A ‘better’ education: An examination of the utility of boarding school for Indigenous secondary students in Western Australia
SAGE Publications Ltd
Over the past 10 years, great improvements have been observed in the Year 12 attainment rate of Indigenous Australians. This has been due, in part, to government funding of programmes aimed at improving education opportunity for Indigenous Australian students, including funding of scholarships for students from remote areas to attend boarding schools. The current qualitative study investigated the perspectives of school leaders and Indigenous secondary students across the Australian state of Western Australia, on the utility and impact of this boarding provision. Students identified that boarding education allowed them to achieve a dual goal of meaningful career pathways and improved health outcomes, although they faced challenges unique to the Indigenous boarding school experience in terms of student self-concept, racism, homesickness and post-school transitions.