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Minister Scullion: Remote School Attendance Strategy rolled out to additional 30 schools
The Australian Government has finalised most of the 30 schools to be included in the expansion of the Remote School Attendance Strategy from Term 2, 2014.
Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Nigel Scullion, said that under stage two of the strategy, an additional 210 School Attendance Officers and 60 School Attendance Supervisors would be employed to bolster attendance rates in a further 30 schools.
“Fifteen of the new schools will be in the Northern Territory, seven in Queensland and three in Western Australia and we are finalising the schools with other jurisdictions,” Minister Scullion said.
“These schools were identified following consultation with state and territory governments. The majority of them have attendance rates of less than 80 per cent.”
School Attendance Officers and Supervisors are already working in more than 40 schools across Australia. Some schools in the Northern Territory have reported increases in attendance of nearly 20 percentage points since the strategy was implemented at the start of school this year.
“Early data from schools involved in the scheme’s first stage show encouraging signs of increased school attendance – with more than 600 more children in school this year compared to last year.
“The challenge now is to maintain these gains and work with the additional communities to ensure they too, benefit from increased school attendance. In some communities there have been challenges and our staff are working closely with those communities to ensure we get children to school.
“Getting children to school is the Government’s No.1 priority in Indigenous affairs and it is vital children attend school every day – no excuses.
“The strategy aims to break the cycle of non-attendance and ensure parents and carers take responsibility for educating their children.
“School Attendance Officers work to increase school attendance through a variety of measures, including walking or driving children to school, helping with school lunch preparation and organising uniforms.
“The officers also work within their communities to promote the benefits of regular school attendance.”
The Government is investing a further $18.1 million under the strategy’s second phase. Total Government funding for the strategy now stands at $46.5 million.