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Senior Phase of Learning

Strategy: Provide multiple pathways and diverse learning experiences to engage all senior students and increase Year 12 or equivalent attainment

Video: Alexandra Hills State High School, Engagement for Success

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The RACQ Showcase Award for Excellence in the Senior Phase of Learning
Alexandra Hills State High School, Engagement for Success

Through its Engagement for Success program, Alexandra Hills State High School has broadened its senior curriculum to improve its retention rates.

Now more than 98 per cent of Year 10 students transition to the Senior School and academic achievements have climbed.

The wider choice of subjects including nine different languages and greater timetable flexibility for those undertaking vocational education and university subjects is very popular.

While the Hub, the centre for student welfare and its team, provides guidance and support.

The school is now one of the district's high achievers with 75 per cent of the school's OP eligible students last year achieving an OP 1 to 15.

80 per cent of students received a Queensland Certificate of Education, well above the Queensland average.

Alexandra Hills State High School, successfully engaging senior students.

In Queensland, young people must stay in school until they finish Year 10 or turn 16 years of age, whichever comes first. A 'compulsory participation' requirement means that young people must take part in education or 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.

Queensland's compulsory participation requirement meets the strengthened participation requirements mandated at a national level through the National Partnership Agreement on Youth Attainment and Transitions. To support the compulsory participation phase, the department provides young people with opportunities to set education and career goals, and to work towards those goals in a broad range of education settings, including school, TAFE and other training.

In Queensland, as part of the commitment to improving young people's attainment and transitions, 15- to 19-year-olds not at school are entitled to a government-subsidised training place (subject to admission requirements and course availability).

As Table 16 shows, the number of students enrolled in the Senior Phase of Learning in state schools continues to rise. In 2009-10, there were 100 720 students enrolled in the Senior Phase of Learning, an increase of close to 3 per cent on the previous year and 6 per cent since 2006-07.

Figure 28 demonstrates the retention rate of students from Years 10 to 12. Apparent retention rates are a broad but limited indicator of young people's participation in secondary school education. It is only one measure of positive engagement for young people who may choose to participate in a range of school, training or work options.

The 2009 retention rate for all Queensland schools (79 per cent) is higher than for Australia overall (77 per cent). In 2009, 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 76 per cent.

In Queensland, 62 per cent of Year 10 to 12 students attends a state school. More than three in five of these students in the Senior Phase of Learning indicated that they were satisfied or very satisfied with their school. In 2009-10, the satisfaction levels of state school students in the Senior Phase of Learning are slightly lower at 63.7 per cent than the 65.9 per cent satisfaction levels reported in 2008-09.

Table 16: Number of state school students in the Senior Phase of Learning

State school students - Senior Phase of Learning (Years 10-12)

2006-07

2007-08

2008-09

2009-10

Total number of students

94 980

95 580

97 940

100 720

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

In 2009-10 parents of children in the Senior Phase of Learning indicated a sightly lower level of satisfaction with their child's school than in the previous year.

Figure 27: Satisfaction of parents with their child's school - Senior Phase of Learning (Years 10-12)

Satisfaction of parents with their child's school - Senior Phase of Learning (Years 10-12)

Graph outlining satisfaction of parents with their child's school - Senior Phase of Learning (Years 10-12)

Source: School Opinion Survey - Department of Education and Training

Figure 28: Apparent retention rates of Queensland and Australian students in Years 10-12, 2006-09

Apparent retention rates of Queensland and Australian students in Years 10-12, 2006-09

Graph showing trend in retention rates of Queensland and Australian students in Years 10-12, 2006-09

Source: ABS unpublished data

Figure 29: 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

Graph showing trend in number of 15- to 19-year-olds employed full-time, not attending full-time education ('000) - Queensland 2005-2009

Source: ABS Labour Force Australia (Catalogue No. 6202.0) various years

Queensland Certificate of Education

Photograph showing female teacher with three young male students sitting at a table

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 learning options include:

  • senior school subjects
  • vocational education and training
  • 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.

In December 2009, 78.9 per cent of all Year 12 students graduated with a QCE or a Certificate III or above VET qualification (see Table 17).

Table 17: Percentage of all Year 12 students who received a QCE or Certificate III or above VET qualification in 2009

Measure

State schools

Non-state schools

All schools

QCE or Cert III or above qualification

71.9

89.2

78.9

Source: Queensland Studies Authority

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

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Queensland Certificate of Individual Achievement

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 need to have impairments or difficulties in learning.

The certificate provides these students with a summary of their skills and knowledge, which they can present to employers and training providers. Table 18 shows the numbers of students who received the QCIA in 2009.

Table 18: Number of Year 12 Queensland school students with disabilities who have achieved the QCIA in 2009

Achievement:

Number

Studentsin state schools who achieved a QCIA in 2009

496

Students in non-state schools awarded a QCIA in 2009 st

61

Total

557

Source: 2010-11 Queensland State Budget - Service Delivery Statements (Department of Education and Training and Queensland Studies Authority)

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Year 12 results - Overall Position and International Baccalaureate Diploma

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.

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

OPs and IBDs 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 at tertiary level.

In 2009, 18 709 students achieved an OP of 1 to 15 or an IBD, an increase on previous years as shown in Figure 30. This indicates that more students had the option of gaining entrance into a tertiary education course.

Figure 30: Percentage of Year 12 Queensland students with an OP 1-15 or International Baccalaureate Diploma (IBD)

Percentage of Year 12 Queensland students with an OP 1-15 or International Baccalaureate Diploma (IBD)

Graph showing percentage trend of Year 12 Queensland students with an OP 1-15 or International Baccalaureate Diploma (IBD)

Source: Queensland Studies Authority

Note: IBD award has been included in this data since 2008

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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.

Of the more than 44 500 Year 12 graduates from 2009, in excess of 36 600 completed the Next Step survey.

Of these students:

  • 36.1 per cent were studying at university
  • 12.6 per cent were undertaking VET
  • 12 per cent were undertaking either an apprenticeship or a traineeship.

See Figure 31 for detailed results. More information is available on the department's website at Next Step.

Figure 31: Main destinations of Year 12 completers, Queensland, 2010

Main destinations of Year 12 completers, Queensland, 2010

Pie graph of main destinations of Year 12 completers, Queensland, 2010

Source: 2010 Next Step Survey

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Queensland Academies

The Queensland Academies are state schools that offer Years 10 to 12 for up to 450 high achieving students who meet specific entry requirements. A bridge between high school and tertiary study, the academies are designed to maximise the potential of bright students and prepare them for university.

The Queensland Academies offer the International Baccalaureate Diploma (IBD) Program - an internationally recognised pre-university level qualification that allows subjects to be accelerated and graduating students to study at Australian tertiary institutes as well as overseas universities.

The department has established three Queensland Academies:

  • Queensland Academy for Science, Mathematics and Technology at Toowong , which links with The University of Queensland (UQ), 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), which 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 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.

All three academies scored higher than the worldwide November 2008 IBD average score of 30.58. Results compared to 2008 worldwide average scores include:

  • 1 student in the top 4 per cent
  • 2 students in the top 6.62 per cent
  • 11 students in the top 12 per cent
  • 61 per cent of students achieved a score of 30 or higher, compared with 53.04 per cent worldwide
  • 24 per cent of students achieved the highest possible selection rank of 99 for university entrance.

The Queensland Academies Alliance Strategy aims to expose academy students to contemporary professional expertise, and the most current equipment and work environments.

Engagement activities derived from the strategy in 2009-10 included:

  • hosting of iLAB with UQ and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • gaining certificate and diploma courses in laboratory technology from the Southbank Institute of Technology
  • students working as creative research assistants with resident media company
  • student ambassador programs with the Zen Zen Zo and La Boite Theatre companies and the Block Gallery at QUT
  • student workshop scholarships with NIDA
  • research series seminars with Griffith University
  • work placement at the Queensland Institute of Medical Research.

For more information visit Queensland Academies External Link.

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School-based apprenticeships and traineeships

Strategy: Improve transitions between school, training and higher education to maximise employment outcomes

School-based apprenticeships and traineeships (SATs) allow high school 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.

Video: Mirani State High School, Partners in Education

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The Showcase Award for Excellence in Community or Industry Partnerships
Mirani State High School, Partners in Education

By building extensive partnerships with business, industry and the community, teachers at Mirani State High School have provided opportunities to improve the achievements of their students.

The school's Partners in Education program demonstrates what can be achieved through coordinated school-run programs supported by industry.

This program has not only created excellent industry, business and community links; it's opened up exciting career pathways in fields like engineering, design, early childhood studies and automotive studies.

Mirani State High School, strong partnerships, stronger outcomes.

Many students can complete a school-based traineeship while at school, depending on the vocational qualification and when they commence. 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.

Queensland continues to be a national leader in the uptake of SATs, as evidenced by figures from the National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER). These figures show that in the 2009 calendar year, Queensland accounted for 52 per cent of all SAT commencements in Australia. This is up on the previous year's figure of 42 per cent.

Figure 33 shows that at the end of Year 12, 13.4 per cent of students had completed or were completing a SAT. This represented a slight increase on the previous year's figure of 12.9 per cent.

As at 25 July 2010, the department had invested $15.5 million of User Choice funds in SAT training for the financial year 2009-10.

Since 2006, when the government committed to increasing SAT commencements to 12 400 by December 2009, commencements increased. SATs are available in fields ranging from rural to retail, business to building, hospitality to hairdressing, and automotive to arts.

As at 30 June 2010, 8883 Queensland students had started a school-based apprenticeship or traineeship in 2009, representing growth of 43 per cent since the 2006 baseline was set.

An increase in the participation of Indigenous young people in this valuable schooling pathway contributed to the overall SAT numbers in 2009.

Figure 32: Number of secondary school students commencing a SAT since the 2006 base year

Number of secondary school students commencing a SAT since the 2006 base year

Bar graph showing numbers of secondary school students commencing a SAT since the 2006 base year

Source: Department of Education and Training - Contract of Training Database (DELTA)

Figure 33: Percentage of Year 12 students from state and non-state schools with a SAT - complete or completing

Percentage of Year 12 students from state and non-state schools with a SAT - complete or completing

Graph showing percentage of all Year 12 students who have completed or are completing an apperenticeship or traineeship

Source: Queensland Studies Authority

Figure 34: Uptake of school-based apprentices and trainees by industry of employment" title="Uptake of school-based apprentices and trainees by industry of employment

Uptake of school-based apprentices and trainees by industry of employment

Bar graph of school-based apprentice and trainee uptake by industry of employment

Source: Department of Education and Training

Notes:

  1. Calendar year 2009 only
  2. Includes the seven industries with the highest number of commencements

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School industry trade centres

During 2009-10, the department continued to work with key industry groups to establish five school industry trade centres by 2011.

The first, the School Industry Trade Centre for Civil Construction at Caboolture State High School, opened in August 2009. This centre offers civil construction training in the North Coast region, including the Sunshine Coast, and will act as a new model for training and skills development for students who are potentially new entrants to the industry.

The Great Barrier Reef International Marine College in Cairns is a partnership between the department (represented by Woree State High School and the Tropical North Queensland Institute of TAFE) and the Australian Marine Training Network Cairns. The college will be located within the Cairns Port Authority Precinct and will have a construction period of approximately eight months. It will provide authentic industry training for Years 11 and 12 students, leading to school-based traineeships and the awarding of Certificate II qualifications. Exiting students will be eligible for direct employment in a range of local and international marine industries.

The Gold Coast School of Construction was established in collaboration with Hutchinson Builders and is located at the Hutchinson Builders Yatala site. Delivery of the program will commence in July 2010, and students will have the opportunity to train in a real work environment on real industry projects.

The Mackay-based Manufacturing and Engineering School Industry Trade Centre was successful in attracting additional funding through the Australian Government's Trade Training Centre Program. This enabled the expansion of this trade centre. Work was undertaken on operational and strategic planning for the centre, with strong support by industry in this region. The facility will be built within the Central Queensland University site, adjacent to the new TAFE Trade Training building. This will provide training to young people in Years 10, 11 and 12 for careers in the manufacturing and engineering industry.

The School Industry Trade Centre for Creative Technologies is based in North Queensland. The department continues to collaborate with local industry and Heatley Secondary College to finalise design and functionality aspects of this facility. The College has also received substantial Federal funding through the BER program to expand the proposed centre's capacity.

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