Talk to us

CathNews, the most frequently visited Catholic website in Australia, is your daily news service featuring Catholics and Catholicism from home and around the world, Mass on Demand and on line, prayer, meditation, reflections, opinion, and reviews. And, what's more - it's free!

Student attendance rates remain alarmingly below pre-pandemic levels, despite a slight improvement last year (Bigstock)

School dropout rates have risen to the highest level since 2010, after nearly one in four teenagers failed to finish year 12 last year. Source: The Australian.

At least 50,000 students dropped out of school in 2023, new data from the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority reveals.

Nearly half of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students left school before finishing year 12.

Among all students, only 78.7 per cent finished year 12 – the lowest rate of school completion in 13 years.

Boys were more likely to drop out than girls, with a spike in apprenticeship commencements last year indicating the trades are sucking students away from the formal schooling system.

The new ACARA data shows the post-pandemic exodus of teachers has been turned around, as schools hired an extra 4615 teachers last year – most joining the private and Catholic school sectors.

Student attendance rates remain alarmingly below pre-pandemic levels, despite a slight improvement last year.

The ACARA data shows 25.1 per cent of boys and 17.3 per cent of girls dropped out of high school last year. Averaged across all students, completion rates have dropped from 82 per cent in 2019 to 78.7 per cent last year.

Only 73 per cent of students in government schools finished year 12, compared to 90.4 per cent in private schools and 84.3 per cent in Catholic schools.

The decline in year 12 completions reflects a strong jobs market, the popularity of apprenticeships and trades, and the pandemic phenomenon of “school refusal’’.

It coincides with complaints from universities that fewer school-leavers are continuing to tertiary education.

The number of young Australians starting an apprenticeship or traineeship surged 22.2 per cent last year, to 37,690.

The Productivity Commission has revealed barely half the students who dropped out of school in 2022 had found full-time work or enrolled in further study or training a year later. Half the dropouts were unemployed, or working and studying part-time.


One in four students are failing to finish high school (By Natasha Bita, The Australian)