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1370.0 - Measures of Australia's Progress, 2010  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 15/09/2010   
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Participation and retention rates
Graph Image for Participation and retention rates

Footnote(s): (a) For 15-19 year olds. Refers to full-time students only.

Source(s): ABS Schools, Australia, 1999-2009 (cat. no. 4221.0); ABS data available on request, 2002–2009 Survey of Education and Work; ABS data available on request, 1984–2001 Transition from Education to Work Survey


The longer people stay in school (especially those who complete year 12) the more likely they are to go on to further education. Participation is measured in two ways: firstly, by the proportion of 15-19 year olds who are students; and secondly, by the Year 7/8 to Year 12 apparent retention rate.

The increase in the proportion of people with a vocational or higher education qualification relates to a simultaneous increase in educational participation over the previous 25 years. For example, the proportion of 15-19 year olds who were part-time or full-time students (either in school or studying for a vocational or higher education qualification) increased from 61% in 1984 to 77% in 2009.

The apparent retention rate is an indicator which measures the extent to which young people are continuing their participation in secondary school education beyond the compulsory years. The proportion of students continuing through to Year 12 rapidly increased between 1984 and 1992 (rising from 45% to a peak of 77%) and has remained relatively stable, at around 75%, for the past eight years, and increased slightly to 76% in 2009.


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