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In 2013, 182,636 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students attended school full-time in Australia. This was an increase of 8,115 students (4.6%) from 2012, and continues a trend that has seen national attendance grow by 56,744 over the past 10 years. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander full-time students now account for over 5% of all full-time students. When interpreting these figures it is important to note that changes over time may be affected by factors such as improvements in the collection of information when enrolling at school and changes in people's propensity to identify as being of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander origin.
NUMBER OF FULL-TIME ABORIGINAL AND TORRES STRAIT ISLANDER STUDENTS, by affiliation, states and territories, 2013
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students made up 40.4% of all full-time students in the Northern Territory, with the next largest proportion being in Tasmania, at 7.4%.
In all states and territories, the majority of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander full-time students attended government schools, with the proportions ranging from 88.6% in South Australia to 76.4% in the Australian Capital Territory.
NUMBER OF ABORIGINAL AND TORRES STRAIT ISLANDER STUDENTS, as a proportion of all students, states and territories, 2013
In 2013, the national apparent retention rate for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students from Year 7/8 to Year 12 was 55.1%. This has increased by 16.0 percentage points since 2003 when it was 39.1%. Despite this increase, the rate remains 27.8 percentage points behind the equivalent national rate for all other students in 2013 (82.9%).
Between 2012 and 2013 the apparent retention rate from Year 7/8 to Year 12 for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander full-time students rose by 4.0 percentage points at the Australia level (51.1% to 55.1%). The rate for females rose from 52.9% to 58.2%, and for males from 49.2% to 52.0%. Rises were also recorded in all states and territories. In comparison, the national rate for all other full-time students rose by 1.6 percentage points from 81.3% to 82.9%.
APPARENT RETENTION RATES FOR ABORIGINAL AND TORRES STRAIT ISLANDER FULL-TIME STUDENTS, year 7/8 to year 12, states and territories, 2012 and 2013
An additional 1,577 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students attended school on a part-time basis in 2013. This figure has risen steadily over the past five years, from 940 in 2008.
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