Latest release

Education Statistics for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples methodology

Reference period
2018-19 financial year
Released
4/12/2020
Next release Unknown
First release

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This publication presents results from the 2001, 2006, 2011 and 2016 Census of Population and Housing (Census), the 2008 and 2014-15 National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Survey (NATSISS) and the 2012-13 and 2018-19 National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Survey (NATSIHS).

For the respective Methodologies, refer to the following:

Census

NATSISS

  • Explanatory notes, National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Survey, 2008.
  • Explanatory notes, National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Survey, 2014-15.

NATSIHS

  • Explanatory notes, Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Survey, 2012-13.
  • National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Survey Methodology, 2018-19.

Data definitions

Data definitions table

MeasurementDownloads tableCollectionData itemsInclusions/Exclusions
Persons attending schoolPreschool education, Primary education and Secondary education, tables 1.1-1.6Census 2001-2016Type of educational institution attendingDenominator includes all levels of educational institutions attending, including not stated and not applicable.
Whether missed days at school last weekPreschool education, Primary education and Secondary education, tables 2.1-2.2NATSISS 2008, 2014-15Whether child missed days at school in last weekDenominator includes ‘not stated’ whether missed days at school in last week
Year child currently attending at school [preschool, primary school (kindergarten/prep to year 6), secondary school (year 7 to year 10)]
How well school advised of child's progressPreschool education, Primary education and Secondary education, tables 3.1-3.2NATSISS 2008, 2014-15How well school advised of child’s progressDenominator includes ‘not known’ how well school advised of child’s progress
Year child currently attending at school [preschool, primary school (kindergarten/prep to year 6), secondary school (year 7 to year 10)]
Whether culture is being taught at schoolPreschool education – table 4.1NATSISS 2014-15Whether culture being taught to child at schoolN/A
Primary education and Secondary education – tables 4.1-4.2Year child currently attending at school [preschool, primary school (kindergarten/prep to year 6), secondary school (year 7 to year 10)]
Highest year of school completedSecondary education – tables 5.1-5.2 (Survey), tables 6.1-6.6 (Census)NATSISS 2008 and 2014-15, NATSIHS 2012-13 and 2018-19, Census 2001-2016Highest year of school completedDenominator for surveys include ‘never attended school’ for Highest year of school completed.
Age (20+)Denominator for census includes ‘did not go to school’ and excludes ‘not stated’.
Types of assistance that would help students complete year 12Secondary education – table 7.1NATSISS 2014-15Types of assistance that would help child in secondary school complete year 12Excludes those that do not usually attend school or are not currently attending secondary school.
Types of assistance that would help adult aged 15-19 years complete year 12Excludes those that are not currently studying full-time at secondary school
Non-school education attendanceNon-school education – tables 1.1-1.6 (Census), table 2.1 (Survey)Census 2001-2016Type of educational institution attendingStudent status excludes those not attending an institution and where the institution or the student status was not stated.
Full-time/part-time student status
NATSISS 2008 and 2014-15, NATSIHS 2012-13 and 2018-19Type of educational institution attendingType of educational institution ‘Other’ includes Business college, Industry skills centre and Other.
Whether currently studying full-time or part-timeWhether studying full-time or part-time excludes those not studying.
Level of current non-school qualificationLevel of current non-school qualification excludes those at secondary school only and whose level was not determined.
Level of highest non-school qualificationNon-school education – tables 3.1-3.2Census 2001-2016Non-school qualification: level of educationExcludes level of education inadequately described and not stated and includes not applicable (those without a non-school qualification).
Type of educational institution attendingExcludes those currently studying at secondary school (Type of educational institution attending)
Age (20+)
Whether has a non-school qualification at certificate III or above, 25-34 years (Census specifications are comparable with Closing the Gap Target)Non-school Education – tables 4.1-4.6 (Census), tables 5.1-5.2 (Survey)Census 2001-2016, NATSISS 2008 and 2014-15, NATSIHS 2012-13 and 2018-19Level of highest educational attainmentCensus- People whose highest level of educational attainment was inadequately described or not stated were excluded from both the numerator and denominator. In Census 2001-2011 a recode of Non-school qualification: level of education and Highest level of schooling completed is used to replicate the Level of highest educational attainment coding. These recodes exclude certificate level, nfd. Denominator excludes those whose level of highest educational attainment could not be determined.
Age (25-34 years)Survey – ‘Does not have a non-school qualification at certificate III or above’ includes certificate not further defined and those who never attended school and have no non-school qualifications. Denominator excludes those whose level of highest educational attainment could not be determined.
Whether attained year 12 or equivalent or certificate II or aboveHighest educational attainment and intentions to study – tables 1.1-1.2Census 2001-2016Non-school qualification: level of educationPeople who had not attained a school qualification of year 12 or equivalent, and whose highest level of non-school qualification was determined to be certificate level but was not able to be further defined, were assumed to have attained below certificate level II and were therefore excluded from the numerator.
Highest year of school completedPeople who did not state if they had a non-school qualification (or whose level of education was inadequately described) and had not completed a school qualification of year 12 or equivalent, are excluded from the calculation (numerator and denominator). People who did not state their highest year of school completed and did not have a qualification at certificate II level or above are also excluded. 
Age (20+)
Whether attained year 12 or equivalent or certificate III or above (Specifications are comparable with Closing the Gap target for 20-24 year age group )Highest educational attainment and intentions to study – tables 2.1-2.6 (Census), tables 3.1-3.2 (Survey)Census 2001-2016Non-school qualification: level of education/Level of highest non-school qualificationPeople who had not attained a school qualification of year 12 or equivalent, and whose highest level of non-school qualification was determined to be certificate level but was not able to be further defined, were assumed to have attained below certificate level III and were therefore excluded from the numerator.
Highest year of school completedPeople who did not state if they had a non-school qualification (or whose level of education was inadequately described) and had not completed a school qualification of year 12 or equivalent, are excluded from the calculation (numerator and denominator). People who did not state their highest year of school completed and did not have a qualification at certificate III level or above are also excluded.
Age (20+)
Educational aspirationsHighest educational attainment and intentions to study – tables 4.1-4.2NATSISS 2008, 2014-15    Whether wanted to study for an educational qualification in the last 12 monthsExcludes those currently studying. Denominator for Whether has future educational intentions includes ‘intentions to study are unknown.
Whether has future educational intentions
Level of current study (not enrolled)
Age (20+)
Whether culture taught at schoolHighest educational attainment and intentions to study – tables 5.1-5.2NATSISS 2014-15Whether taught Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander culture at school or as part of further studyExcludes those who never attended school or undertook further studies
Age (20+)

About ABS Geography

The Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS) provides a framework of statistical areas used by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) and other organisations to enable the publication of statistics that are comparable and spatially integrated. The ASGS provides users with an integrated set of standard areas that can be used for analysing, visualising and integrating statistics produced by the ABS and other organisations. See here for further information about the ASGS.

The tables in this publication are presented by the following ASGS ABS Structures:

  • Main Structure
    • State and Territory
  • Remoteness Structure
    • Major cities, Inner Regional, Outer Regional, Remote and Non-remote.
  • Indigenous Structure
    • Indigenous Regions (IREG), Indigenous Areas (IARE), Indigenous Locations (ILOC)

Census data is presented at all of the above Geography Structures, while the survey data is limited to State and Territory and Remoteness. Further information about ABS statistical geography and a diagram of how the various ABS Structures interrelate can be found here.

The Indigenous Structure is based on the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ population distribution in the broader Australian community, so is ideal for analysis of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander data. In the ASGS Indigenous Structure, Indigenous Locations (ILOCs) are the smallest available unit. These are combined to create Indigenous Areas (IAREs) and then Indigenous Regions (IREGs). Further information about the Indigenous Structure can be found here.

Census data is also presented by the Non ABS Structure of Local Government Areas. Further information about the Non ABS Structures can be found here.