Monday, 26 October 2015

Year 10 Can Be the New Year 12

The daily newspapers picked up on the number of student dropouts to lead their news coverage of the Educational Opportunity in Australia 2015 report released the week of October 26.

Twenty-six per cent of 19 year-olds or 81,199 people are not finishing school which is taken to be Year 12. What do you think about that? In the US, it's much, much higher.

Probably more important though was that the Report highlighted Year 7 as a sort of benchmark of a middle point in education. This showed that 71.6% of students met the milestones meaning that 28.4% didn't. Do you think that is high? And girls were higher achievers than boys (no surprise there).

However, these reports while full of tables and information, nearly always stay clear of strong, unequivocal comments. Sort of a self-protection mechanism. Don't rock the boat syndrome. Maybe only the authors are satisfied!

And they are difficult to read. Presentation style anyone!!

But the key questions are never answered:

  • Dropout rates ... so what? How important are these when there's a wide world out there and schools generally don't provide the answers for a working family with a couple of kids in school. What's really acceptable? Not 100% for sure.
  • Learning Mix. Are we providing the mix of learning that compels students to stay at school longer? Definitely not. Have you views on this?
  • Less that 12 years?. And can we provide the necessary knowledge to students in less than 12 years. I think we can when the full power of tech-integrated learning is unleashed. We talk all the time about the maturity of students at ages lower than when we were at school don't we?
  • Year 10 not Year 12? I believe the transition to Tertiary education should and can occur from Year 10 not Year 12. Learning can be accelerated.
The report can be downloaded from

MathsRepublican Alan Power


  1. Interestingly I just read this Richard Branson article about him leaving school at 15 y.o. and not looking back just before reading your blog, Alan. See

  2. I am not sure if the school system works for everyone. The system favours auditory learners and that's only about 20-30% of students, on average.

    Auditory Learners
    Auditory learners tend to benefit most from traditional teaching techniques. Many teachers use a lecture-style forum, presenting information by talking to their students. Regulating voice tone, inflection, and body language will help all students maintain interest and attention. Auditory learners succeed when directions are read aloud, speeches are required, or information is presented and requested verbally.

    Read more on FamilyEducation: