Health and Welfare of Australia's Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples, 2008  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 29/04/2008   
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Contents >> Education and Health >> SCHOOL RETENTION

SCHOOL RETENTION

A major focus of Indigenous education initiatives has been to encourage students to continue their education beyond the compulsory years of schooling in order to increase their future employment prospects and opportunities for non-school education.

The National Schools Statistics Collection showed that, in 2007, the apparent retention rate for Indigenous full-time students from Year 7/8 to Year 10 was 91% and to Year 12 was 43% (see the Glossary for more information on apparent retention rates).

Indigenous retention to Year 10 and beyond has steadily increased over the last 10 years (table 3.1). This trend is particularly evident at the Year 11 level, where the apparent retention rate from Year 7/8 rose from 52% in 1998 to 70% in 2007.

3.1 APPARENT SCHOOL RETENTION RATES, by Indigenous status - 1998-2007

1998
1999
2000
2001
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
2007
%
%
%
%
%
%
%
%
%
%

To Year 9
Indigenous
95.0
93.9
95.5
96.5
97.8
96.8
97.2
99.2
98.4
97.5
Non-Indigenous
99.7
99.9
99.8
99.9
99.9
99.9
99.9
99.9
100.0
100.4
Difference (percentage points)
-4.7
-6.0
-4.3
-3.4
-2.0
-3.1
-2.7
-0.7
-1.6
-2.9
To Year 10
Indigenous
83.3
82.0
83.0
85.7
86.4
87.2
85.8
88.3
91.4
90.5
Non-Indigenous
97.4
97.9
98.0
98.4
98.5
98.9
98.5
98.6
98.9
99.7
Difference (percentage points)
-14.1
-15.9
-15.0
-12.7
-12.1
-11.7
-12.7
-10.3
-7.5
-9.2
To Year 11
Indigenous
52.3
56.0
53.6
56.1
58.9
61.4
61.1
62.3
67.7
69.7
Non-Indigenous
85.4
86.4
86.2
87.6
88.7
89.5
89.0
88.3
88.8
89.4
Difference (percentage points)
-33.1
-30.4
-32.6
-31.5
-29.8
-28.1
-27.9
-26.0
-21.1
-19.7
To Year 12
Indigenous
32.1
34.7
36.4
35.7
38.0
39.1
39.8
39.5
40.1
42.9
Non-Indigenous
72.7
73.2
73.3
74.5
76.3
76.5
76.9
76.6
75.9
75.6
Difference (percentage points)
-40.6
-38.5
-36.9
-38.8
-38.3
-37.4
-37.1
-37.1
-35.8
-32.7

Source: National Schools Statistics Collection, ABS 2008


While Indigenous retention rates remain considerably lower than those for non-Indigenous school students, the disparity between the two groups is slowly lessening. In Year 11, the difference between Indigenous and non-Indigenous students decreased by 13 percentage points between 1998 and 2007. While the Year 12 differences decreased by 8 percentage points over this time period, Indigenous students were still much less likely than non-Indigenous students to progress to the final year of schooling in 2007.





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