4221.0 - Schools, Australia, 2017  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 02/02/2018   
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02 February 2018

Embargoed: 11.30 am (Canberra time)

Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander student rate rise

New schools statistics released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) today show the grade 7 to 12 Apparent Retention Rate for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people continued to increase in 2017.

ABS Education, Crime and Culture Program Manager Stephen Collett said the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander grade 7 to 12 Apparent Retention Rate was 62.4 per cent nationally in 2017, up from 59.8 per cent in 2016.

“These new figures show us that more students than ever, who identify as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, are staying at school until grade 12,” Mr Collett said of the Schools Australia data.

The increase in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Apparent Retention Rates is the most significant jump since the rate increased by over four percentage points between 2013 and 2014.

Over the past 10 years, the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander retention rate has increased significantly, from 47.2 per cent in 2008 to 62.4 per cent reported in 2017.

The non-indigenous Apparent Retention Rate for 2017 was 86.0 per cent, up from 85.5 per cent in 2016.

Mr Collett said 2017 also saw a continued increase in the share of students enrolled in government schools (65.4 per cent in 2016 to 65.6 per cent in 2017).

“This increase in the government share of enrolments continues a trend first observed in 2015, and represents a reversal of the shift towards non-government schooling, observed for much of the past two decades,” Mr Collett said.

Note: Apparent Retention Rates are an approximation of the proportion of a student cohort which commences secondary schooling and is retained until a particular grade (e.g. grade 7 through to grade 12).

Further information can be found in Schools, Australia, 2017 (cat. no 4221.0) available for free download from the ABS website: https://www.abs.gov.au.

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