More Indigenous Students in School Until Year 12

Friday, 2 February, 2018

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students are staying in school longer but Australia’s Indigenous retention rate remains well below that of other students.

On Friday, the Australian Bureau of Statistics released new school statistics showing the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander retention rate has increased by about 15% over the past decade. ​The ABS said the retention rate from years 7 to 12 increased from 47.2% in 2008 to 62.4% in 2017. The 2017 result was an increase of 2.6% from 2016, the most significant jump since the rate increased by more than four percentage points between 2013 and 2014.

“These new figures show us that more students than ever who identify as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander are staying at school until grade 12,” ABS spokesperson Stephen Collett said.

But the rate of retention is still significantly lower among Indigenous students than non-Indigenous students. In 2017 the non-Indigenous retention rate was 86.0%, up from 85.5% in 2016.