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ARC Linkage Project: Beyond Year 10

The ARC-funded research project Beyond Year 10 aims to investigate factors that influence student retention beyond the compulsory years of schooling in rural, regional and disadvantage communities. Students in Grades 5, 7, 9, 10 and 11 from over 75 Tasmanian schools are being targeted for this 3-year longitudinal study, along with school and college principals, teachers, parents and members of the community.

The project is being conducted by a team of researchers at the University of Tasmania, in partnership with the Department of Education Tasmanian. Leading the team is Professor Ian Hay, with co-investigators, Professors Kim Beswick, Neil Cranston and Jane Watson (all from the Faculty of Education, University of Tasmania) and Associate Professor Jeanne Allen (now at the School of Education, Deakin University).

Project overview

The three-year study (2012-2014) investigates best educational practice to enhance retention in schooling in rural, regional and disadvantaged communities via the following means:

  • investigating factors that influence students decisions to continue their schooling beyond Year 10;
  • examining organisational issues, such as leadership and organisational culture, which contribute to an ethos and commitment among staff to pursuing student retention beyond current levels;
  • identifying and documenting
    • key interventions at primary, secondary and post-Year 10 school levels that enhance student retention;
    • school, community and home practices that enhance student retention;
    • specific practices related to the use of new technologies to enhance student retention; and,
  • providing recommendations to relevant stakeholders for implementing, developing and monitoring interventions across local (Tasmanian) and national contexts.

Research plan

The design of the study is shaped by four significant and inter-related issues associated with student retention: (1) building student capacity for positive transition for post-compulsory participation; (2) forming positive educational partnerships among school and senior secondary school communities; (3) addressing teachers, families and community members beliefs about, and attitudes to, student retention, especially of rural, regional, and disadvantaged students; and (4) building educational leadership and organisational capacity. The study is located in the North, North West and the South East. Approximately 75 schools are involved in the study.

Quantitative (i.e., surveys) and qualitative (i.e., interviews, focus groups) methods are being used in the study. Student data collection is targeting cohorts of students in Years 5, 7, 9, 10 and 11, using mainly surveys and some interviews/focus groups. Teachers, parents/guardians, principals and community member data collection will also employ surveys and interviews/focus groups. A key component is targeted school/community case studies of successful strategies for raising retention. Interviews with other relevant personal (departmental, school community, other) as they are identified are also being undertaken across the life of the study.

Key announcements

  • 23-26 August 2016: Associate Prof Allen to present a paper on hearing the community voice in relation to student retention in rural, regional and disadvantaged areas at the European Conference on Education Research in Dublin, Ireland.

Beyond Year 10 project statement and selected publications

Project statement #14 [PDF 426KB], including a full list of publications and presentations

Rural and regional students’ perceptions of schooling and factors that influence their aspirations, first author Professor Jane Watson

Hearing the community voice in relation to student retention in rural, regional and disadvantaged areas, first author Associate Professor Jeanne Allen

Overcoming the Challenges of Keeping Young People in Education: A wicked problem with implications for leadership, policy and practice [PDF 950KB], first author Professor Neil Cranston

The Community Voice on Education and Students’ School Completion [PDF 645KB], first author Professor Jane Watson

Parent-child connectedness for schooling and students’ performance and aspirations: An exploratory investigation, first author Professor Ian Hay

Listening to the Community on Student Retention, first author Professor Jane Watson

Open the window of opportunity, authors Mrs Suzie Wright and Professor Jane Watson

Factors impacting on student retention beyond Year 10 in rural, regional, and disadvantaged communities in Tasmania: A wicked problem [PDF 279KB, first author Professor Neil Cranston

Issues relating to students’ decisions to remain in school beyond Year 10, first author Professor Jane Watson

Findings from a pilot study into student retention beyond year 10 [PDF 968kb], first author Professor Neil Cranston

Factors influencing students’ decisions about post year 10 education [PDF 304KB], first author Professor Kim Beswick

Interview with Professor Ian Hay [MP3 4.3MB]

Hands up who wants to do better, author Professor Neil Cranston

Majority of students keen to learn, author Professor Jane Watson

Learning must be the top priority, author Professor Neil Cranston

Project Advisory Group

A Project Advisory Group has been established to provide advice and comment on the project from time to time as well as assist with communication about the project to key stakeholders. The Advisory Group comprises members of the UTAS Research Team and General Managers (Learning Services) and other relevant Departmental personal.

UTAS Research Team

Launceston: Chief Investigators:

Hobart: Chief Investigators: