1351.0.55.016 - Research Paper: Deriving Measures of Engagement in Secondary Education from the National Schools Statistics Collection, Dec 2006  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 14/12/2006  First Issue
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  • About this Release

In recent issues of Schools, Australia (ABS cat. no. 4221.0), the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has acknowledged shortcomings in the headline measure of student retention in post-compulsory secondary education - apparent retention rates. The identified quality issues raise concerns about the ability of the statistics to accurately measure grade progression or retention in secondary schools, and hence their continued relevance for policy analysis.
In this paper, we seek to promote the wider and better-informed use of the significant repository of education statistics provided by the annual National Schools Statistics Collection. We propose an expansion of the descriptive and analytical statistics published in Schools, Australia - including more accurate measures of retention and grade progression - and advocate a more prominent stance on advising upon the appropriate usage of the published statistics.