Supporting school completion: Resources and case studies for schools, teachers and parents/carers

This report was originally published 23 May 2019.

Image: Supporting school completion: Resources and case studies for schools, teachers and parents/carers


High school completion is an important determinant of success in students’ transition to post-school education, training and employment. In Australia, socioeconomic status (SES) is a key factor in school completion. Schools, teachers and parents/carers all have a role to play in promoting high school completion, to give students a better chance at a successful transition to post-school life.

This resource accompanies the CESE Learning Curve Supporting school completion: The importance of engagement and effective teaching which explores various factors that have been found to impact high school completion among NSW students. This document is organised into two sections:

  1. Practical strategies that schools, teachers and parents/carers can use to facilitate high school completion and post-school transition. These strategies are based on the data and research from the Learning Curve, and are supported by examples1 of programs and initiatives used in NSW government secondary schools.
  2. Four in-depth case studies from low-SES secondary schools in NSW with high levels of student transition to post-school education and training. The schools were selected because they demonstrate a high level of support for senior secondary students to complete Year 12 and pursue post-school pathways like university and vocational education and training (VET) In the NSW Tell Them From Me2 survey, these schools’ students reported having high university and TAFE aspirations, and scored highly on the socio-emotional and intellectual engagement measures of the survey. These case studies detail some of the programs and initiatives to which the schools attribute their positive results.

Some of the common themes that emerge from the four case studies are:

  • Developing strong teacher-student relations in the years prior to students finishing high school is an important foundation for successful post-school transition.
  • Setting high expectations for all students fosters high aspirations and encourages students to work towards those aspirations.
  • Providing information and support to students and parents about post-school transition broadens their awareness of available options for post- school life.
  • Having dedicated resources within the school, through staff and/or ‘drop-in’ centres that students can draw on, improves students’ chances of making a successful transition.

1 These examples come from a series of in-depth interviews conducted with secondary school executives in 2017.

2 Tell Them From Me is an online survey system that helps schools capture the views of students, teachers and parents on a number of measures, including student engagement, teaching practices and support for learning. The surveys are administered every year to NSW government schools that express an interest in participating.


  • Case study
  • Tell Them From Me

Business Unit:

  • Centre for Education Statistics and Evaluation
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