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Learning and participating

“It was good to get this off my chest.”

Students’ experiences with school and learning and the level of autonomy they are given in childhood and adolescence are critical determinants of their lifetime wellbeing.

The Speaking Out Survey asked students in Years 4 to 12 questions about their views on the importance of regularly attending school, their relationships and sense of belonging at school and the support they receive for learning. It also asked about their opportunities to learn and develop useful skills, their emerging autonomy and being heard.

The key findings are detailed below.

Learning and participating

Engagement in school and learning
  • One-half of Year 4–6 students have attended one primary school and 5% have attended five or more.
  • Two-thirds of Year 7–12 students have attended one school since starting high school but 1-in-10 have attended three or more.
  • One-quarter of female Year 7–12 students (25.0%) do not like school and less than 1-in-5 like it a lot.
  • 9-in-10 female Year 4–6 students are happy at school and like learning while only 1-in-2 female students in Year 7–12 say they like school.
  • Two-thirds of male Year 7–12 students feel like they belong at their school compared to one-half of female students who feel the same.
  • Most students feel teachers care, believe and listen to them but almost one-third of Year 7–12 students feel this is not or only a little true for them.
  • More male than female students like school a lot while female students are more likely to say they don’t like school.
  • One-quarter of female Year 7–12 students (25.0%) do not like school and less than 1-in-5 like it a lot.
  • Most students feel safe at school but almost 1-in-5 feel safe only sometimes or less, especially Year 7–9 students.
  • One-half of Year 4–12 students say they have been bullied.
  • 17% of female and 10% of male Year 7–12 students have been both bullied and cyber bullied.
  • 15% of students had ever missed school because they were afraid they would be bullied.
Feelings about the future
  • 37% of Year 10–12 students feel a lot of pressure about school work and female students feel more pressured than male students.
  • One-half (50.3%) of Year 4–6 students and one-third (33.1%) of Year 7–12 students almost always get help from teachers in class if needed.
  • Most students say their parents regularly ask about their school or homework but 1-in-10 report their parents rarely or never do this.
  • Most Year 7–12 students are allowed to go some places without adult supervision but many students are not, especially female students.
  • 1-in-5 female Year 7–12 students are not allowed to go places other than school without adult supervision and 1-in-3 are not allowed to cycle along a main road without an adult.
  • 4-in-5 students agree they are involved in making decisions affecting them however female students agree less.

Speaking Out Survey 2019 - Summary report

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More Speaking Out Survey findings