Policy Analysis and Program Evaluation

Publication Date



Prepared for the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations by the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER)


The objective of the Sporting Chance Program is to encourage improved educational outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students (boys and girls) using sport and recreation. Such outcomes may include an increase in school attendance, strengthened engagement with school and improved attitudes to schooling, improved achievement in learning, increased retention to Year 12 or its vocational equivalent and greater parental and community involvement with the school and students’ schooling. The program comprises two elements:

• School-based Sports Academies (Academies) for secondary school students; and

• Education Engagement Strategies (EES) for both primary and secondary school students.

The purpose of the research is to evaluate the extent to which the Sporting Chance Program has achieved its objective. The findings from the evaluation support the conclusion that the Sporting Chance Program is meeting its objective, although the activities that are offered are broader than ‘sport and recreation’.

More than 90 per cent of the 1,012 students surveyed and interviewed as part of the evaluation reported a positive attitude toward their schooling, particularly in relation to their attitudes to school, self-identity, sense of pride in being Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and self-efficacy as learners.