National Report on Schooling in Australia 2012

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander education
 

7.1 Readiness for school

The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education Action Plan 2010–2014 states that:

Participation in culturally inclusive, high quality early childhood education programs and care can assist Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children to get the best start in life. These programs build upon the rich cultural, linguistic and conceptual skills that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children bring to early childhood education and:

  • promote early engagement with learning
  • provide a strong foundation for future educational achievement
  • encourage the social, emotional, physical and cognitive development of children from birth
  • support children in their transition to school.¹

Performance indicator 1 specified in the action plan is:

The proportion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children who are enrolled in and attending (where possible to measure) a preschool program.

The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education Action Plan 2010-2014: 2012 Annual Report, notes that there were 11,237 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander four and five year-old children enrolled in preschool programs across Australia in 2012 and that this represented 82.0 per cent of the population of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in this age group. This compared to participation rate of 88.5 per cent for all four and five-year-olds.

The report also notes that the proportion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children attending preschool in relation to the estimated residential population of five year-olds was 82.0 per cent, compared to 86.1 per cent for ‘all’ children.²

The second performance indicator in the action plan under the Readiness for School domain is the proportion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students assessed as developmentally on track across four or more domains in the Australian Early Development Index (AEDI), administered to students in their first year of full-time schooling in 2012. The 2012 report on the action plan reports that the proportion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children assessed as being ‘on track’ in 2012 was 47.7 per cent, compared with 70.3 per cent for non-Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children.³





 


¹ Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education Action Plan 2010–2014, p. 9

² Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education Action Plan 2010-2014, 2012 Annual Report, p. 23-24

³ Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education Action Plan 2010-2014, 2012 Annual Report, p. 23-24