Last year, Gallup surveyed 7000 students in Years 5-12 in 36 schools across six states.

The survey found that students become less engaged as they make their way through school and only 1 in 3 believe they will find a good job when they leave school. Gallup said this reflected a lack of hope.

Overall, the survey says that 72% of Year 5 students are engaged in school and this drops to 49% in Year 12 and yes, that’s the ones that stayed at school.

It’s up to you what weight you place in a relatively small survey, when compared to the population of Australia, but it might be insightful to consider these questions:

If you don’t have hope why bother engaging? What’s the point?

Why have nearly 30% of kids switched off school before turning 12 years old?

Should we be concerned that only about half of our Yr 12 students say they aren’t engaged in an age where they will inherit significant economic and environmental problems and challenges not of their making?

What does your school do to instill hope in your community? Is that part of your role? Why? Why not?

Now that the Federal Government has cut funds for Youth Connections and partnership brokers, how hard is your school willing to work to reach these kids?

Author: Dan Haesler is a teacher, consultant and speaker at the Mental Health & Wellbeing of Young People seminars. His website is: and he tweets at @danhaesler