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4720.0 - National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Survey: Users' Guide, 2008  
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 26/02/2010   
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EDUCATION


OVERVIEW

This chapter provides information on the education measures collected in the 2008 National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Survey (NATSISS) for:



ADULT CHARACTERISTICS

The following topics are available for selected persons aged 15 years and over:

Current studies

People aged 15 years and over were considered to be currently studying if they were:
  • attending secondary school;
  • a full-time student at a TAFE, university or other educational institution; or
  • working towards a trade certificate, diploma, degree or any other educational qualification.

If a person was undertaking studies towards a trade certificate, diploma, degree or any other educational qualification, they were asked whether they were studying full-time or part-time.

People who were undertaking tertiary or other current studies, apart from at secondary school, were asked to provide the type of educational institution being attended, from the following:
  • secondary school;
  • university/other higher education;
  • TAFE/technical college;
  • business college;
  • industry skills centre; or
  • other organisation.

School completion

People aged 15-19 years who were currently studying at a secondary school were asked what types of assistance they thought would help them continue going to school until they had completed Year 12. Responses were based on the following:
  • support from family, friends and school;
  • encouragement from elders and council;
  • a relative to support if goes away to boarding school;
  • greater access to apprenticeships;
  • provision of coaches or mentors;
  • career guidance;
  • more individual tutoring;
  • schools suitable for culture and/or beliefs;
  • suitable or reliable transport;
  • accessible secondary schools;
  • subsidies or grants to help affordability;
  • assistance for students with a disability;
  • support networks;
  • more discipline; or
  • other reason.

More than one response could be provided. A person may have also said that they did not know.

Highest year of school completed

People aged 15 years and over were asked to provide the highest year of (primary or secondary) school they had completed, based on the following:
  • Year 12 or equivalent;
  • Year 11 or equivalent;
  • Year 10 or equivalent;
  • Year 9 or equivalent;
  • Year 8 or equivalent;
  • Year 7 or equivalent;
  • Year 6 or below; or
  • never attended school.


Non-school qualifications

People aged 15 years and over who were undertaking tertiary or other current studies, apart from at secondary school, were asked whether they had completed a trade certificate, diploma, degree or any other educational qualification, since they had left school. If so, they were asked about this qualification. The wording of the questions differed slightly for people living in non-remote and remote areas, but were based on trying to define the level of the highest qualification completed.

The level of highest non-school qualification is the highest level of educational attainment above secondary school (ie above Year 12). The level is determined through the Australian Standard Classification of Education (ASCED), 2001 (cat. no. 1272.0).

ASCED provides a framework for statistical and administrative data on educational activity and attainment in Australia. It does not consider unstructured, unplanned or incidental learning activities. There are two component classifications:
Level of Education

Measurement of the Level of Education is based on the following criteria:
  • the theoretical/vocational orientation of the educational activity;
  • the minimum entry requirements for the educational activity (ie the minimum amount of prior education needed to undertake the educational activity at that level); and
  • the program length or notional duration of the educational activity.

Highest level of non-school qualification

Non-school qualifications are awarded for educational attainments other than those of pre-primary, primary or secondary education. Non-school qualifications may be attained concurrently with school qualifications. The completion of a qualification refers to successfully passing the required assessment or examination. It does not mean having graduated or having attended all classes. The levels of qualification from highest to lowest are:
  • Doctorate (including PhD);
  • Master degree;
  • Graduate diploma;
  • Graduate certificate;
  • Bachelor degree with honours;
  • Bachelor degree;
  • Associate degree;
  • Advanced diploma;
  • Diploma;
  • Associate diploma;
  • Advanced certificate;
  • Certificate IV (or Post-trade);
  • Certificate III (or Trade);
  • Certificate II; and
  • Certificate I.

The level of non-school qualification may have also been undetermined. A more detailed listing of non-school qualifications is provided in the data items list.

Field of Education

Field of Education is the subject matter of an educational activity and is measured through the following criteria:
  • theoretical content;
  • purpose of learning;
  • objects of interest;
  • methods and techniques; and
  • tools and equipment.

For the 2008 NATSISS, the field of education relates to the main field of study for the highest non-school qualification completed. There are 12 broad fields of education, including:
  • natural and physical sciences;
  • information technology;
  • engineering and related technologies;
  • architecture and building;
  • agriculture, environmental and related studies;
  • health;
  • education;
  • management and commerce;
  • society and culture;
  • creative arts;
  • food, hospitality and personal services; and
  • mixed field programmes.

The field of study may have also been undetermined.


Highest educational attainment

People aged 15 years and over were also categorised to an overall level of highest educational attainment, based on the following broad categories:
  • Postgraduate degree;
  • Graduate diploma/Graduate certificate;
  • Bachelor degree;
  • Advanced diploma/Diploma;
  • Certificate III/IV;
  • Certificate I/II;
  • Certificate not further defined;
  • Senior secondary education;
  • Junior secondary education; or
  • never attended school and no non-school qualification.

The level of highest educational attainment may have also been undetermined. A more detailed listing of highest educational attainment is provided in the data item list.

Certificate II or above/Year 12 equivalent

Based on responses about highest educational attainment, highest level of non-school qualification and highest year of (primary or secondary) school completed, people aged 15 years and over were categorised as one of the following:
  • Certificate II or above/Year 12; or
  • Without Certificate II or above/Year 12.


Reasons did not study

People aged 15 years and over were asked whether they wanted to study any (other) educational qualifications in the 12 months prior to interview. If so, they were asked the main reason they did not study for an (another) educational qualification. Responses were based on the following:
  • too much work;
  • other work-related reason;
  • caring for family members;
  • personal or other family reasons;
  • course or qualification-related reasons;
  • no time;
  • too expensive/financial reasons;
  • waiting to hear from educational facility;
  • nothing available in area; or
  • other reasons.


Future educational intentions

People aged 15 years and over who were not currently studying were asked whether they intended to do any study in the future. The response could be yes, no or don't know. If a person was intending to study, they were asked to provide the time-frame, based on the following:
  • current year;
  • next year;
  • in 2 to 5 years; or
  • after 5 years.

People with intentions to study were also asked why they were planning to return to study. Responses were based on the following:
  • gain a promotion;
  • get a better job;
  • requirement of current job;
  • update training;
  • improve knowledge or skills;
  • improve qualifications;
  • interest; or
  • other reason.

More than one response could be provided.


Vocational training

People aged 15-64 years, who were not permanently unable to work, were asked whether they had participated in vocational training in the 12 months prior to interview. Examples of training could have included:
  • training seminars;
  • training workshops;
  • talks or lecture presentations;
  • classroom-style presentations;
  • training conferences, including tele/video-conferencing;
  • other group training sessions;
  • audio-visual presentations;
  • demonstration training sessions (eg equipment, health and safety)
  • self-paced training courses; or
  • on the job training.

If a person had attended vocational training they were then asked to nominate the type of training undertaken. Responses were based on the following:
  • trade or labour training;
  • transport, plant or machinery operation;
  • management/supervision training;
  • technical training;
  • computer or office training;
  • sales or personal service training;
  • literacy training (reading or writing);
  • numeracy training (adding, subtracting numbers, etc);
  • music, art or craft training;
  • health and safety training; or
  • other training.

More than one response could be provided.

People who had undertaken vocational training in the 12 months prior to interview were asked whether any of their training was done as part of CDEP. More information on CDEP is provided in the Work chapter. They were also asked whether they had used the information or skills from the training:
  • for work;
  • to get a job; or
  • for another reason.

They may have also said that they had not used the information or skills.

People aged 15-64 years, who were not permanently unable to work, were also asked whether there were any work-related courses they wanted to do in the 12 months prior to interview, but were unable to do. If so, they were asked to provide all the reasons they were unable to do so, based on the following:
  • too much work;
  • lack of employer support;
  • other work-related reasons;
  • caring for family members;
  • personal or other family reasons;
  • course or qualification-related reasons;
  • no time;
  • financial reasons; or
  • other reasons.

More than one response could be provided. If a person provided more than one reason from the list, they were also asked to nominate the main reason.


Comparison to the 2002 NATSISS

The 2002 survey collected a range of educational information on Indigenous people aged 15 years and over. The following information was collected in 2008, but not in 2002:
  • Whether wanted to study for an educational qualification in last 12 months;
  • Reason did not study an (another) educational qualification in last 12 months;
  • Whether has future educational intentions;
  • Reasons for future educational intentions;
  • When plans to undertake future study;
  • Whether could attend all work training wanted to;
  • All reasons for not doing work-related training in last 12 months; and
  • Main reason for not doing work-related training in last 12 months.

In 2002, information on highest educational attainment and highest non-school qualification included the following groupings:
  • Certificate I/II; and
  • Certificate III/V.

These groups were not separated into single certificate levels, therefore the following item is not available for 2002:
  • Certificate II or above/ Year 12 equivalent

The following information was collected in 2002, but not in 2008:
  • Main field of highest educational attainment; and
  • Main reason left school.

The concepts from the following two items in 2002:
  • Whether used training; and
  • Relevance of training to employment (multi-response)

were merged in 2008 to form the following single item:
  • Whether skills obtained from training are relevant to work.

More detailed information on the 2002 survey data is provided in the output data item list, available from the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Survey: Data Reference Package, 2002 (cat. no. 4714.0.55.002).

For information on differences in collection methodology between the 2008 NATSISS and the 2008 Survey of Education and Work refer to the Appendix: Comparison to other ABS data sources, in the publication National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Survey, 2008 (cat. no. 4714.0).


CHILD CHARACTERISTICS

The following topics are available for children aged 2-14 years:
Information on the following topics is provided in other chapters of this Users' Guide:

School attendance

The proxies of children aged 2-14 years were asked whether the child usually attends school. If so, they were asked what year or grade the child is currently enrolled in at school. Responses were based on the following:
  • Year/Grade 10;
  • Year/Grade 9;
  • Year/Grade 8;
  • Year/Grade 7;
  • Year/Grade 6;
  • Year/Grade 5;
  • Year/Grade 4;
  • Year/Grade 3;
  • Year/Grade 2;
  • Year/Grade 1;
  • Kindergarten/Prep;
  • Preschool;
  • home-school; or
  • other (including Special Needs schools).

They may have also said that they did not know. If the child did not usually attend school, the proxy was asked for the main reason that the child does not go to school, based on the following:
  • transport problems;
  • problems getting a place;
  • available hours don't suit parents' work hours;
  • child is too old or young;
  • can't afford it - cost is too high;
  • child is not ready for school;
  • child not eligible;
  • does not suit culture or beliefs;
  • illness/disability; or
  • other.

Missed days

The proxies of children aged 2-14 years, who usually attended school or preschool, were asked the number of days the child attended school (including home school) in the week prior to interview. A response from 0 to 7 was possible, or the proxy may have said they did not know. If the response was:
  • 0 and this was the usual number of days, the proxy was asked a later question about school missed without permission. However, if the child was identified as attending preschool, kindergarten, or was home-schooled, then the proxy was skipped to subsequent questions about cultural education.
  • 0 to 7 and this was not the usual number of days, the proxy was asked how many days a week the child usually goes to school (including home school). A response from 1 to 7 days was possible, or the proxy may have said they did not know.
  • 1 to 7 and this was the usual number of days, the proxy was skipped to a later question about school missed without permission.

If the child went to school (did home schooling) for a different number of days than usual in the week prior to interview, then their proxy was asked for the main reason the child did so, based on the following:
  • child had an illness or injury;
  • parent or guardian had an illness or injury;
  • school not available or not open;
  • cultural commitments;
  • Sorry business;
  • home schooling/education at home; or
  • other reason.

They may have also said that they did not know.

The proxies of children aged 2-14 years, who usually attended school (except preschool or home school), were also asked whether the child had any problems in the 12 months prior to interview with not going to school without their permission. The response could be yes, no or don't know.


Progress

The proxies of children, aged 2-14 years, who usually attend school (excluding home school), were asked how well the school advised of the child's progress, based on the following:
  • very well;
  • well;
  • not well; or
  • not at all.

They may have also said that they did not know.


Assistance to complete Year 12

The proxies of children who usually attend school and were in Years 7 to 10, or were at some other type of school, were asked what they thought would help the child continue going to school until they have completed Year 12. A detailed list of responses is provided in School completion, earlier in this chapter. More than one response could be provided.


Comparison to the 2002 NATSISS

This information was not collected in 2002.


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