National Report on Schooling in Australia 2009

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander education

7.4 Retention

Apparent retention rates estimate the percentage of full-time students who progress through secondary school. COAG has identified performance indicators to measure progress towards the Closing the Gap targets. Among the performance measures outlined for the goal of halving the gap for Year 12 or its equivalent are secondary school apparent retention rates from Year 7/8 to: a) Year 10, and b) Year 12.

Table 7.7 records the national apparent retention rates from Year 7 or 8 (whichever is the first year of secondary school in the jurisdiction) to Year 10 and to Year 12 for 2009. The apparent retention rates are shown separately for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (Indigenous) and non-Indigenous students.

Key Performance Measure 7 (h)

Table 7.7               Comparative Indigenous and non-Indigenous apparent retention rates from Year 7/8 to Year 10 and Year 12, Australia, 2009 (per cent)

Indigenous status

Australia (per cent)

Years 7/810

 

Indigenous

90.9

 

Non-Indigenous

100.1

 

Gap (percentage points)

9.2

 

Years 7/8–12

 

Indigenous

45.4

Non-Indigenous

77.3

Gap (percentage points)

31.9

 

Notes:

The apparent retention rate measures the number of full-time school students in a designated level/year of education as a percentage of their respective cohort group in a base year. The base year is the first year of secondary school – Year 7 in NSW, Victoria, Tasmania, Northern Territory and the ACT; Year 8 in Queensland, South Australia and Western Australia. Ungraded students are not included in the calculations.

Factors that may affect apparent retention rates at the national level include international migration, students repeating a year of education, students changing between full-time and part-time study and age requirements for participation in education. These factors may account for apparent retention rates exceeding 100%.

Apparent retention rates for Indigenous students can be affected by the disposition to identify as Indigenous over time.

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 58

 

 

Additional Statistics Tables 59 and Table 60 report KPM 7 (h) by State and Territory and across the 2005–09 period.
 
Figure 7.5 demonstrates the gap between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and non-Indigenous student apparent retention rates from the first year of secondary school to Year 10 from 2005 to 2009. The apparent retention rate from Year 7 or 8 to Year 10 for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students was 90.9 per cent compared with 100 per cent for non-Indigenous students in 2009.
 

Figure 7.5       Comparative Indigenous and non-Indigenous apparent retention rates
 for Years 7/8 to 10, Australia, 2005–09

Comparative apparent Indigenous and non-Indigenous 

Figure 7.6 demonstrates the gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous apparent retention rates from the first year of secondary school to Year 12 for Australia for each year from 2005 to 2009. The apparent retention rate from Year 7 or 8 to Year 12 for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students was 45.4 per cent compared with 77.3 per cent for non-Indigenous students in 2009.

For 2009, higher apparent retention rates from Year 7 or 8 to Year 10 may be expected because normal year level progression means students in Year 10 were generally of an age at which school education was compulsory in some jurisdictions.

The increase in the gap between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and non-Indigenous apparent retention rates occurred at Years 11 and 12.

In the 2009 data the gap was 9.2 percentage points for Years 7/8 to 10 and 31.9 percentage points for Years 7/8 to 12.
 

Figure 7.6       Comparative Indigenous and non-Indigenous apparent retention rates
 for Years 7/8 to 12, Australia, 2005–09

Figure 7.6 Comparative apparent Indigenous and non