Focusing on how frequently Indigenous status changes across Tasmanian government school enrolment records, this paper investigates the most appropriate decision rules or 'algorithm' to determine Indigenous status for use in analysis and reporting.
The purpose of this feasibility study is to investigate the consistency of the reporting of Indigenous status across time, and where Indigenous status changes over time, investigating the most appropriate decision rules or ‘algorithm’ to determine Indigenous status for use in analysis and reporting. In particular, the study looks at how frequently Indigenous status changes across Tasmanian government school enrolment records and whether analysis results change using different Indigenous status algorithms. It also examines the strengths and weaknesses of the different algorithms.
Results of the analysis found that the reporting of Indigenous status across time and within years (where a student has multiple enrolments in one year) is very consistent within Tasmanian government schools enrolments data. Overall, the different algorithms for choosing Indigenous status (where it differs over time) all produced very similar results and each algorithm would be suitable for use, depending on the research task. However, the ‘majority’ algorithm produced the most consistent results and has the advantage of taking into account more than one year of data.