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The post-schooling transitions of remote Indigenous secondary school graduates

journal contribution
posted on 2019-09-04, 00:00 authored by Katrina RutherfordKatrina Rutherford, Janya MccalmanJanya Mccalman, Roxanne Bainbridge
School completion has been hailed by many as the ‘holy grail’ of Indigenous education, and 42% remote-living Indigenous students now attain year 12 completion each year. But for a range of complex reasons, only 60% of these graduates translate this achievement into further engagement in study, training or employment. This systematic literature review examined the evidence for strategies that support the post-schooling transitions of these students. Adhering to the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) framework, it examined the scope and quality of the existing evidence and applied qualitative meta-synthesis to elucidate the conditions that enable or hinder, and strategies that support post-schooling transitions. Findings suggested that lower rates of post-schooling study or employment uptake are influenced by: historical misalignment of education approaches with community values and aspirations; limited opportunities in remote communities; and other socio-economic factors. Strategies were found to be most effective when cross-sectoral education/employment and community partnerships were formed, and remote communities were integral in the planning and implementation process. Strategies to improve transitions included: embedding Indigenous and Western knowledge systems in education, task-based learning, explicitly addressing students’ language needs, providing immersion experiences such as in universities, and mentoring programs to widen students’ aspirations. However, the evidence-base remains weak and further research is needed to understand the impact of strategies on students’ aspirations and their immediate and long-term post-schooling transitions.








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Society for the Provision of Education in Rural Australia

Peer Reviewed

  • Yes

Open Access

  • No

Cultural Warning

This research output may contain the names and images of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people now deceased. We apologize for any distress that may occur.

Author Research Institute

  • Centre for Indigenous Health Equity Research

Era Eligible

  • Yes


Australian and International Journal of Rural Educaton