“Early data from schools targeted by the Australian Government’s Remote Schools Attendance Strategy shows 604 more students are attending school compared to last year across three state/territories,” Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Nigel Scullion said today.
The Minister said the figure has been achieved across the Northern Territory, Western Australian and Queensland, based on data provided for the first three weeks of school.
“This is a great start to the Abbott Government’s Remote Schools Attendance Strategy (RSAS), showing attendance levels up by 14 per cent from the term 1 average for 2013 based on data from the Northern Territory, Western Australia and Queensland to the week ending 14th February 2014.
“This is a great start. We are just beginning and I’m working with my department to ensure we maintain the momentum of these early gains and build on them.
“In the Northern Territory, which has agreed to the public release of detailed data for the 17 Government schools covered by the strategy, attendance rates have risen by almost 20 percentage points in some schools.
“Whilst the other jurisdictions haven’t yet provided data which can be released publicly, I am absolutely convinced that the strategy is having a positive impact in the 40 communities.”
The Minister said that since the start of the first term this year, the $28.4 million RSAS has seen a total of 311 school attendance officers and supervisors working in communities.
“These workers, all of whom are local Indigenous people, are having a real impact on school attendance,” the Minister said.
“I know from my discussions with leaders in places like Yuendumu and Galiwin’ku, communities are taking on responsibility to get their children to school. It’s marvellous what you can do if there is local ownership of an issue.
“In most communities in the NT enrolment figures are up on last year. This is a strong sign that the message that every child should be in school every day is getting through.
“There can be little or no hope for the future for communities where children are not attending school regularly.
“I know in some communities there have been issues, such as funerals, affecting school attendance. “It’s fantastic to see more children going to school and I congratulate the school attendance officers and
supervisors, parents, communities, school principals and teachers and especially the children who are focusing on school attendance to build a future for themselves and their communities.”
Download media release:
2014-02-27 School Attendance Data Attachment.pdf