Printer Friendly

Grade repetition risk for boys in early schooling in Queensland, Australia.

Introduction

Grade repetition, also called 'repeating' a year level in Australia (Anderson, 2008), or 'grade retention' in the United States (Brophy, 2006), refers to an intervention practice whereby students 'repeat' a year level at school rather than being promoted to the next year level along with their same-age peers. It has been used in schools worldwide (Brophy, 2006), including Australia, as a remedy to address school failure, or at the preschool level, students' 'unreadiness' for school (Anderson, 2008). While a considerable body of research exists on grade repetition in the United States, there is a dearth of available Australian research on grade repetition. Further, there is no publicly available systematic data collected on grade repetition in any level of schooling in Australia. Regardless of the lack of interest in grade repetition in Australia, McGrath argues that the practice has been 'widely accepted in Australian schools' (2006, p. 39). Despite its wide acceptance, decades of research in the United States has shown that grade repetition offers few benefits for students (Cannon & Lipscomb, 2011; Hong & Raudenbush, 2005; Hong & Yu, 2006; Hughes, Chen, Thoemmes & Kwok, 2010; Jimerson, 2001, 2004; McGrath, 2006) and may be harmful (Jimerson, 2001, 2004). Thus, this paper makes a significant contribution to the relatively unresearched area of grade repetition in Australian schools. In particular, the study examines the most recent grade repetition data drawn from the Queensland Government's Department of Education, Training and Employment's (DETE) in-house database (2013a) and aims to show that:

1. Grade repetition as an intervention practice exists in Queensland state schools.

2. Boys are more at risk of being repeated than girls in the early years of schooling.

The paper first considers the available literature on grade repetition and a group of students more often repeated in early schooling: boys. The literature is followed by the methodology, findings, discussion and conclusion.

Review of literature

The first section of the literature considers the possible effects of grade repetition on student achievement and social and emotional adjustment. The second section discusses grade repetition in preschool and early schooling, and the third section discusses one group of students more often repeated: boys.

Effects of grade repetition

Grade repetition has been employed by educators and policy-makers worldwide as an intervention practice to improve educational outcomes for low-achieving students or, in the case of preschool students, better prepare them for school (UNESCO, 2005). Despite decades of research mainly from the United States, limited long-term support has been found for this widely used intervention practice (Hong & Raudenbush, 2005; Hong & Yu, 2006; Hughes et al., 2010; Jimerson, 2001, 2004). Jimerson (2004), who has researched extensively in the area of grade repetition in the United States, argues that results from decades of research advise against grade repetition. Findings from meta-analyses that provided outcomes of 83 published studies between 1925 and 1999, including students retained at the preschool level, 'demonstrate(d) consistent negative effects of grade retention on subsequent academic achievement' (Jimerson, 2001, pp. 50-51). In considering all areas of socio-emotional adjustment (social, emotional, behavioural, attitude toward school and attendance), the meta-analyses similarly showed a negative effect.

The National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) in the United States further considered numerous reviews on grade repetition. In its most recent review, the NASP concluded that grade retention has 'limited empirical support' (2011, p. 1). In particular, the 'unanimous conclusion from these reviews is that grade retention offers few, if any, benefits to the retained student and may increase the retained child's risk for poor school outcomes, including dropping out of school prior to high school graduation' (NASP, 2011, p. 1). Thus, grade repetition, as an intervention practice to support children's learning at school, has limited support from professional bodies and research.

Grade repetition in preschool and early schooling

While grade repetition is practised at the preschool level and in early schooling in Australia (McGrath, 2006) and the United States (Cannon & Lipscomb, 2011), it has been shown to offer few benefits regarding young students' academic achievement or socio-emotional adjustment. Regarding academic achievement, Hong and Yu (2006) and Xia and Kirby (2009) found that repetition in early grades shows no evidence of benefits to retainees' cognitive development or later academic achievement. Other research (Brophy, 2006; Jimerson, 2004) has shown that grade repetition may have a negative effect on young students' social and emotional adjustment, i.e. their self-esteem, peer relationships and attitudes towards school.

The National Association of Early Childhood Specialists in State Departments of Education (NAECSSDE), one of the more prominent educational bodies in the United States, issued a position statement, endorsed by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), the most influential early childhood body in the United States, relating to developments in early childhood education in the United States (2000). The NAECSSDE stated that early childhood policies and practices that promote preschool retention and related practices such as delayed entry assign 'the burden of responsibility to the child, rather than the program', place 'the child at risk of failure, apathy towards school and demoralization', fail 'to contribute to quality early childhood education' and 'label children as failures at the outset of their school experience' (2000, p. 4). Ten years later, at the conclusion of their research, Cannon and Lipscomb (2011) similarly warned that grade repetition in the early years of schooling is a 'negative academic outcome early in children's educational careers' (p. 11), and more often includes particular groups of children. Such children more likely to be repeated include those from low-income and ethnic minority groups (Hong & Raudenbush, 2005). In Australia, these include Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students (DETE, 2013a), younger children (Dockett & Perry, 2007; McGrath, 2006) and boys (Cannon & Lipscomb, 2011; Hong & Raudenbush, 2005; McGrath, 2006). This paper will focus the discussion of grade repetition on boys.

Groups of children more likely to be repeated: Boys

Research in the United States (Cannon & Lipscomb, 2011; Hong & Raudenbush, 2005) and Australia (Anderson, 2008) indicates that boys more often repeat preschool and early schooling than girls. Mortenson states that for every 100 girls who repeat Kindergarten, which is the first year of elementary school in the United States, 194 boys repeat (2006). The available data in Australia, thought limited, reveals similar findings (DETE, 2013a). Several explanations have been offered as to why boys are more often repeated at preschool and in early schooling. These explanations often relate to school readiness.

Readiness for school has been defined in different ways. Earlier conceptualisations of school readiness focused solely on the student and the student's need to have particular attributes to be considered school-ready (Meisels, 1999). Within such conceptualisations, however, the absence of particular attributes may lead to deficit beliefs about the students or the students' background, which may in turn influence decisions to repeat students at preschool or delay their entry into school until they are 'ready'. More recent conceptualisations developed school readiness to include, not only child readiness, but also school readiness and family support (ARACY, 2007). Drawing on such understandings of school readiness, the Early Development Instrument (EDI), initially devised in Canada, was developed in Australia as the Australian Early Development Index or AEDI to assess how well children are prepared for school (CCCH, 2007). Dockett and Perry (2013) warn, however, that while there has been a shift in thinking regarding school readiness models, 'there remains a strong focus on the preparedness of individual children to start school' (p. 167). More recent conceptualisations of preparing children for school emphasise culturally and contextually relevant transition programs that focus on relationship building (Dockett & Perry, 2013) rather than requiring children to have particular 'school-ready' attributes.

When children are assessed within the concept of school readiness, groups of children such as boys are likely to be considered 'less ready' for school than girls (Ackerman & Barnett, 2005; McGrath, 2006). According to Connolly (2004), this may be because they are less likely than girls to display particular 'school ready attributes' such as cooperation, obedience and diligence, which may be favoured by some early childhood educators. Eivers, Brendgen and Borge (2010) have noted that boys 'tend to exhibit significantly higher levels of antisocial behaviour than girls' (p. 847). In one Australian study, Childs and McKay (2001) noted that the 'lack of self-regulation' of five-year-old boys at school appeared to be 'determined by gender attributions' (p. 312). Alloway (1995), who has researched extensively in the area of gender and preschool, argues that young boys' unacceptable and aggressive behaviours at school may be related to the dominant forms of masculinity in our society. Such forms of masculinity, based on 'violent domination and control', are widely accessible to most boys through media, toys and electronic games (Alloway, 1995, p. 82). Given that many people consider such forms of masculinity as 'natural' and 'unproblematic', most boys will have already taken up these forms of masculinity to some degree by the time they enter preschool (Davies, 1989). Such forms of masculinity are likely to be at odds with the practices of schooling that favour cooperation, obedience, diligence and adult control (Connolly, 2004). Therefore, when the focus is on children to have particular 'school-ready' attributes, boys, who may have taken up these dominant forms of masculinity, are more likely to display attributes that are at odds with particular qualities that position children as 'ready' for school, and are thus repeated at preschool.

As a significant gap exists in the Australian literature regarding the disproportionate over-representation of boys in grade repetition in early schooling, this study examines the most recent grade repetition data drawn from the in-house database of the Queensland Education Department (DETE, 2013a). The next section will discuss how the data from DETE (2013a) was used to show that grade repetition as an intervention practice exists in Queensland state schools, and how the risk of boys being repeated compared to girls in the early years of schooling was calculated.

Methodology

Following a formal application to DETE and ethics approval from James Cook University, the methodological approach examined a subset of an existing large-scale data set on grade repetition drawn from the in-house database of DETE, Corporate Data Warehouse (2013a). The secondary data includes DETE's most recent grade repetition data from 1997 to 2012 and was collected in late 2013. Since the study focused on grade repetition in early schooling, data collection was limited to students aged five to eight years; students most likely to be in year levels Prep (Queensland's pre-schooling year) to Year 3, which are the officially recognised early childhood education years in Queensland state schools (QSA, 2006). Data was collected by DETE according to students' ages. Therefore, except for students aged five years who would be in a Prep class, the equation of student age to year level can only be approximated.

Descriptive statistics were used to highlight overall trends in grade repetition in the early years of schooling, and particularly in the Prep year. Data analysis focused initially on grade repetition rates for students aged five years in Queensland state schools, to identify trends in grade repetition for students in the year prior to school. Following an initial analysis of the data, three primary measures, through which boys and girls can be more reliably compared, were employed to analyse the overrepresentation and proportional discrepancy between these two groups of students. This was done through the calculation of a series of indexes which included the composition index, the risk index and the relative risk ratio (Graham, 2012). The composition index is the percentage of students within a category represented (e.g. composition index of repeated boys) and is calculated by dividing the number of repeated boys by the total number of students repeated in that category. The risk index is the percentage of students within a specific category and is calculated by dividing the number of students (e.g. repeated boys) by the total number of possible students in that category (e.g. boys). The risk indexes, used to compare the risk of being repeated between groups (boys and girls), is calculated by dividing the risk index of one group by another (e.g. the risk index for boys divided by the risk index for girls).

The study is limited to the collection of data groups that are currently the focus of attention for DETE. The data, therefore, does not include students who attend non-government schools in Queensland, nor does it include schools in other Australian states or territories. The study is also limited to the collection of data for groups that are the focus of the study, i.e. boys and girls aged five to eight years. The next section details the findings of the data on grade repetition in early schooling drawn from DETE.

Findings

The data highlights particular trends in grade repetition in early schooling. The trends included the percentage of repeated students aged five years, the percentage of repeated boys and girls aged five years, the risk of grade repetition for boys and girls aged five years and the grade repetition risk for boys and girls aged five to eight years. Findings related to each section will be presented in turn.

Repeated students aged five years

Table 1 shows the overall trend in grade repetition for the last 15 years in Queensland state schools. It shows the total number of students aged five years enrolled for each year from 1997 to 2012 along with the number of repeated students for each year. These numbers were used to calculate the percentage of repeated students for each year from 1997 to 2012. To readily view the overall trend in grade repetition, Figure 1 shows the percentage of repeated students aged five years in Queensland state schools from 1997 to 2012.

Students who are repeating a year level at age five would almost certainly be in Prep or Preschool, as it was called before 2007 (QSA, 2006). The percentage of repeated students aged five years steadily increased to 2006, almost doubled in 2007 with the introduction of the Prep year to replace Preschool in Queensland state schools, and has remained at an average of 1.1 per cent from 2008 to 2012.

Repeated boys and girls aged five years

Table 2 shows the total numbers of boys and girls aged five years enrolled in Queensland state schools, along with the numbers of repeated boys and girls for each year from 1997 to 2012. These numbers were used to calculate the percentage of repeated students. To readily view the trend in grade repetition, Figure 2 shows the percentage of repeated boys and girls aged five years in Queensland state schools for each year between 1997 and 2012.

Figure 2 clearly shows, that for each year between 1997 and 2012, a higher percentage of boys than girls aged five years were repeated in Queensland state schools. In most cases, the percentage of repeated boys was double the percentage of repeated girls regardless of whether the percentages increased or decreased.

Grade repetition risk for boys and girls aged five years

Tables 3 to 5 represent repeated boys and girls aged five years in Queensland state schools from 1997 to 2012. Table 3 shows that, while boys represented 52.13 per cent of the total state-wide enrolment of students aged five years, they represented 69.60 per cent of repeated students.

Table 4 shows composition indexes for repeated boys and girls aged five years in Queensland state schools from 1997 to 2012. In Table 4, the composition index percentages for repeated boys were higher than the composition index percentages for repeated girls for each year level (1997-2012) as well as the percentage of total enrolments for boys in Table 3.

Table 5 shows the relative risk ratios calculated from the risk ratios of repeated boys and girls aged five years in Queensland state schools from 1997 to 2012. It shows that, for each year from 1997 to 2012, boys aged five years were at greater risk of being repeated in Queensland state schools than girls aged five years.

Grade repetition risk for boys and girls aged five to eight years

Tables 6 to 8 represent repeated boys and girls aged five to eight years in Queensland state schools in 2012. Table 6 shows that, while boys represented 51.77 per cent of the total state-wide enrolment of students aged five to eight years, they represented 66.63 per cent of repeated students.

Table 7 shows the composition indexes for repeated boys and girls aged five to eight years in Queensland state schools in 2012. While the total composition index percentage for repeated boys at 66.63 per cent was approximately twice as high as the total composition index percentage for repeated girls (37.37 per cent), the composition index percentages decreased for boys and increased for girls with increasing age. However, the composition index percentages for boys were still higher than girls at each age level from five to eight years.

Table 8 shows the relative risk ratios calculated from the risk ratios of repeated boys and girls aged five to eight years in Queensland state schools in 2012. It shows that, as a group of students aged five to eight years, boys were at twice the risk of being repeated in Queensland state schools in 2012 than girls. Further, the relative risk ratios decreased at each age level for boys from five to eight years. By eight years, the relative risk for boys being repeated was the same as girls.

The next section discusses the findings of the data set.

Discussion

Figure 1 and Table 1 show that the percentage of repeated students aged five years more than doubled from 0.72 per cent in 1997 to 1.72 per cent in 2006. In 2007, it dramatically increased to 2.97 per cent, after which, in 2008, it declined just as dramatically to almost a third at 1.1 per cent. It has remained at around this level until 2012. These trends may be explained in several ways.

The gradual increase in grade repetition from 1997 to 2006 may be the result of increasing concerns by early childhood educators regarding accountability and the need for children to have particular 'school-ready' attributes (ACARA, 2013). The association between increases in accountability for educators and grade repetition rates has also been similarly noted in the United States (Reback, 2008).

The dramatic rise in 2007 and subsequent decline in 2008 of repeated students, however, may be related to other factors. The sharp rise in repeated students in 2007 may be connected to the introduction, by DETE, of a full-time pre-schooling year known as the Preparatory or 'Prep' year in 2007, requiring children to be six months older. As some parents voiced concerns over their children's readiness for school with the new requirement, the education department in Queensland at the time, the Department of Education, Training and the Arts (DETA), offered parents a 'once off' opportunity to repeat their child in the first Prep year in 2007 to alleviate their concerns (Townsville North and West District Office, DETA, Education Queensland, 2006). Also, with the introduction of the National Assessment Program (NAP) by the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA, 2014), some early childhood educators' concerns over children's readiness for school may have been heightened, leading to recommendations that students considered 'unready' for school repeat the new Prep year. For whichever reason, the dramatic increase in repeated students aged five years in 2007 indicates that, when offered the opportunity to repeat their child in Prep, many parents, who have the final say in whether their child repeats preschool or not, availed themselves of the opportunity for their child to have a second year at preschool to ensure their child was 'school-ready'. When the emphasis is on school readiness, children who are considered 'not ready', either by parents or teachers, are more likely to be repeated. In contrast, when the emphasis is on transition programs that focus on children's strengths rather than their need to have particular 'school-ready' attributes (DETE, 2014; Dockett & Perry, 2013), fewer children are likely to repeat preschool.

The fall in grade repetition rates since 2008 may be explained by the introduction of several national policies and initiatives to assist early childhood educators, communities and parents in young children's successful transition to school. Since 2009, the Australian Early Development Instrument (AEDI), renamed the Australian Early Development Census (AEDC) in 2014 (AEDC, 2014), has provided data on children's readiness for school. The AEDI provides data on a community's children in five key areas of early childhood development, enabling early childhood educators to identify whether children in particular communities are on track when compared to other children in Australia, to provide support in preparing them for school (CCCH, 2007). Similarly, the introduction of the Early Years Learning Framework(EYLF) in 2009 (DEEWR, 2009), along with the National Quality Framework (DEEWR, 2011), may have further assisted in providing universal access to, and raising the quality of, Australian early education and care (ACECQA, 2012). This may then have better prepared children for school and decreased the need for them to repeat preschool. Finally, the development of the Australian Curriculum and its Foundation Year (ACARA, 2010) may have also assisted children in their transition to school, thus decreasing the need for them to repeat preschool. Education Queensland's emphasis on children's transition to school (DETE, 2014) rather than on being 'ready' for school may further decrease the need for children to be repeated at preschool.

Following the introduction of the Prep year in 2007, there has been an average of 1.1 per cent of students aged five years repeated in Queensland state schools from 2008 to 2012. While students aged five years would almost certainly be in the Prep year, students aged six years may also be repeating the Prep year, or they may be repeating Year 1. As DETE only collects repeating data on students' ages, not year levels, it cannot be precisely determined how many students repeat Prep. As the percentage of repeated students aged six years averaged 0.8 per cent between 2008 and 2012, and only some of these students were repeating Prep, it is still likely that the overall percentage of students repeated in the year prior to school has been reduced since the introduction of the Prep year. Further, as DETE has not made any recent policy changes regarding grade repetition, it is possible that the full-time Prep year has contributed, along with the various national policy changes and curriculum initiatives (ACECQA, 2012; AEDC, 2014; DEEWR, 2009; DEEWR, 2011) to better preparing children for school and reducing grade repetition. As research suggests (Hughes et al., 2010; Jimerson, 2004; McGrath, 2006), and as professional and educational bodies advise (NAECSSDE, 2000; NAEYC, 2009; NASP, 2011), high-quality pre-schooling is a more effective alternative to grade repetition in preparing children for school. Thus, the introduction of the full-time Prep year, along with the EYLF in 2009 and the National Quality Standard in 2012, may have collectively contributed to raising the quality of Australian children's early education (ACECQA, 2012), thus decreasing the need for them to repeat preschool.

While the introduction of the Prep year may have reduced the overall percentage of repeated students in Queensland state schools, it has not reduced the ratio of repeated boys to girls in Prep. For the years between 1997 and 2012, the percentage of repeated boys remained at approximately double the percentage of repeated girls. These findings are consistent with other studies which show that boys are more likely to be repeated than girls at the preschool level (Cannon & Lipscomb, 2011; Hong & Raudenbush, 2005). For each year from 1997 to 2012, boys aged five years were at greater risk of being repeated than girls aged five years (see Tables 3 to 5). The total risk ratio shows that for students aged five years, boys were at twice the risk of being repeated as girls.

However, a slightly different trend appears in Tables 6 to 8. These show the risk of boys being repeated declined after age five. Although at age five boys were at more than twice the risk of being repeated as girls, by age eight, boys and girls were at a similar risk of being repeated. One explanation for this may relate to the view held by some parents and teachers that preschool age boys are often 'less ready' for school than girls (Hong & Yu, 2006) because they do not display particular school-ready attributes, such as cooperation, obedience and diligence more often displayed by girls (Connolly, 2004). Thus, when the focus is on children to have particular behavioural or academic attributes, such children may be positioned as 'unready' for school (Ackerman & Barnett, 2005) and be repeated at preschool. Instead, the more recent emphasis on transition programs that provide culturally and contextually relevant experiences focusing on relationship building (DETE, 2014; Dockett & Perry, 2013) and children's strengths, rather than on their need to have particular 'school-ready' attributes, better prepares children for school.

Conclusion

In considering the findings of this research, the issue of 'readiness', which may lead to grade repetition, is problematic and needs to be addressed. Although broad definitions for readiness have been offered (Ackerman & Barnett, 2005), Dockett and Perry (2013) warn that such definitions more often 'focus on children's readiness' rather than on schools or communities (p. 169). Further, readiness definitions more often incorporate a narrow focus on academic skills or behaviours. This is not only contrary to the holistic philosophy of early childhood education (DEEWR, 2009; Dockett & Perry, 2013; QSA, 2006) but may also result in a greater emphasis on a more academic curriculum in the early years of schooling (Dockett & Perry, 2013). It is, therefore, suggested that rather than focusing on 'readiness', which has the potential to position some children or groups of children as 'unready' and thus repeat preschool, a broader concept of 'transition', which focuses on children's strengths and provides contextually and culturally relevant programs that build continuity of children's experiences from birth through to early schooling, be utilised instead (DETE, 2013b; DETE, 2014; Dockett & Perry, 2013). Rather than just focusing on children commencing school through partnerships with all stakeholders including parents, early childhood educators and the community, transition programs can be developed over extended periods of time (DETE, 2014; Dockett & Perry, 2013). Thus, broader conceptualisations of readiness that recognise the diversity of children's experiences and backgrounds, and that include all stakeholders in developing transition programs, may reduce the number of children positioned as unready for school and, thus, repeated at preschool.

Finally, in reviewing the findings of the study, the percentages of repeated students in early schooling were not high and have declined since the full-time Prep year was introduced in Queensland in 2007. Along with a range of national policy and curriculum changes (ACECQA, 2012; AEDC, 2014; DEEWR, 2009; DEEWR, 2011), this may have better assisted children's successful transition to school. As well as these policy and curriculum changes, the recent transition policies in Queensland (DETE, 2013b; DETE, 2014) are less likely to require children to have particular 'school-ready' attributes, positioning some groups of children such as boys as 'unready' for school and repeated at preschool. Nevertheless, the most recent data from DETE shows that in 2012, 944 students aged five to eight years were repeated in Queensland state schools. This means that 944 students were offered a practice which--although still supported by some parents and early childhood educators--research over several decades has argued to be ineffective (Cannon & Lipscomb, 2011; Hong, & Raudenbush, 2005; Hong & Yu, 2006; Hughes et al., 2010; Jimerson, 2001, 2004; McGrath, 2006) and possibly harmful (Jimerson, 2001, 2004). Thus, when the focus is on children's transition to school where 'children's strengths and needs', and 'opportunities and barriers to effective transitions' are identified (DETE, 2014, p. 9), requiring children to have particular 'school-ready' attributes that may see them repeating preschool may diminish.

Robyn Anderson

James Cook University

References

Ackerman, D. J., & Barnett, W. S. (2005). Prepared for Kindergarten: What does 'readiness' mean? National Institute for Early Education Research Policy Report. Retrieved 15 January, 2015, from http://nieer. org/resources/policyreports/report5.pdf

Alloway, N. (1995). Foundation stones: The construction of gender in early childhood. Carlton, VIC: Curriculum Corporation.

Anderson, R. (2008). Ready, set, don't go: Pre-school retention practices that restrict children's access to school. (Unpublished PhD dissertation). James Cook University of North Queensland, Townsville, Queensland, Australia.

Australian Children's Education and Care Quality Authority (ACECQA). (2012). National Quality Framework. Retrieved 15 January, 2015, from www.acecqa.gov.au/national-quality-framework.

Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA). (2010). Australian curriculum. Retrieved 16 January, 2015, from www.australiancurriculum.edu.au.

Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA). (2013). National report for 2013. Retrieved 16 January, 2015, from www.nap.edu.au/results-and-reports/national-reports.html.

Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA). (2014). National assessment program. Retrieved 16 January, 2015, from www.nap.edu.au/about/about-acara.html.

Australian Early Development Census (AEDC). (2014). About the AEDC. Retrieved 16 January, 2015, from www.aedc.gov.au/ researchers.

Australian Research Alliance for Children and Youth (ARACY). (2007). School readiness. Retrieved 16 January, 2015, from www.aracy.org. au/AM/Common/pdf/Topical%20Papers/Readiness.pdf.

Brophy, J. (2006). Grade repetition. Paris, France/Brussels, Belgium: International Academy of Education/International Institute for Educational Planning.

Cannon, J. S., & Lipscomb, S. (2011). Early grade retention and student success evidence from Los Angeles. Retrieved 12 January, 2015, from www.ppic.org/content/pubs/report/R_311JCR.pdf.

Centre for Community Child Health (CCCH). (2007). CCCH research & projects: Development and behaviour theme. Retrieved 16 January, 2015, from www.rch.org.au/ccch/research/index.cfm?doc_id=8710.

Childs, G., & McKay, M. (2001). The influence of family background on teachers' ratings of children starting school. Australian Journal of Psychology, 49(1), 33-41.

Connolly, P. (2004). Boys and schooling in the early years. London, UK: Routledge Falmer.

Davies, B. (1989). Frogs and snails and feminist tales: Preschool children and gender. Sydney, NSW: Allen & Unwin.

Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR). (2009). Belonging, Being & Becoming: The Early Years Learning Framework for Australia. Retrieved 12 January, 2015, from http://docs.education.gov.au/svstem/flles/doc/other/belonging being and becoming the early years learning framework for australia.pdf.

Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR). (2011). National Quality Framework. Retrieved 15 January, 2015, from https://education.gov.au/legislation-ratings-and-standardsinformation-national-quality-framework.

Department of Education, Training and Employment (DETE). (2013a). Corporate data warehouse: Grade repetition. Brisbane, QLD: DETE.

Department of Education, Training and Employment (DETE). (2013b). Successful transitions. Retrieved 16 January, 2015, from http://deta. qld.gov.au/earlychildhood/about/transitions.html.

Department of Education, Training and Employment (DETE). (2014). Supporting successful transitions: School decision-making tool. Retrieved 16 January, 2015, from http://deta.qld.gov.au/earlychildhood/ pdfs/transition-to-school-decision-making-tool.pdf.

Dockett, S., & Perry, B. (2007). Transitions to school: Perceptions, expectations, experiences. Sydney, NSW: University of New South Wales Press.

Dockett, S., & Perry, B. (2013). Trends and tensions: Australian and international research about starting school. International Journal of Early Years Education, 21(2-3), 163-177.

Eivers, A. R., Brendgen, M., & Borge, A. I. H. (2010). Stability and change in prosocial and antisocial behaviour across the transition to school: Teacher and peer perspectives. Early Education and Development, 21(6), 843-864. doi: 10.1080/10409280903390684

Graham, L. J. (2012). Disproportionate over-representation of Indigenous students in New South Wales government special schools. Cambridge Journal of Education, 41(4), 163-176.

Hong, G., & Raudenbush, S. (2005). Effects of kindergarten retention policy on children's cognitive growth in reading and mathematics. Education Evaluation and Policy Analysis, 27(3), 205-224.

Hong, G., & Yu, B. (2006). Kindergarten retention and children's cognitive growth in reading and mathematics: Four years of follow-up. Paper presented at the Public Policies and Child Well-Being Conference, Evergreen Marriott Conference Centre, Stone Mountain Park, Atlanta, GA, May 15-16, 2006.

Hughes, J. N., Chen, Q., Thoemmes, F, & Kwok, O. (2010). An investigation of the relationship between retention in flrst grade and performance on high stakes test in 3rd grade. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, 32, 166-182.

Jimerson, S. R. (2001). A synthesis of grade retention research: Looking backward and moving forward. California School Psychologist, 6, 47-59.

Jimerson, S. R. (2004). Is grade retention educational malpractice? Empirical evidence from meta-analyses examining the efficacy of grade retention. In H. J. Walberg, A. C. Reynolds & M. C. Wang (Eds.), Can unlike students learn together?: Grade retention, tracking and grouping (pp. 71-96). Greenwich, CT: Information Age Publishing.

McGrath, H. (2006). To repeat, or not to repeat. WAPPA words (Western Australia Primary Principals' Association, Perth), 26(2), 39-46.

Meisels, S. J. (1999). Assessing readiness. In R. C. Pianta & M. J. Cox (Eds.), The transition to kindergarten (pp. 39-66). Baltimore, MD: Paul H. Brookes.

Mortenson, T. (2006). Post-secondary opportunity. Retrieved 16 January, 2015, from www.postsecondary.org/archives.

National Association of Early Childhood Specialists in State Departments of Education (NAECSSDE). (2000). Still unacceptable trends in kindergarten entry and placement: NAECS/SDE position paper. Retrieved 16 January, 2015, from www.naeyc.org/flles/naeyc/ flle/positions/Psunacc.pdf.

National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). (2009). Developmentally appropriate practice in early childhood programs serving children from birth through age 8. Retrieved 16 January, 2015, from www.naeyc.org/files/naeyc/file/positions/ position%20statement%20Web.pdf.

National Association of School Psychologists (NASP). (2011). NASP Position statement on student grade retention and social promotion. Retrieved 16 January, 2015, from www.nasponline.ora/ about nasp/positionpapers/GradeRetentionandSocialPromotion.pdf.

Queensland Studies Authority (QSA). (2006). Early Years Curriculum Guidelines. Retrieved 16 January, 2015, from www.qcaa.qld.edu.au/ downloads/p_10/ey_cg_06.pdfl

Reback, R. (2008). Teaching to the rating: School accountability and the distribution of student achievement. Journal of Public Economics, 92(5-6), 1394-1415.

Townsville North and West District Office, Department of Education, Training and the Arts (DETA), Education Queensland. (personal communication, 14 October, 2006). Tele-conference regarding the introduction of the Prep year in 2007.

United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). (2005). Education for all (EFA): Global monitoring report. Retrieved 16 January, 2015, from http://portal.unesco.org/education/en/ ev.phpURL_ID=35313&URL_DO=DO_TOPIC&URL_SECTION=201. html.

Xia, N., & Kirby, S. N. (2009). Retaining students in grade: A literature review of the effects of retention on students' academic and non-academic outcomes. Santa Monica, CA: RAND Corporation. Retrieved 12 January, 2015, from www.rand.org/content/dam/rand/ pubs/technical_reports/2009/RAND_TR678.pdf.
Table 1. Total numbers; numbers repeated
and percentage of students aged five years
repeated in Queensland state schools,
1997-2012 (DETE, 2013a)

Year   Total     Number    % repeated
       number   repeated

1997   35 625     262         0.74
1998   36 920     401         1.09
1999   37 139     580         1.56
2000   37 487     581         1.55
2001   36 947     551         1.49
2002   36 607     591         1.61
2003   38 104     642         1.68
2004   38 389     661         1.72
2005   38 822     613         1.58
2006   38 905     665         1.71
2007   24 579     729         2.97
2008   37 759     410         1.1
2009   39 039     365         0.9
2010   40 462     447         1.1
2011   42 571     502         1.2
2012   44 251     505         1.1

Table 2. Total numbers; numbers repeated and percentage of students,
boys and girls aged five years, Queensland state schools, 1997-2012
(DETE, 2013a)

Year   Total     Number      % of     Total     Number      % of
       number      of      repeated   number      of      repeated
         of     repeated     boys       of     repeated    girls
        boys      boys                girls     girls

1997   18 230     159        0.87     17 395     103        0.59
1998   18 970     274        1.44     17 950     127        0.71
1999   19 141     408        2.14     17 998     172        0.96
2000   19 419     390        2.01     18 068     191        1.06
2001   19 043     387        2.03     17 884     164        0.92
2002   18 708     412        2.20     17 899     179        1.00
2003   20 140     469        2.33     17 964     173        0.96
2004   20 516     461        2.25     17 873     200        1.12
2005   20 805     441        2.12     18 017     172        0.95
2006   20 872     459        2.20     18 033     206        1.14
2007   13 837     499        3.61     10 742     230        2.14
2008   19 403     283        1.50     18 356     127        0.70
2009   19 932     273        1.40     19 107      92        0.50
2010   20 810     326        1.60     19 652     121        0.60
2011   21 992     332        1.50     20 649     170        0.80
2012   22 912     357        1.60     21 339     148        0.70

Table 3. Repeated students; boys and girls aged five years repeated
in Queensland state schools, 1997-2012

Repeating         Total enrolments           Students repeated
demographics
for students
aged five
years,
1997-2012

                  N      % of total    N     Statewide    Statewide
                         enrolment             risk      composition
                                              index %      index %

Boys           314 660     52.13      5931     1.88         69.60
Girls          288 926     47.87      2591     0.89         30.40
Total          603 586      100       8522     1.41          100

Table 4. Composition indexes of repeated students; boys
and girls aged five years in Queensland state schools,
1997-2012

Years        Total repeated      All students aged
repeated                            five years

            N     Composition       Boys
                    index %

                                 N     Composition
                                         index %

1997       262       3.09       159       60.84
1998       401       4.71       274       68.33
1999       580       6.82       408       70.34
2000       581       6.83       390       67.13
2001       551       6.48       387       70.24
2002       591       6.95       412       69.71
2003       642       7.55       469       73.05
2004       661       7.77       461       69.74
2005       613       7.21       441       71.94
2006       665       7.82       459       69.02
2007       729       8.57       499       68.45
2008       410       4.82       283       69.02
2009       365       4.29       273       74.79
2010       447       5.25       326       72.93
2011       502       5.90       332       66.14
2012       505       5.94       357       70.69
Total      8505       100       5930      69.73

Years       All students aged
repeated       five years

               Girls

            N     Composition
                    index %

1997       103       39.16
1998       127       31.67
1999       172       29.66
2000       191       32.87
2001       164       29.76
2002       179       30.29
2003       173       26.95
2004       200       30.26
2005       172       28.06
2006       206       30.98
2007       230       31.55
2008       127       30.98
2009        92       25.21
2010       121       27.07
2011       170       33.86
2012       148       29.31
Total      2575      30.27

Table 5. Relative risk ratios of repeated students;
boys and girls aged five years in Queensland state
schools, 1997-2012

Years      All students   Relative
repeated     aged five      risk
           Risk index %   ratio %

           Boys   Girls

1997       0.05   0.03      1.7
1998       0.09   0.04      2.2
1999       0.13   0.06      2.2
2000       0.12   0.07      1.7
2001       0.12   0.06      2.0
2002       0.13   0.06      2.2
2003       0.15   0.06      2.5
2004       0.15   0.07      2.1
2005       0.14   0.06      2.3
2006       0.14   0.07      2.0
2007       0.14   0.08      1.7
2008       0.09   0.04      2.2
2009       0.09   0.03      3.0
2010       0.10   0.04      2.5
2011       0.10   0.06      1.6
2012       0.11   0.05      2.2
Total      1.85   0.88      2.1

Table 6. Repeated students; boys and girls aged five to eight
years in Queensland state schools, 2012

Repeating         Total enrolments         Students repeated
demographics
for students
aged 5-8
years, 2009

                  N      % of total    N    Statewide    Statewide
                         enrolment            risk      composition
                                             index %      index %

Boys           89 181      51.77      629     0.70         66.63
Girls          83 074      48.23      315     0.38         33.37
Total          172 255      100       944     0.77          100

Table 7. Composition indexes of repeated students; boys and girls
aged five to eight years in Queensland state schools, 2012

Students    Total repeated           Boys               Girls
aged
5-8
years

            N    Composition    N    Composition    N    Composition
                   index %             index %             index %

5 years    505      53.50      357      70.69      148      29.31
6 years    235      24.89      149      63.40       86      36.60
7 years    126      13.35       78      61.90       48      38.10
8 years     78       8.26       45      57.69       33      42.31
Total      944       100       629      66.63      315      33.37

Table 8. Relative risk ratios calculated from the risk ratios
of repeated boys and girls aged five to eight years in
Queensland state schools, 2012

Students aged   Boys' risk   Girls' risk   Relative risk
5-8 years        index %       index %        ratio %

5 years            0.40         0.18           2.20
6 years            0.17         0.10           1.70
7 years            0.09         0.06           1.50
8 years            0.05         0.05           1.00
Total              0.71         0.34           2.09

Figure 1. Percentage of students aged
five years repeated in Queensland state
schools, 1997-2012 (DETE, 2013a)

1997   0.74
1998   1.09
1999   1.56
2000   1.55
2001   1.49
2002   1.61
2003   1.68
2004   1.72
2005   1.58
2006   1.72
2007   2.97
2008   1.1
2009   0.9
2010   1.1
2011   1.2
2012   1.1

Note: Table made from bar graph.

Figure 2. Percentage of girls/boys aged
five years repeated in Queensland state
schools, 1997-2012 (DETE, 2013a)

       Boys   Girls

1997   0.71   0.57
1998   1.44   0.87
1999   2.14   0.96
2000   2.01   1.06
2001   2.03   0.92
2002   2.2
2003   2.33   0.96
2004   2.25   1.12
2005   2.12   0.95
2006   3.61   1.14
2007   2.34   0.7
2008   1.5    0.5
2009   1.4    0.6
2010   1.6    0.6
2011   1.5    0.8
2012   1.6    0.7

Note: Table made from line graph.
COPYRIGHT 2015 Early Childhood Australia Inc. (ECA)
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2015 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Author:Anderson, Robyn
Publication:Australasian Journal of Early Childhood
Geographic Code:8AUST
Date:Dec 1, 2015
Words:6923
Previous Article:The sleeping elephant in the room: practices and policies regarding sleep/rest time in early childhood education and care.
Next Article:Tolerance of food intolerance: a sociocultural study of parent perceptions on food, behaviour and learning in children aged between two and 14.
Topics:

Terms of use | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2020 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters