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Senior Phase of Learning

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Overview

Our aim, through the Senior Phase of Learning, is to provide young people in Years 10 to 12 with education and training opportunities relevant to their future. The department provides flexible learning opportunities that enable seamless transitions into further education, training and work.

During 2008-09 the department continued to support and fund a wide range of initiatives aimed at providing senior students with access to study options.

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Participation in the Senior Phase of Learning

In 2008-09, 97 940 students were enrolled in the Senior Phase of Learning in state schools, an increase of 2.5 per cent from the previous year and 7.4 per cent since 2005-06 as shown in Table 8.

Table 8: Number of state school students in the Senior Phase of Learning

State school students - Senior Phase of Learning (Years 10-12) 2005-06 2006-07 2007-08 2008-09
Total number of students 91 160 94 980 95 580 97 940

Source: 2005-2009 Queensland State Budget - Service Delivery Statements - Department of Education and Training

Compulsory participation has helped young Queenslanders to be better prepared for the future through education or employment. Since 2006 new laws mean that they must stay in school until they finish Year 10 or turn 16 years of age, whichever comes first.

Young people now have to take part in education and training for a further two years or until they have attained one of the following:

  • a Queensland Certificate of Education (or equivalent)
  • a Certificate III or IV vocational qualification
  • the age of 17 years.

Young people can leave education or training to enter the workforce during this period as long as they are working at least 25 hours a week.

Compulsory education or employment for young people is also being considered at the National level through the development of a National Partnership Agreement of Youth Attainment and Transitions.

For more information on National Partnership Agreements see Engaging with others - Engaging with the Australian Government

Figure 15 shows that in 2008-09 78.6 per cent of parents were satisfied with their child's school during the Senior Phase of Learning.

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Figure 15: Parents' satisfaction with their child's school- Senior Phase of Learning (Years 10-12)

  • Parents' satisfaction with their child's school- Senior Phase of Learning (Years 10-12)
Key Performance Indicators

Source: School Opinion Survey - Department of Education and Training

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Year 12 results

Overall Position and International Baccalaureate Diploma

Overall Positions (OPs) provide a statewide rank order of students from 1 (highest) to 25 (lowest). A student's OP shows how well that student has performed in their senior studies when compared with the performances of all other OP-eligible students in Queensland.

OPs and International Baccalaureate Diplomas External Link (IBD) are used in the selection of students for tertiary education courses. An OP 1 to 15 is the range generally used to indicate those students most likely to succeed in the tertiary entrance process.

In 2008, 18 011 students achieved an OP of 1 to 15, an increase on previous years as shown in Figure 16. This indicates that more students had the option of gaining entrance into a university course.

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Figure 16: Percentage of Year 12 students from state and non-state schools with an OP 1-15 or IBD (International Baccalaureate Diploma)

  • Percentage of Year 12 students from state and non-state schools with an OP 1-15 or IBD (International Baccalaureate Diploma)

Source: Queensland Studies Authority

Note: IBD award accounts for less than 1% of 2008 results and was not collected by the QSA prior to 2008

Queensland Certificate of Education

The Queensland Studies Authority developed and administers the Queensland Certificate of Education (QCE) as part of ongoing reforms to education. The QCE offers flexibility in what is learnt, as well as where and when learning occurs.

A student's range of learning options include:

  • senior school subjects
  • vocational education and training (VET)
  • school-based apprenticeships or traineeships
  • recognised workplace and community learning
  • university subjects undertaken while at school.

The QCE indicates to employers that an individual has achieved a standard amount of learning. It also provides young people with a valuable passport to further education, training and employment.

More than 77 per cent of Year 12 students graduated with the new QCE or a Certificate III or above VET qualification in December 2008.

Students who did not meet the QCE requirements at the end of Year 12 can continue to work towards their certificate for up to nine years after leaving school.

Table 9: Percentage of Year 12 students from state and non-state schools who received a QCE or Certificate III or above VET qualification

Key Performance Indicators
Measure State Non-state schools All schools
QCE or Cert III or above qualification 69.8% 87.5% 77.1%

Source: Queensland Studies Authority

Queensland Certificate of Individual Achievement

First introduced in 2008, the Queensland Certificate of Individual Achievement (QCIA) recognises and reports the learning achievements of students who have completed at least 12 years of education. To be eligible for a certificate, students must have specific impairments or learning difficulties.

The certificate provides these students with a summary of their skills and knowledge, which they can present to employers and training providers (see Table 10).

Table 10: Number of state school students with disabilities who have achieved a Queensland Certificate of Individual Achievement or completed 12 years of schooling

Key Performance Indicators
Students with disabilities 2008-09
Number of students who have:
achieved a Queensland Certificate of Individual Achievement (QCIA) 545
completed 12 years of schooling 931
Total 1 476

Source: Queensland State Budget - Service Delivery Statements - Department of Education and Training

Note: QCIA was introduced in 2008, replacing the previous Certificate of Post-compulsory School Education.

For more information see Students with disabilities.

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Indigenous participation

The department is committed to keeping Indigenous senior students at school, and has developed a number of pathways to achieve this. Through targeted strategies, the retention of Indigenous young people in Years 10 to 12 has increased from 57 per cent to 62.4 per cent, significantly exceeding the 2008 national figure of 51 per cent (see Figure 17).

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Figure 17: Apparent retention rates - Queensland and Australia - Indigenous students in Years 10-12 in all schools 2005-2008

  • Apparent retention rates - Queensland and Australia - Indigenous students in Years 10-12 in all schools 2005-2008
Key Performance Indicators

Source: Department of Education and Training

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Vocational Education and Training for school students

Expanding vocational education and training (VET) programs has been an important component of the reforms to senior schooling in Queensland. VET delivered by schools is complemented by access to school-based apprenticeships and traineeships.

TAFE institutes deliver programs to school students in the Senior Phase of Learning.

VET in schools can count towards a Queensland Certificate of Education (QCE) and is generally identified on the student's Senior Education and Training (SET) plan.

As shown in Figure 18, the uptake of VET in schools has increased from 39.4 per cent in 2006 to 52.2 per cent in 2008.

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Figure 18: Percentage of Year 12 completers, from state and non-state schools, with a VET qualification

  • Percentage of Year 12 completers from state and non-state schools with a VET qualification

Source: Queensland Studies Authority

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School-based apprenticeships and traineeships (SATs)

School-based apprenticeships and traineeships (SATs) allow students, typically in Years 11 and 12:

  • to study for their Queensland Certificate of Education (QCE)
  • to work for an employer
  • to train towards a recognised qualification.

Depending on the vocational qualification and when the young person commences, many students can complete a school-based traineeship while at school. A school-based apprenticeship provides a head start into a full-time or part-time apprenticeship and trade career. Young people may complete up to one-third of an apprenticeship while at school.

Figure 19 shows that at the end of Year 12, the proportion of students who finished with a SAT was 12.9 per cent. This is up on the previous year's figure of 8.6 per cent.

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Figure 19: Percentage of Year 12 completers from state and non-state schools with a school-based apprenticeship or traineeship (SAT)- complete or completing

  • Percentage of Year 12 completers from state and non-state schools with a school-based apprenticeship or traineeship (SAT)- complete or completing

Source: Queensland Studies Authority

As at 20 July 2009, the department had invested $15 million of User Choice funds in school-based apprenticeship and traineeship (SAT) training for the financial year 2008-09.

Queensland continues to be a national leader in the uptake of school-based apprenticeships and traineeships as evidenced by figures from the National Centre for Vocational Education Research. These figures show that in the 2008 calendar year, Queensland accounted for 42 per cent of all SAT commencements in Australia.

Figure 20: Number of senior phase students commencing a school-based apprenticeship or traineeship (SAT) since the 2006 base year

  • Number of senior phase students commencing a school-based apprenticeship or traineeship (SAT) since the 2006 base year

Source: Department of Education and Training

Since 2006, when the government committed to increasing SAT commencements to 12 400 by January 2010, commencements have been growing steadily.

As at 30 June 2009, 9048 Queensland students had started a school-based apprenticeship or traineeship in 2008, representing growth of 46 per cent since the 2006 baseline was set.

A major increase in the participation of Indigenous young people in this valuable schooling pathway has contributed to the overall growth in SAT numbers in 2008.

SATs are available in fields ranging from rural to retail, business to building, hospitality to hairdressing, and automotive to arts. Figure 21 below demonstrates the top seven industry areas in which 2008 senior students chose to start a school-based apprenticeship or traineeship.

Figure 21: School-based apprentice and trainee (SAT) commencements by industry of employment, 2008

  • School-based apprentice and trainee commencements by industry of employment, 2008

Source: Department of Education and Training

Notes:

  1. Calendar year 2008 only
  2. Includes the seven industries with the highest number of commencements

Indigenous school-based apprenticeships and traineeships (SATs)

Indigenous students have benefited from the Queensland Government's drive to double the number of SAT commencements by December 2009 to a total of 12 400.

As shown in figure 22, in 2008 more than 796 Indigenous young people commenced a SAT, compared with 583 at the same time in 2007, an increase of 37 per cent.

Figure 22: Number of Indigenous school-based apprentice and trainee (SAT) commencements

  • Number of Indigenous school-based apprentice and trainee (SAT) commencements
 

Source: Department of Education and Training

The success in the uptake of SATs by young Indigenous people has been supported by a notable increase in Indigenous SAT completions across Queensland of seven per cent from 2007 to 2008. Completions since 2005 have almost doubled, increasing by 95 per cent (see figure 23).

Figure 23: Number of Indigenous school-based apprentice and trainee (SAT) completions

  • Number of Indigenous school-based apprentice and trainee (SAT) completions
 

Source: Department of Education and Training

For information on Indigenous participation in apprenticeships and traineeships see: Priority enhancing opportunities - apprenticeships and traineeships.

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Queensland Academies

Queensland Academies are state schools that offer Years 10, 11 and 12 to up to 450 high achieving students who meet specific entry requirements.

Academy students study towards the internationally-recognised pre-university International Baccalaureate Diploma External Link (IBD).

With an infrastructure investment of $91.28 million, the department has established three Queensland Academies:

  • Queensland Academy for Science, Mathematics and Technology at Toowong has links with The University of Queensland, and allows high achieving students to develop their skills through leading-edge curriculum
  • Queensland Academy for Creative Industries at Kelvin Grove, developed in partnership with the Queensland University of Technology (QUT), caters for students wishing to pursue a career in Design and Technology, Media, Film, Music, Theatre Arts, Visual Arts, or one of the emerging creative professions in business or industry
  • Queensland Academy for Health Sciences at Southport is partnered with Griffith University. It provides students with opportunities to pursue clinical professions including medicine, dentistry, physiotherapy and optometry, as well as careers in public health, education and medical research.

In 2008 the first cohorts of Year 12 students graduated from the Queensland Academy for Creative Industries and Queensland Academy for Science, Mathematics and Technology. Graduating students performed above the worldwide average in many of the IBD subjects offered.

Results for these first cohorts included:

  • 85 per cent of graduates (106 of the 125 graduates) qualified for the pre-university International Baccalaureate Diploma
  • 82 per cent of graduates were offered a university place, with some students not seeking university entry.

As a result of close working relationships with Queensland universities, students gain bonus ranking points towards university entry, and advanced credit towards university courses as part of their studies.

The remaining graduating students, who sat the IBD exams but have not yet qualified, will receive IB Certificates for each subject passed and have the option of resitting the exam.

Queensland Academies Alliance Strategy

Through the Queensland Academies Alliance Strategy, educational networks have been established with schools, teachers and young scholars throughout Queensland. The aim of these networks is to expose academy students to contemporary professional expertise, and the most current equipment and work environments. Engagement activities derived from the strategy in 2008-09 included:

  • students working as creative research assistants in the development of software
  • student ambassador programs with the Queensland Opera and LaBoite Theatre
  • students providing event management for a regional conference
  • a science conference for senior schools, organised in collaboration with the Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries.

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Retention and satisfaction of students in senior years

Queensland state high schools continue to offer their senior students a broad range of learning experiences. By combining traditional curriculum with courses from TAFE institutes, universities and other registered training organisations, students are able to diversify their studies, improving their ability to make a seamless transition from school to work or further education.

Providing students with a wide range of study options that suit their learning style and interests has helped to improve the satisfaction of senior students with their school, as shown in Table 11.

Table 11: Satisfaction of students in the Senior Phase of Learning

State school students - Senior Phase of Learning
(Years 10-12)
2005-06 2006-07 2007-08 2008-09
Satisfaction of students with their school 63.0% 65.2% 64.4% 65.9%

Source: School Opinion Survey - Department of Education and Training

Figure 24 demonstrates the retention rate of students from Years 10 to 12. The slight decline in this rate may be partially due to growth in employment of 15 to 19-year-olds from June 2005 to June 2008 of greater than 25 per cent as seen in figure 25.

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Figure 24: Apparent retention rates of Queensland and Australia for all students in Years 10 to 12 in state and non-state schools 2005-2008

  • Apparent retention rates of Queensland and Australia for all students in Years 10 to 12 in state and non-state schools 20052008 [KPI]
Key Performance Indicators
 

Source: ABS unpublished data

Note: Queensland state and non-state schools - Queensland, and Australia state and non-state schools - all students

Figure 25: Number of 15- to 19-year-olds employed full-time, not attending full-time education ('000) - Queensland

  • Number of 15 to 19 year olds employed full-time, not attending full-time education ('000) - Queensland
 

Source: ABS Labor Force Australia, May 2009, (Catalogue No. 6202.0)

In 2008 the retention rate for female students in Years 10 to 12 in all Queensland schools was higher, at 82 per cent, than male students at 73 per cent. Key Performance Indicators

Overall achievement at Year 12 completion has improved as students have the opportunity to move between learning outcomes with study options suited to learning styles.

The process for the Senior Education and Training Plan (SET Plan), which was introduced under education reforms in January 2006, is continuing. This planning process is a requirement for all schools. It helps students structure their learning around their abilities, interests and ambitions and supports strong post-school transitions. As part of the planning process, students think about their future, consider their abilities and investigate their options for careers and further education.

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Queensland Year 12 destinations

Each year the department undertakes the Next Step survey of Year 12 graduates from state, Catholic and independent schools. Results identify the future employment, study and life choices that these students are making.

The results of the survey also give an insight into how well schools are preparing students for adult life, and help to formulate policy and develop services to support our future leaders and innovators during this transition.

More than 82 per cent of 2008 Year 12 graduates completed the Next Step survey - more than 34 900 students.

The results were very encouraging, with 59.6 per cent either working or studying within six months of their graduation. Of these students:

  • 35.1 per cent were studying at university
  • 24.5 percent were undertaking vocational education and training
  • 11.7 per cent were undertaking either an apprenticeship or a traineeship.

See Figure 26 for detailed results.

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Figure 26: Main destinations of Year 12 Queensland completers, 2009

  • Main destinations of Year 12 Queensland completers, 2009
 

Source: Department of Education and Training - 2009 Next Step Survey

Indigenous students

Of those Indigenous students who completed Year 12:

  • 44.6 per cent went on to further education and training (including apprentices and trainees)
  • 31.2 per cent were in the work force
  • 19.9 per cent were actively seeking work.

See Figure 27 for more detailed results.

Figure 27: Main destinations of Indigenous Year 12 Queensland completers, 2009

  • Main destinations of Indigenous Year 12 Queensland completers, 2009
 

Source: Department of Education and Training - 2009 Next Step Survey

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