- First national conference on remote school attendance held in Alice Springs, hosted by Coalition Government
- The $128.1 million Remote School Attendance Strategy (RSAS) operates in 78 locations, supporting approximately 14,500 students to attend school
More than 170 people will gather in Alice Springs today for the inaugural Remote School Attendance Strategy (RSAS) National Conference.
Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Nigel Scullion said that the conference will bring together RSAS staff, school principals and education experts to discuss how the hugely successful RSAS program can be delivered even more effectively for the 14,500 school children it supports to get to school and stay in school every day of the year.
“I’m proud to be part of a Coalition Government that is supporting local people to turn around many years of declining attendance in remote Indigenous communities. RSAS has proven that where you live does not mean you should expect or accept lesser outcomes. We must demand a high standard of education outcomes in Indigenous communities.
“This historic conference will see RSAS staff and educators sharing best practice strategies and knowledge to further boost attendance and improve educational outcomes in remote communities.
“RSAS is more than an education measure – it is saving young lives. We know attending school every day is the best possible early intervention and diversion measure to prevent Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth from being caught up in the justice system,” Minister Scullion said.
“RSAS has seen the greatest improvements in locations where everyone works together and I again call on state and territory governments, who are actually responsible for attendance, to increase their efforts and work with the local RSAS teams to meet the agreed 90% COAG school attendance target.
“Barriers to school attendance in remote communities are often complex and interconnected. Through the RSAS, locally designed actions have been utilised to attack the barriers to poor attendance. Since its establishment in 2014, the RSAS has resulted in an unprecedented focus on school attendance among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students, parents and educators in remote communities.
“The RSAS has also contributed to greater transparency and accountability through publicly available data on attendance, enrolment and working with schools to inform local strategies.
The RSAS employs 470 local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people nationwide. Through the RSAS, local people work with students, families and communities to develop and implement local approaches to increase attendance.
“Getting children to school every day remains one of the Coalition Government’s key priorities and I commend the conference attendees for their dedicated work. I look forward to working together to increase our efforts in 2018 – we can increase attendance more,” Minister Scullion said today.
The RSAS National Conference will be held in Alice Springs from 15 – 17 November 2017