Closing the school completion gap for Indigenous students

Closing the school completion gap for Indigenous students Report

Resource Sheet

  • Author(s): Sue Helme, Stephen Lamb
  • Published: 2011
  • Publisher: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare & Australian Institute of Family Studies
  • Volume: Closing the Gap Clearinghouse

Abstract: Strait Islander students are well below the rates for non-Indigenous students. The target of halving the gap by 2020 in Year 12 (or equivalent) attainment rates between Indigenous and non-Indigenous students is a major national challenge. In 2008 the Council of Australian Governments agreed to a number of ambitious targets relating to Indigenous education, employment, health and life expectancy. Included under education is the target to halve, by 2020, the gap in Year 12 (or equivalent) completion rates between Indigenous and non-Indigenous students. This target is set in the context of a national target of 90% of all young people completing Year 12, or its equivalent, by 2015. Achieving the goal will not be an easy task. An estimate from the 2006 Census of Population and Housing suggests that the national completion rate for all young Australians is currently at about 70%, only a little higher than that recorded in the previous Census 5 years earlier, and is currently about 40% for Indigenous students. There are many aspects of schooling that will need to be considered in the development of policies, if the new targets are to be achieved. An important initial step is to identify effective practices that schools and school systems can implement to help raise completion rates.

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Suggested Citation
Sue Helme, Stephen Lamb, 2011, Closing the school completion gap for Indigenous students, Volume:Closing the Gap Clearinghouse, Report, viewed 17 August 2022,

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