4720.0 - National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Survey: User Guide, 2014-15  
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EDUCATION


Overview

This chapter provides information on the education measures collected in the 2014–15 NATSISS for:


Adult education characteristics

The following topics are presented for 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 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.

Level and main field of current study

People undertaking study were then asked the level and main field of their current study.

The level and main field of current study was classified according to the Australian Standard Classification of Education (ASCED), 2001 (cat. no. 1272.0).

The level of current study is available in broad (collapsed) categories as listed below:
  • postgraduate degree;
  • graduate diploma/graduate certificate;
  • bachelor degree;
  • advanced diploma/diploma;
  • certificates III/IV;
  • certificates I/II;
  • certificate not further defined;
  • year 12;
  • year 11;
  • year 10;
  • year 9;
  • year 8 or below;
  • level not determined; and
  • not enrolled.

A more detailed listing of level of education is provided in the publication Australian Standard Classification of Education (ASCED), 2001 (cat. no. 1272.0).

In the 2014–15 NATSISS, the main field of current study was output in broad categories as follows:
  • 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;
  • mixed field programmes; and
  • field not determined.

A more detailed listing of main field of current study is provided in the publication Australian Standard Classification of Education (ASCED), 2001 (cat. no. 1272.0).

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/Institute of Technology; and
  • other.

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/reliable transport;
  • accessible secondary schools;
  • subsidies/grants to help affordability;
  • assistance for students with disability;
  • support networks; and
  • other reason(s).

More than one response could be provided.

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 were asked if they had completed a non-school qualification. This includes a trade certificate, diploma, degree, or any other qualification (apart from school-level). If so, they were asked about the level of the highest qualification they had completed and the main field of study for this qualification.

The level and field of highest non-school qualification was determined through the Australian Standard Classification of Education (ASCED), 2001 (cat. no. 1272.0).

Level of highest 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.

The level of highest non-school qualification is available in broad (collapsed) categories as listed below:
  • postgraduate degree;
  • graduate diploma/graduate certificate;
  • bachelor degree;
  • advanced diploma/diploma;
  • certificates III/ IV;
  • certificates I/ II;
  • certificate not further defined;
  • level not determined; and
  • does not have a non-school qualification.

A more detailed listing of non-school qualifications is provided in the publication Australian Standard Classification of Education (ASCED), 2001 (cat. no. 1272.0).

In the 2014–15 NATSISS, the main field of highest non-school qualification completed was collected. 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;
  • mixed field programmes; and
  • field not determined.

A more detailed listing of non-school qualifications is provided in the publication Australian Standard Classification of Education (ASCED), 2001 (cat. no. 1272.0).

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 in descending order:
  • postgraduate degree;
  • graduate diploma/graduate certificate;
  • bachelor degree;
  • advanced diploma/diploma;
  • certificates III/ IV;
  • year 12;
  • year 11;
  • year 10;
  • Certificates I/ II;
  • year 9 and below;
  • certificate not further defined;
  • level not determined; and
  • never attended school and does not have a non-school qualification.

For more detail, see the publication Australian Standard Classification of Education (ASCED), 2001 (cat. no. 1272.0).

Main field of highest educational attainment

Main field of highest educational attainment is also available with the same categories as for highest non-school qualification completed.

Certificate II/III 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:
  • has completed certificate II or above/year 12; or
  • has not completed certificate II or above/year 12.

All people aged 15 years and over were also categorised as one of:
  • has completed certificate III or above/year 12; or
  • has not completed certificate III or above/year 12.

Reasons did not study

People aged 15 years and over were asked whether they wanted to study any (or 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 (or another) educational qualification. Responses were based on the following:
  • too much work;
  • any 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 education facility;
  • Nothing available in area; and
  • other

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:
  • this 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:
  • to gain a promotion;
  • to get a better job;
  • to get a job;
  • requirement of current job;
  • update training;
  • improve knowledge/skills;
  • improve qualifications;
  • interest; and
  • 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. If they had, they were asked what best described the training completed, from the following options:
  • trade or labouring training;
  • transport, plant and machinery operation training;
  • management/supervision training;
  • technical training;
  • computer or office training;
  • sales and personal service training;
  • literacy training;
  • numeracy training;
  • music, art or craft training;
  • health and safety training; and
  • 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 skills obtained from training were relevant to work or in obtaining a job. The response categories for this question included:
  • used for work;
  • used to get a job;
  • used for another purpose; and
  • not used.

More than one response could be provided.

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;
  • Location/transport reasons; and
  • other.

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 2008 NATSISS

The following data items were collected for the first time in the 2014–15 survey and are unable to be compared with 2008:
  • Level of current study
  • Main field of current study; and
  • Main field of highest educational attainment.

The following information was collected in 2008 but not in 2014–15:
  • Whether vocational training was done as part of CDEP.

The question about reasons for not doing work-related (vocational) training in previous 12 months included a new response category: 'location/transport reasons', 2014–15.

For information on differences in collection methodology between the 2014–15 NATSISS and the 2014 Survey of Education and Work, Australia (cat no. 6227.0), refer to Appendix 2: Data comparability with other ABS sources in the publication National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Survey, 2014–15 (cat. no. 4714.0).

Child education characteristics

The following topics are available for children:

Further education-related topics for children can be found in other chapters of this publication:
  • the Language and culture chapter includes information about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture taught at school; and
  • the Stressors chapter includes information about bullying and unfair treatment at school.

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 10;
  • year 9;
  • year 8;
  • year 7;
  • year 6;
  • year 5;
  • year 4;
  • year 3;
  • year 2;
  • year 1;
  • kindergarten/prep;
  • preschool;
  • home school; or
  • other (includes special needs schools).

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 with getting a place;
  • available hours don't suit parents' work hours;
  • child is too old or too young;
  • can't afford it - cost too high;
  • child is not ready for school;
  • child not eligible;
  • does not suit culture or beliefs;
  • illness/disability; or
  • other reason.

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. The proxy was then asked if this was the usual number of days. If not, the proxy was asked the usual number of days the child attends school each week. Again, a response from 0 to 7 was possible.

If the child went to school (or 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/guardian had an illness or injury;
  • school not available or not open;
  • cultural commitments;
  • Sorry business;
  • home schooling/education at home;
  • away with parents;
  • attending appointments;
  • child did not want to go to school; and
  • other reason.

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 the main carer's 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;
  • not at all; or
  • don't know.

Informal learning activities with main carer

The proxies of children aged 0–14 years were asked whether the main carer did selected informal learning activities with the child in week prior to interview. If they indicated that activities were undertaken with the child they were asked to choose from the following:
  • read from a book;
  • tell a story;
  • listen to them read;
  • help them do homework or other educational activities;
  • spend time with them using a computer;
  • watch TV, video or DVD;
  • assist with drawing, writing or other creative activities;
  • play music, sing songs, dance or do other musical activities;
  • play a game (including board games) or sport together indoors or outdoors;
  • took part in or attended a playgroup; and
  • none of the above.

More than one response could be provided. If the proxy was not the child's main carer, a 'don't know' response was also available.

Assistance in completing year 12

The proxies of children who usually attend school and were in years 7 to 10 were asked what they thought would help the child continue going to school until they have completed year 12. The response options included:
  • 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/reliable transport;
  • accessible secondary schools;
  • subsidies/grants to help affordability;
  • assistance for students with disability;
  • support networks;
  • more discipline; and
  • other reason(s).

More than one response could be provided.

Comparison to the 2008 NATSISS

The following information was collected in 2008 but not in 2014–15:
  • Number of days main carer spent doing informal learning activities with child last week; and
  • Average number of hours main carer spent doing informal learning activities with child last week.

Main reason attendance was not usual in previous week (output as 'main reason missed school in last week') included three new categories in 2014–15 that were not available response options in 2008. These were 'away with parents', 'attending appointments', and 'child did not want to go to school'.