The Australian Government’s School Enrolment and Attendance Measure (SEAM) will be rolled out in the East Arnhem Land communities of Milingimbi, Galiwinku, Gapuwiyak, Nhulunbuy and Yirrkala at the start of Term 3, 2014.
Minister Scullion said the Australian Government is committed to improving education outcomes for children and SEAM is one of a range of initiatives designed to collectively improve and sustain enrolment and attendance in remote areas.
“Aboriginal people in the Northern Territory have been clear that they want their children to attend school regularly and that parents have a responsibility to help make this happen,” Minister Scullion said.
“SEAM provides support to encourage long-term and sustainable behavioural change by parents to identify and address obstacles in enrolling and keeping their kids at school.
“Under SEAM, every attempt is made to assist parents to get their children to school. As a last resort, if parents do not comply with their requirements and no special circumstances apply, a parent’s schooling requirement income support payment may be suspended.
“Community information sessions were held throughout East Arnhem Land in late May and early June to give communities an understanding of how SEAM works and to explain why it is important that kids go to school every day.
“On the day of the meeting in Gapuwiyak, the school broke its own attendance record. This suggests that just knowing SEAM was coming to the community was motivation for most parents to ensure their kids went to school.”
SEAM is already operating in the following Northern Territory communities: Groote Eylandt (Umbakumba, Angurugu, Alyangula), Katherine and Katherine Town Camps, Milyakburra, Ntaria (Hermannsburg), Numbulwar, Wadeye and Wallace Rockhole, Alice Springs, Yuendumu, Lajamanu, Ngukurr, Tennant Creek and Gunbalanya.
Minister Scullion said that SEAM is complemented by the Government’s new Remote School Attendance Strategy (RSAS) which, in partnership with providers and parents, operates in all of the new communities except Nhulunbuy.
“Attendance levels have significantly improved in Northern Territory schools where the RSAS has been operating since the beginning of this year.
Compared to 2013, the number of children attending RSAS schools in the NT is up nearly 17 per cent,” Minister Scullion said.
“Getting children to school is the Government’s highest priority for Indigenous children and their families.
“Going to school every day gives a child the best chance for a good start in life, opens up employment opportunities and helps the child to reach their potential.”
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2014-07-16 Minister Scullion new SEAM communities in the NT.pdf