Schools across Australia have returned for another year with around 14,000 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students supported to attend school through the Coalition Government’s successful Remote School Attendance Strategy (RSAS).
Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Nigel Scullion, said RSAS has achieved a lot in the last five years since it was established by the Coalition Government in 2014, getting more children to attend school, creating almost 500 jobs and bringing a new community driven focus to school attendance.
“The Coalition Government made school attendance a key priority when it was elected in 2013 and RSAS has increased attendance rates in 84 communities in remote parts of the country,” Minister Scullion said.
“The Government’s Remote School Attendance Strategy has worked because it was co-designed with communities and local people are at the heart of its delivery – and that is why we are investing $78.4 million to extend RSAS through to December 2021.
“Over the next three years, we will work with communities to support more Indigenous children to attend school including through a stronger focus on case management with families and communities and an increase in local decision making.
“Labor did not take action on addressing remote school attendance when they were in Government and have not committed to supporting RSAS and the local jobs it provides. This means that the jobs for 500 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander school attendance officers are at risk ahead of the upcoming Federal election.
“The Coalition Government believes that every child, no matter where they live, deserves an education as the foundation to a successful life. We will do everything we can to ensure families and communities are sending their children to school.
“Our Remote School Attendance Strategy will help students get to school from day one and support them throughout the school year so they can fulfil their potential and access the education they deserve,” Minister Scullion said.
The Strategy does not replace state and territory government responsibility for education attendance and performance and will continue to work with schools, communities, families and students to further improve school attendance and ensure Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students have access to a quality education.