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Do schools influence student engagement in the high school years?

Students Schools School choice Australia

The report looks at whether school characteristics can influence the emotional and cognitive engagement of 15-year-olds with school. It finds that at age 15 school characteristics, such as school sector and demographics, resourcing, competition and academic orientation, school leadership and teacher quality, and overall school climate, have very little impact on engagement levels. School characteristics matter even less for students who are at risk of early school leaving. The take home message is that, in terms of school engagement, at age 15 the die is cast. It is premature to conclude, however, that school characteristics have no bearing on student engagement in general. It is very possible that the impact of school factors on students’ engagement levels occurs at a younger age.

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