National Report on Schooling in Australia 2009

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander education

7.3 Progression

Apparent grade progression rates measure the number of full-time students in a designated year level as a percentage of the number enrolled in the year level below in the previous calendar year, at the time of the annual August schools census.

Data on the apparent grade progression rates of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students from Years 8 to 12 provide further information on the points at which Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students leave schooling. Grade progression describes the proportion of students in a grade who move on to the next grade the following year.

As Table 7.5 shows, a number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students did not complete junior secondary schooling. The Year 11 to 12 grade progression rates show that compared to non-Indigenous students, a considerably higher proportion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students left school prior to completing senior school studies.

 

Table 7.5        Comparative Indigenous and non-Indigenous apparent grade progression rates and the percentage point gap between
                         Indigenous and non-Indigenous rates, Australia, 2009

   Grade progression

               Indigenous

               Non-Indigenous

                    % point gap

Year 89

98.9

  100.5

1.6

Year 910

91.7

99.6

7.9

Year 1011

77.3

91.9

14.6

Year 1112

67.0

86.1

19.1


Notes:

Apparent grade progression rates measure the number of full-time school students in a designated year level of education as a percentage of their respective cohort group in the previous calendar year (the base year). Ungraded students not included.

Care should be taken when interpreting these rates since a range of factors affecting the calculation are not taken into account, such as migration, students repeating a year of schooling, and changes to part-time and full-time attendance patterns.

Percentage point gap calculations are based on unrounded data.

The above apparent grade progression rates are not published in ABS, Cat. No. 4221.0, Schools, Australia, 2010. They can, however, be derived using full-time student counts that are included in that publication.

The above apparent grade progression rates reflect single year increments of the apparent retention rate concept published in ABS, Cat. No. 4221.0, Schools, Australia, 2010. The above apparent grade progression rates do not rely on population data, unlike the progression rates published in ABS, Cat. No. 4221.0, Schools, Australia, 2010.

Issues that may affect comparability over time can be found in the Explanatory Notes of the source publication.

Source: ABS, Cat. No. 4221.0, Schools, Australia, 2010

See also Additional Statistics Table 57 

 


Year 8 to Year 9

The Year 8 to Year 9 rate has improved and the gap between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and non-Indigenous outcomes has almost closed. This should be seen as a very positive outcome that lays the foundation for continued improvements in other rates in future years.

The 2009 rate of 98.9% is an improvement on the 2008 result of 98.3%. Between 2005 and 2009 the gap between the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and non-Indigenous apparent grade progression rates ranged from 1.6 to 3.3 percentage points and in 2009 the gap of 1.6 percentage points was below the average for the period at 2.2 percentage points.

Year 9 to Year 10
The gap between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and non-Indigenous rates increases as students move from Year 9 to Year 10 and towards the end of compulsory schooling. While the non-Indigenous rate remains close to 100%, the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander rate falls to around 90%.

The 2009 results of 91.7% and a gap of 7.9 percentage points was 0.6% above the 2008 results. Between 2005 and 2009 the gaps between the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and non-Indigenous apparent grade progression rates ranged from 7.0 to 7.9 percentage points and in 2009 the gap of 7.9 percentage points was above the average for the period at 7.5 percentage points.

Year 10 to Year 11
The greatest fall and the most noticeable difference occur at the transition point from Year 10 to Year 11.

Between 2008 and 2009 there was an increase of 2.4 percentage points in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Year 10 to 11 rate, with an increase of 1.6 percentage points for non-Indigenous students.

Between 2005 and 2009 the gap between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and non-Indigenous apparent grade progression rates has ranged from 13.4 to 17.0 percentage points. The gap in 2009 of 14.6 percentage points is slightly better than the 2008 result and is also better than the average for the period of 14.9 percentage points.

Year 11 to Year 12
A similar pattern is repeated in the following year as students move to Year 12. While the non-Indigenous rate remains above 85%, the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander rate falls to below 70%.

The 2009 national Year 11 to 12 rate of 67.0% is still among the better results indicated in Additional Statistics Table 57. The gap between the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and non-Indigenous apparent grade progression rate in 2009 of 19.1 percentage points is below the average for the period 2005–2009 of 20.2 percentage points.

Table 7.6 presents national apparent grade progression rates by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (Indigenous) status and the percentage point gaps over the period 2005–09. The data show that in 2009, the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Year 8 to 9 and Year 10 to 11 apparent grade progression rates improved on the 2008 results and the gaps between the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and non-Indigenous rates decreased. Conversely, the Year 9 to 10 and Year 11 to 12 apparent grade progression rates for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students declined and the gaps increased.

 

Table 7.6        Comparative Indigenous and non-Indigenous apparent grade progression rates and the percentage point gap between
                         Indigenous and non-Indigenous rates, Australia, 2005–2009 (per cent)

 

Year 8–9

        Year 9–10


       Year 10–11

    Year 11–12

 

Indigenous

Non-
Indigenous

% point
gap

Indigenous

Non-
Indigenous

% point
gap

Indigenous

Non-
Indigenous

% point
gap

Indigenous

Non-
Indigenous

% point
gap

 2009

   98.9

     100.5

   1.6

   91.7

      99.6

   7.9

   77.3

      91.9

   14.6

   67.0

      86.1

   19.1

 2008

   98.3

     100.4

   2.1

   92.2

      99.4

   7.3

   74.9

      90.3

   15.4

   67.7

      84.7

   17.0

 2007

   97.1

     100.5

   3.3

   92.0

      99.4

   7.4

   76.4

      90.4

   14.0

   63.3

      85.0

   21.7

 2006

   97.9

     100.1

   2.3

   92.0

      99.0

   7.0

   76.7

      90.1

   13.4

   64.4

      86.0

   21.6

 2005

   98.4

     100.0

   1.6

   90.9

      98.7

   7.9

   72.6

      89.6

   17.0

   64.7

      86.1

   21.4



Notes:

Apparent grade progression rates measure the number of full-time school students in a designated year level of education as a percentage of their respective cohort group in the previous calendar year (the base year). Ungraded students not included.

Care should be taken when interpreting these rates since a range of factors affecting the calculation are not taken into account, such as migration, students repeating a year of schooling and changes to part-time and full-time attendance patterns.

Percentage point gap calculations are based on unrounded data.

The apparent grade progression rates above are not published in ABS, Cat. No. 4221.0, Schools, Australia, 2010. They can, however, be derived using full-time student counts that are included in that publication.

The apparent grade progression rates above reflect single year increments of the apparent retention rate concept published in ABS, Cat. No. 4221.0, Schools, Australia, 2010. The above apparent grade progression rates do not rely on population data, unlike the progression rates published in ABS, Cat. No. 4221.0, Schools, Australia, 2010.

Issues that may affect comparability over time can be found in the Explanatory Notes of the source publication.

Source: ABS, Cat. No. 4221.0, Schools, Australia, 2010

See also Additional Statistics Table 57 

 


Note that care should be exercised in the interpretation of apparent grade progression rates since a range of factors affecting the calculation are not taken into account. These include students repeating a year of education, migration and other net changes to the school population. There is also the effect of ungraded students. At lower levels of disaggregation, additional factors affecting the data, such as enrolment policies (which contribute to different age/grade structures between States and Territories), inter-sector transfer and interstate movements of students are not taken into account.