You are here

Training our teams to improve school attendance

Training our teams to improve school attendance

29 Oct 2015
Article
Transcript

In the Barkly region, everyone agrees that building relationships with families is the key to higher school attendance.

To support the Australian Government’s Remote School Attendance Strategy (RSAS), school attendance teams from across the Northern Territory’s Barkly region came together in Tennant Creek to come up with ways to boost school attendance in their local communities.

Run by the National Employment Services Association (NESA), the training session supplied the team members with more skills and ideas to deal with students with poor attendance records. School Attendance Supervisor Steven Lawton said everyone agreed that good communication skills and relationships with principals, teachers and families were crucial if their community was to achieve higher school attendance.

“If we can’t communicate properly nothing gets done so it’s good to have us all in the same place getting more skills and understanding so we can do our job better,” Steven said.

While RSAS team members already have good relationships within their own communities, CEO of Papulu Apparr-Kari Aboriginal Corporation (PAK), Karan Hayward, believes that the training is about helping team members with practical tools.  

“The training covers communication, building as a team, little bits and pieces that will empower my mob to encourage kids to go to school,” Karan said.

“It’s all about making the whole community responsible for getting kids to school everyday.”

NESA’s Marc Daley, who has run training workshops in different communities, has seen a common theme appear.

“I think there’s one goal in mind,” Marc said.

“Everybody recognises that education and cultural knowledge is the key for communities. Education and attendance has become a real discussion point happening across a lot of Aboriginal communities and it’s really good to see that everybody is working together for the future of their communities,” he said.

As part of the training NESA provides ongoing support through online courses, mentoring and coaching.

Watch our video here, or see it on YouTube.

Karan Hayward: CEO of Papulu Apparr-Kari Aboriginal Corporation

The training covers communication, building as a team, little bits and pieces that kind of will empower my mob to kind of move ahead within the job that they’re doing and into the future. 

Steven Lawton: School Attendance Supervisor

We’re doing training just to help us out, give us more skills in the job that we need to do, give us more understanding and stuff on how we can go about doing stuff and all of that. Because nothing gets done if we can’t communicate properly so it’s pretty good to have us all being on the same track and everything just goes so much smoother, so much easier.

Marc Daley: NESA Trainer

It’s all about relationships, everything we do in life I believe it’s about good relationships. And what we try and advocate is first and foremost, if you form a good relationship with principals or even with the teachers, the families in the community, and the kids, everything else will fall into place after that. And it’s actually proof actions speak louder than words here with the mob in Tennant.   They’ve gone from being the  like in the bottom sort of realm but now they’re up the top in one of the top five and all that kind of stuff, so everybody in the whole organisation and the whole team should really feel very proud of themselves because they have done, and they are doing, awesome work. We’re just here to share a bit of information to try and help with the journey, so to speak.

Selina Grant: School Attendance Officer

Lets you communicate with the parents, let them know that school is important for the kids and to have them get a better start in life.  School every day is important, don’t miss a day.

Marc Daley: NESA Trainer

I think there’s one goal in mind.  Everybody has recognised that education is the key as well as our knowledge with culture.  Education has become a real pin point and real vital discussion that’s happening across a lot of Aboriginal communities and it’s really good to see that everybody’s working together. 

Gary Marshall: Student Attendance Officer

In this training we learn about teamwork and other skills.

Marc Daley: NESA Trainer

Basic training is just offering all the participants some tools, some information, some ideas around how to lift the numbers with the school attendance, around relationship building between the RSAS team, and as well as the principals and the schools. 

Tyson George: PACE Officer

Education is the main thing, go out and see the world.  That’s what it’s all about.

Gary Marshall: Student Attendance Officer

You got that knowledge and you can pass it down to your next generation.

Selina Grant: School Attendance Officer

Get kids to school, parents are more understanding now that we’ve been, we come a long way since we first started and that’s my understanding in getting their kids to school.

Karan Hayward: CEO of Papulu Apparr-kari Aboriginal Corporation

It’s all about making the whole community responsible for getting kids to school every day.

Anita Mayers: General Manager of Papulu Apparr-kari Aboriginal Corporation

Very proud of the work they’ve done and just the, you know, coming together, you know cos it’s really only just once or twice a year that we get together in one group like this and its training time, like as we are now and just to get them all together and they all get on, it’s team work.

Karan Hayward: CEO of Papulu Apparr-kari Aboriginal Corporation

This is a whole community approach.

Find out more

A good education is essential for a good future.  Getting children to school, improving education outcomes and supporting families to give their children the best start in life is a major priority for the Australian Government.

The Remote School Attendance Strategy is about working together with schools, families, parents, and community organisations to ensure all children go to school every day. 

To learn more about the training visit the RSAS Training Strategy website.