The release today of the Australian Bureau of Statistics data on Australian Schools for 2007 provides a timely insight into the state of our schools.
The ABS Schools data makes it crystal clear that Australia needs an Education Revolution to ensure all Australian kids are getting a world class education.
The Rudd Government has begun delivering on its commitments in education which are squarely targeted at schools most in need, across government and non-government schools.
A key commitment of the Rudd Labor Government is to lift retention rates to 85 per cent by 2015 and to 90 per cent by 2020. Regrettably, as these latest figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics clearly show, Australia has a long way to go.
In 2007 the year 7/8 to year 12 retention rate was 74.3 per cent compared to 74.7 per cent in 2006. The year 7/8 to year 12 retention rate for boys was 68.8 per cent in 2007 and 69 per cent in 2006 while for girls the retention rate decreased from 80.7 per cent in 2006 to 80.1 per cent in 2007.
In 2007 the year 10 to year 12 retention rate was 75.6 per cent compared to 76.2 per cent in 2006. The year 10 to year 12 retention rate for boys was 70.6 per cent compared to 71 per cent in 2006 while disturbingly for girls the retention rate was 80.8 per cent compared to 81.4 per cent in 2006.
Year 7/8 to year 12 retention rate for Indigenous students was 42.9 per cent in 2007 compared to 40.1 per cent in 2006 and 38.0 per cent in 2002.
All the evidence shows that if you finish Year 12, you increase your chances of getting a further qualification and getting a job. A long-term plan to lift Australia’s retention rates begins in early childhood education and progress through primary to secondary – every level of education is an important building block.
The Rudd Labor Government understands that a quality education is a passport to getting a secure job and improving income levels.
The Rudd Labor Government is committed to lifting retention rates by investing in early childhood education, a national curriculum, trades training centres, Asian languages and computers in schools as a priority.