The Remote School Attendance Strategy (RSAS) has entered its second year of getting children to go to school every day, with students at Gunbalanya School in the Northern Territory being the first to return to the classroom today.
Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Nigel Scullion was on hand to assist local School Attendance Officers at Gunbalanya do the morning school run to make sure children made their first day of school for 2015.
“I congratulate the school on its efforts to improve school attendance and for setting a positive example for other schools starting the new school year,” Minister Scullion said.
“I saw many encouraging signs at Gunbalanya today and the school community is excited about the innovative strategies they have developed and planned for the year ahead.
“At the end of Term 1 2013, Gunbalanya school had an average term 1 attendance rate of 55 per cent. By the end of Term 1 2014, the average term attendance rate had improved to 66 per cent – an improvement of 11 percentage points.
“Overall last year school attendance improved by 15 per cent in Northern Territory RSAS schools and 17 per cent in Queensland RSAS schools.
“This is a great start, but only the beginning, and I want to work with the schools to improve attendance this year.
“The RSAS is a community-driven strategy and this kind of improvement is only possible when all of us – schools, parents, families, RSAS teams and local organisations – work together to get children to school.
“A good education can lead to a good job and financial stability for individuals and their families, as well as a better future for the community.
“Congratulations to Gunbalanya on a good start to the year and keep working towards your vision for 100% attendance.”
More than 450 School Attendance Officers and more than 100 School Attendance Supervisors now operate in the 69 priority RSAS communities and 73 schools.
To help equip them with the skills they need to get children to school every day, a new training website by the National Employment Services Association (NESA) has been developed and introduced in 2015.
The website provides access to short online training courses, with easy access to other materials such as learning resources, activity templates and profiles of RSAS staff members.
The workers will also be offered face to face training through local forums and will have the option to complete accredited units that will count towards a formal qualification.
The NESA RSAS website is available at www.nesa-rsas.com.au.
Download media release:
2015-01-13 MR – SCULLION – RSAS returns for 2015.pdf