A case study report produced by the O’Brien Rich Research Group that focused on six Remote School Attendance Strategy (RSAS) schools found that the strategy’s adaptability was a key to its success.
The report, which focused on sites in the Northern Territory, Queensland, Western Australia and South Australia, found that communities were able to adapt the Australian Government strategy to suit local conditions.
Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Nigel Scullion, said the report highlighted the ways the RSAS was helping to improve school attendance.
“The RSAS model was working well in all of the six schools that were the focus of the report, with half of the schools experiencing attendance rate increases of at least 5 percentage points,” Minister Scullion said.
“The RSAS works because it is adaptable. It supports local people to test approaches and it creates relationships between the community and school. It puts in place strategies that deal with the issues communities are facing on the ground.
“This report has shown that it is about making policies work for communities, rather than the other way round. Not only does RSAS help people get skills while working on the strategy, but case studies show that RSAS workers are uniquely placed to use local knowledge and help keep families engaged.
“The most important benefit of the RSAS is that we are helping to provide kids with a decent education. We know that improving school attendance helps children to start life on an equal footing, opening up employment and higher education opportunities later in life.”
Minister Scullion said the findings contained in the report would inform future policy development and implementation.
“We now know more about how and why RSAS is working, and this will assist local staff and the Government to help continue getting kids to school,” he said.
The report, Case Study Research for the Remote School Attendance Strategy, is available on the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet website.