Page 4201 - Week 14 - Tuesday, 26 November 2013

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MS BURCH: I thank Mr Gentleman for the question. Education and Training did recently release an annual publication Where are they now? This is the seventh annual survey of students who were awarded an ACT year 12 certificate. Students attending public and non-government schools and the Canberra Institute of Technology participated in the survey. It was a telephone survey conducted in the year following year 12 graduation to see how students are progressing after they have completed secondary school.

The key survey results have remained consistently high over the seven years, with over 90 per cent of year 12 graduates employed and/or studying in all seven surveys. This year I am pleased to advise that 93 per cent of year 12 graduates were employed and/or doing study—in 2013. Sixty per cent of all graduates were studying, up from 50 per cent six years ago, and 77 per cent of those who were not studying at the time of the survey said they intended to study in the next two years. About two-thirds of those who were studying were studying at a bachelor level or higher, and year 12 graduates were studying in a wide range of areas, the most common fields being society, culture, management, commerce and health. Science, engineering and arts were also popular fields of study.

These results compare favourably with other Australian states and territories that conduct similar post-school surveys. The COAG Reform Council recently released results based on the 2011 census. These results show that of all states and territories only the ACT and Northern Territory managed to have a high proportion of 17 to 24-year-olds fully engaged in work or study in 2011 compared to 2006.

The data from our year 12 destination survey is also consistent with other results showing outcomes for our senior secondary students. The ACT had the highest rate of retention from year 7 through to year 12, at 89.8 per cent in 2012. This is well above the national average of 79.9 per cent. Not only are more students staying at school through to year 12 but more are receiving a year 12 qualification than anywhere else in the country. In 2011 the proportion of 20 to 24-year-olds in the ACT with a year 12 qualification was 91 per cent, again much higher than the national average of 85 per cent.

These are excellent results and I would like to thank all those involved in the education system in the ACT, especially our principals and teachers—and our schools, for the tremendous work that they do. The results reflect our efforts as well. One of the other key factors in a good education system is that we know and value, as do our education leaders, the better schools reform and what a stable funding model can do for government and non-government schools. It is a deep concern that the federal government appears to be abandoning the unity ticket that gave us secure and agreed agreements. This is causing distress for our school communities and puts at risk targeted funding, funding for nearly 70,000 students here in the ACT.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mr Gentleman.

MR GENTLEMAN: Minister, what did this report tell you about the employment and further study options for ACT’s year 12 graduates?

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