Only 28.6 % Of the most disadvantaged students in Australia are demonstrating the skills needed for success later in life
Fewer disadvantaged students in Australia are overcoming their backgrounds to achieve highly in year 10 maths, science and reading tests than disadvantaged students in other OECD and partner countries, with implications for HSC and NAPLAN results and Australia's performance in international tests.
Only about 28.6 per cent of the most disadvantaged students in Australia are demonstrating the skills needed for success later in life in Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) tests, an OECD report has found. This is slightly higher than the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development average of 25.2 per cent, but far lower than countries such as Canada and Finland, where nearly 40 per cent of students are overcoming their background to succeed at school.The report measures the ability of 15-year-olds who are among the 25 per cent most socioeconomically disadvantaged students in their country to achieve approximately average or above average results in all three PISA domains, which the paper has termed "academic resilience".
"The share of resilient students can be seen as an indicator of both the quality and equity of education system," the paper states.Socioeconomic status remains one of the major predictors of a student's academic performance, with disadvantaged students more likely to have lower outcomes, drop out of school and repeat a grade, according to the report.
In Australia, students with lower levels of educational advantage are likely to do worse in the HSC and in NAPLAN tests, and be up to three years behind their more advantaged peers in the latest PISA and Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS).The share of resilient students in Australia has fallen from 36.3 per cent of students in 2006 to 28.6 per cent in 2015, the paper has found. Hong Kong has the highest share of resilient students, with 53.1 per cent of disadvantaged students performing highly, followed by Macao, with 51.7 per cent, and Singapore, with 43.4 per cent.
At the other end of the scale, only 0.4 per cent of disadvantaged students in Kosovo and 0.5 per cent of disadvantaged students in Peru are reaching a set level in the PISA tests.The report has found that attending schools with less disruption in the classroom, an engaged community and having more affluent peers are all linked to higher levels of resilience, while school resources are not a significant factor is resilience.
Schools with low teacher turnover and where principals adopt a "transformational leadership style" and better direct staff to a strategic goal also promote greater resilience among disadvantaged students.
Sydney Morning Herald, Sydney by Pallavi Singhal
31 Jan 2018