This page provides a brief overview of findings from the 2018 NSW secondary students’ post-school destinations and expectations survey relating to Vocational Education and Training (VET) participation in school. Access the main 2018 report.
One-in-three respondents answered questions about VET participation – 1,160 Year 12 completers and 1,487 early school leavers.
• 81.9% of Year 12 completers and 75.3% of early school leavers said VET courses were available at school. A higher proportion of Year 12 completers said VET was available at school. Early school leavers are more likely to be unsure if VET was available.
• 34.1% of Year 12 completers and 41.5% of early school leavers started a VET course at school.1 Early leavers are more likely to have started a VET course at school than Year 12 completers.
• 46.3% of Year 12 completers and 48.2% of early school leavers said doing VET at school increased their interest in a career or job in this area.2 There is no difference between the proportion of Year 12 completers and early school leavers.
• 18.1% of Year 12 completers and 45.1% of early school leavers would have been interested in doing a VET course if available.3 Early school leavers would have been more interested in doing VET if available.
Most Year 12 completers who started a VET course finished the course and received a qualification. Early school leavers are more likely to not finish the VET course they start at school.4
Finished course and qualification
Finished course but not qualification
Did not finish
Most common reasons for not completing the VET qualification, despite completing the course, included no longer being interested in a job in the area and not needing the qualification for employment.
• 28.9% - no longer interested in job in area
• 14.7% - didn't need the qualification for employment
• 12.0% - no longer interested after completing school
• 20.5% - didn't need the qualification for employment
• 18.8% - no longer interested in job in area
• 14.6% - no longer interested after completing school5
82.8% of Year 12 completers and 85.4% of early school leavers agreed they benefitted from studying VET at school even though they did not finish the qualification.6
Almost two-thirds (64.0%) of early school leavers who started a VET course did not finish the course at school. Female early school leavers are more likely not to finish the course than male early school leavers (70.1% vs. 61.0%). Students often left school before they could complete the course.
• 42.5% - left school before finishing the course
• 23.4% - no longer fit with plans
• 10.2% - no longer interested in job in area
Among early school leavers who did not finish the course:
• 18% completed a related qualification after school
• 22% were currently studying for a related qualification
70.2% of Year 12 completers and 84.3% of early school leavers agreed they benefitted from studying VET at school even though they did not finish the course.7
1of those where VET was offered at school
2of those who started a VET course at school
3of those where VET was not offered at school or respondent was unsure
4For Year 12 completers, 2.9% of participants indicated that they did not know if they had finished the course or did not answer the question. For early school leavers, 4.3% of participants indicated that they either did not know if they had finished the course, or did not answer the question.
5males (18.8%) more likely to report this reason than females (7.6%)
6of those who finished the course but not the qualification
7of those who did not finish the course
This page provides a brief overview of findings from the early school leaver cohort of the NSW secondary students’ post-school destinations and expectations survey. Access the main 2018 report.
A total of 4,470 students who left school before completing Year 12 in 2017 took part in the survey in 2018.
• Over half (57.1%) of early school leavers are in some form of education or training in 20181.
• One-quarter (24.8%) are employed.
• More than one-in-ten (12.9%) are looking for work.
• One-in-twenty (5.2%) are not in the labour force, education or training (NILFET).
• The most common form of education and training is an apprenticeship, with around a third (32.4%) of early school leavers training at this level; up 6.7 percentage points since 2010.
• Less than 10% of early school leavers are pursuing each other type of education and training.
• Participation in VET Certificate I-III has decreased 10.7 percentage points since 2010.
Up 0.7 percentage points since 2010
Up 1.3 percentage points since 2010
Down 10.7 percentage points since 2010
Up 6.7 percentage points since 2010
Up 3.9 percentage points since 2010
Down 2.5 percentage points since 2010
Down 2.3 percentage points since 2010
Up 1.1 percentage points since 2010
Up 1.7 percentage points since 2010
Academic or behavioural difficulties - 10.8%
External factors or pressures - 10.4%
Other educational opportunities - 6.8%
Bullying - 4.6%
Other reasons - 3.2%
1Main post-school destination variable prioritises education related outcomes over participation in employment. For more information on how main destinations are derived, or for the study background and methodology, read the 2018 technical report.
2Full-time work is 35+ hours per week. Part-time work is less than 35 hours per week.
Since 2010, the NSW secondary students’ post-school destinations survey has been collecting information about students’ main destinations in the year after completing Year 12 or leaving school. The survey seeks to provide critical information on education pathways, attainments and destinations of young people in NSW and inform policy making related to students’ post-school education, training and employment.
In 2018, 3,529 students who finished Year 12 and 4,470 students who left school before completing Year 12 (known as early school leavers) completed the survey. All Aboriginal and Torres Strait students, students who attended schools participating in the Connected Communities program and students who left school before the minimum leaving age were in scope for the survey. A sample of students who completed Year 12 or left school after the minimum leaving age were also in scope.
This resource has practical tips on how to consider cognitive load when creating teaching presentations. It was developed based on the research in CESE's cognitive load publications, with the help and inspiration of Concord High School. The PowerPoint can be downloaded and used in schools for professional learning activities. Speaker notes are included in the presentation. A PDF version can also be downloaded below (does not contain speaker notes).
Achieving high participation rates in the Tell Them From Me (TTFM) parent survey helps schools reliably identify areas of strength and areas for improvement from the perspective of parents, and helps inform practical changes where needed.
A parent poster and flyer to promote TTFM are also available on the TTFM website.
Every year, CESE publishes a snapshot of data collected across NSW government schools. The 2018 statistical bulletin presents tables and charts on school characteristics, student enrolments, attendance rates and more.
• In August 2018, there were 2,207 government schools and 100 preschools.
• The average class size for Kindergarten to Year 6 was 24.1 students.
• Total enrolments reached 798,022.2 full-time equivalent students, continuing the rising trend which began in 2008.
• 2,008 students were studying part-time, equivalent to 1,253.2 full-time students.
• 24,351 students were enrolled in support classes or schools for specific purposes.
• 2,769.3 students were enrolled in distance education.
• 7.8% of students identified as Aboriginal, totaling 61,932.5 students.
• 35.1% of students (282,532 students) were from a language background other than English.
• 79,201 primary students studied a language other than English, with Chinese (Mandarin) the most popular language.
• Japanese was the most popular language studied by students in Years 7 to 9, at 24,792 students of the 63,582 students studying a language other than English.
• The Year 7 to 12 apparent retention rate was 76.3% in 2018, down from the previous year's peak of 77.4%.
• 38,100 students were awarded an HSC in 2018, including 1,188 Aboriginal students.
• The average attendance rate was 90.9% in 2018.
With their focus on instructional leadership, explicit teaching, student wellbeing and other evidence-based practices, Blue Haven Public School has achieved rapid and substantial improvements in student academic performance. The department's strategic goals can be seen in action at Blue Haven: every student, every teacher, every leader is improving every year, and every student is known, valued and cared for.
Download the video transcript (PDF, 130kB)
InBrief summarises the results of the census of students in NSW Government schools undertaken on Friday 3 August 2018, and the census of NSW non-government schools undertaken by the Australian Government Department of Education.
Note: In 2018, NSW government schools implemented the national standards for student attendance data reporting. This resulted in a fall in attendance rates for most schools due to the inclusion of partial absences and accounting for student mobility in the calculation. Data for 2018 is not directly comparable with earlier years.
This Government school student attendance bulletin (PDF, 387kB) presents analysis of attendance rates at NSW government schools from 2008 to 2018. Results are presented by education level, Aboriginal status, remoteness and gender. The bulletin includes a new measure 'proportion of students attending 90% or more of the time' and assesses the impact of implementing national standards on NSW government schools' attendance rates.