One size does not fit all - belonging and marginalised youth

Nova Science Publishers
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Education and Belonging, 2011, first, pp. 77 - 90
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The most significant change in the Australian landscape of secondary schooling in the past three decades has been in the number (and therefore the diversity) of students continuing at school beyond the compulsory age. In Australia High School commences at Year 7 or 8 (depending on the State). A commonly used statistic relates to retention until Year 10 (the end of junior high school) and to Year 12 (the end of senior high school). In 1975 retention from Year 7/8 to Year 10 was 85% while to Year 12 it was 35%. In 2008, the figures were 98% for Year 10 and 76% for Year 12 (DEET 1993, ABS, 2008). Still, politicians want more. In 2009 the Australian federal, State and Territory governments through the Council of Australian Governments (CoAG) agreed to a target of 90% Year 12 (or equivalent) attainment rate by 2015 (CoAG, 2009, p.7).
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