report cover

Keeping young people engaged with their education is a priority. It requires investment by governments, communities and families to resource and support young people’s ongoing participation in school, and to ensure school is rewarding and inspiring for all children and young people.

Children and young people’s overall wellbeing is inextricably linked to their life at school and their opportunities for participation in school life. These experiences impact their sense of self, their engagement in education, and their feelings of inclusion and potential.

Whilst many South Australian schools are positive environments that offer children and young people a sense of belonging, connectivity, purpose and wellbeing, this is not the case for all children and young people.

Feeling connected to school and having positive relationships with teachers and peers becomes more difficult as children get older, particularly around the transition from primary to secondary school. To respond effectively, schools must implement more student-focused and reward-based strategies that are designed to build better school engagement with young people during these significant years.

The purpose of this report is to bring the voices, experiences, and perspectives of Year 8, 9 and 10 students to the fore. By examining their insights into their experiences of school, and by listening to their ideas alongside the challenges they face during these years, we can begin to find ways to work with them to build their feelings of safety, trust, and wellbeing, which are essential to having a positive learning experience while at school.