In 2010, Australian students from year 7/8 to year 12 retention rate were lower for males, at 73%, than for females, at 83%. Participation in education is often an indication of the wellbeing of teenagers. Majority of teenagers resume in full-time or part-time education straightaway after finishing compulsory schooling.
In my opinion, students should be remaining in school until the completion of year 12. My reasoning may be biased due to the fact that I completed year 12, however, students leaving school before completing year 12 may suffer from unemployment, poverty, homelessness, and possibly have a lower chance of being accepted into university if they choose to do further studying. I believe that if the student wants to do a trade, set a Tafe day once per week and by completion of year 12 the student is fully qualified or has partially completed the course to enter the workforce.
In this symposium, topics that will be discussed are the implications of school retention, research that has been conducted on the retention rate in Australia, and strategies to increase retention rates.
There are many implications that can affect a student’s wellbeing and future. Research has shown that there are more negative impacts on a student when they pull out of school before year 12 than they are positive impacts. Students who are achieving at school are less likely to leave school early than individuals that have little achievement rate. It is based on the young individuals reasoning why they choose to leave their education and training early. However, it is possible for us to distinguish some reoccurring characteristics. Leaving school early has a strong association to minimal education background and social disadvantages. Teenagers who have parents or families from socially disadvantaged backgrounds and with a lack of education have a tendency to leave their education and training before finishing higher secondary level education than other teenagers.
School retention can have an overwhelming impact on a student’s socialization. This is true for senior students who have been with the same group of students for many years. Students who have been separated from their friends for a long period of time can get diagnosed with depression and develop poor self-esteem as they feel that without contact with a group of people means that they have no friends. Also, research has shown that students who pull out of school have a higher chance of obtaining major behaviour issues especially as they get older.
The research that looks into the retaining of students in high schools is very thorough and helpful. Majority of the main surveys conducted on this topic will talk about the effects of gender, socioeconomic background and ethnicity.
More female’s complete school than males and the gap between the genders has persisted for some years. The Australian Bureau of Statistics shows that since 2001, female’s apparent retention rate has been higher than males. In 2010, both male and female retention was at its peak, males at 73.2% and females at 83%, giving the percentage between the genders around 10%.
Research has demonstrated that family structure predicts dropout behaviour independent of socioeconomic status. Specifically, students from single-parent and step families are more likely to drop out of school than students from two-parent families (Carbonaro, 1998; Goldschmidt & Wang, 1999; McNeal, 1999; Rumberger & Larson, 1998; Swanson & Sneider, 1999). However, one study found that a change in dissolution of two-parent families did not increase the likelihood of dropping out apart from its effects on income loss (Pong & Ju, 2000).
The odds of students whose father was born in a non-English speaking country participating in higher education (relative to not participating) are 2.1 to 2.8 greater than the odds for students