Many Schools Have High Withdrawal Rates from NAPLAN

While there have been large increases since 2008 in the percentage of students withdrawn from the NAPLAN tests, the average withdrawn remains low in all states and for Australia. However, these low averages disguise some very high withdrawal rates in many schools.

Victoria had the most schools with high withdrawal rates – 106 schools had withdrawal rates of 10% or more and 11 schools had between 75 and 100% of students withdrawn. Fifty-three schools in Queensland and 51 in South Australia had withdrawal rates of 10% or more.

Victorian schools accounted for 38% of all schools in Australia with high withdrawal rates, yet it accounts for only 24% of the total number of schools in Australia. In contrast, NSW has 33% of all schools in Australia yet has only 14% of schools with high withdrawal rates.

Schools with high withdrawal rates include both government and private schools. In 2011, 183 government schools and 93 private schools had high withdrawal rates. Private schools accounted for a slightly higher proportion than their share of total schools in Australia. They had 33% of schools with high withdrawal rates compared to 29% of the total of all schools.

Private schools accounted for the large proportion of schools with very high withdrawal rates. Seventy-three per cent of all schools that had 25% or more of their students withdrawn from NAPLAN were private schools.

Trevor Cobbold

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