Queensland’s state schools claim they are improving the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander student retention rate.
About 300 state school educators recently come together for the Excellence through innovation Indigenous Education Conference in Brisbane.
“I’m so proud of our teachers and educators’ commitment to improving the attendance, retention and Year 12 attainment rate of Indigenous students,” Education minister Grace Grace said.
“Since 2012, the Year 10-12 apparent retention rate for Indigenous state school students has continued to improve, rising at a faster pace than for non-Indigenous students.
“In 2017, the Year 10-12 apparent retention rate gap fell to 16.1 percentage points, down from a high of 21.4 per cent in 2012.
“This shows that we are making gains towards closing the gap for our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students.
“In addition, last year 97.2 per cent of Indigenous state school students across Queensland achieved Year 12 certification, compared to 98.1 per cent of non-Indigenous students.
“Also, nearly two thirds (63.8 per cent) of OP eligible Indigenous state school students across Queensland achieved an OP 1-15 in 2017, up one percentage point from 2016.”
Minister Grace said Queensland was home to close to one third of Australia’s Indigenous student population, with 29.9 per cent of the total number of full-time Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander school students enrolled in Queensland schools in 2017.
“It’s only right that Queensland should lead the way in putting strategies into action to ensure these students have every opportunity to achieve success,” she said.
“Improvements are being made, some of them gradual, some of them quite remarkable.
“The Palaszczuk Government is committed to continuing to build on these improvements well into the future.”
The conference attracted highly respected keynote speakers, including University of Melbourne Indigenous Health Equity Unit Director Professor Kerry Arabena, University of Waikato Emeritus Professor for Maori Education Russell Bishop and award-winning Indigenous novelist Alexis Wright.