In 2006, an OECD report noted that Australia has one of the highest gaps between high and low performing students, with the low performing students coming largely from low SES backgrounds. In conjunction with the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER), The Smith Family has been researching the challenges faced by Learning for Life students, all from low SES backgrounds, in making successful post-school transitions. Last year's report flagged how important it would be to tap into the family context more deeply to assess the degree and type of influence that families were having on the decision making processes of Learning for Life students. 'Australian young people: their stories, their families and post-school plans' makes a distinctive contribution to our understanding of the different ways that families support post-school transitions. It is the first time that we have had the benefit of collecting data from in-depth interviews with Learning for Life students and members of their families. The stories derived from the interview process provide insights into the worlds and family contexts of our students and also about the types of support they need to build on their strengths in achieving the post-school goals that they are setting for themselves.
Bryce, Jennifer; Anderson, Michelle; Frigo, Tracey; and McKenzie, Phillip, "Australian Young People : Their Stories, Their Families And Post School Plans" (2007).