New data shows significantly improved attendance in Remote School Attendance Strategy (RSAS) schools in the Northern Territory this year compared to 2013, with the number of children attending school up nearly 17 per cent.
Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Nigel Scullion, said school attendance rates had risen across almost all of the 17 Northern Territory Government RSAS schools – and in some cases the increases had been particularly significant.
“For instance, in Borroloola, the increase is 14.9 percentage points and in Wugularr the increase is 15.1 percentage points,” Minister Scullion said.
“At both Maningrida School and Lajamanu School the attendance rate rose by more than 13 percentage points.
“In 12 of the 17 schools, the attendance rate is up by more than 5 percentage points compared to last year. Across the 17 schools, these increases in attendance rates mean that 325 more children (a rise of nearly 17 per cent) were attending school in Term 1 this year compared to Term 1 last year.
“These figures have been verified and reflect all of Term 1.
“This success stands in stark contrast to outcomes in recent years. In a recent report, the COAG Reform Council noted that between 2008 and 2012, falls in Indigenous school attendance were more common than increases.
“The Northern Territory Indigenous Education Review also found that in very remote parts of the Territory, Indigenous school attendance rates fell between 2009 to 2012.
“Reversing these falls has been the Australian Government’s No.1 priority in Indigenous Affairs. The RSAS aims to break the cycle of non-attendance and ensure parents and carers take responsibility for educating their children.
“In three of the 17 NT Government schools attendance has declined slightly, and I have instructed my department to work closely with those communities to identify any barriers to school attendance and work through those issues.
“If children are not attending school every day, they’re not getting the decent education that can open up doors to tertiary education and rewarding jobs.”
The Government’s total funding for the RSAS that is now targeting 73 schools in the Northern Territory, Queensland, South Australia, New South Wales and Western Australia now stands at $46.5 million.
In the Northern Territory, 281 School Attendance Officers and Supervisors are actively engaged under the RSAS, with 532 nationally.
A table listing attendance rates for the RSAS schools in the Northern Territory is attached.
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2014-06-04 RSAS data NT table.pdf