High School students in western New South Wales will benefit from a $1.6 million investment from the Australian Government through the support programme Get Real.
Secondary school students in the Dubbo area will have access to dedicated coordinators who can assist them with problems in or out of school that might affect their attendance or achievement, and then link them to the relevant support services.
The programme, championed by Roger Fletcher of Fletcher International, has previously operated successfully between 2005 and 2009 and this funding will provide coordinators over the next three years.
Minister Scullion said the Government wants young Indigenous people to be attending school every day so that they can benefit from their schooling and go on to successful careers.
“There are a number of factors that can affect vulnerable adolescents and prevent them from focusing on finishing school. A more holistic response is required in many of these circumstances, particularly for Indigenous students,” Minister Scullion said.
“Get Real does this by connecting school administrators, teachers, families, Aboriginal liaison officers and employers to work with some of the most at risk-students to keep them at school and on a path to success.”
Mr Coulton said the programme begins with a pledge by students to engage with the supports provided and to use their senior school years as a stepping stone to secure life-long employment.
“High levels of unemployment and welfare, poor health and wellbeing, learning difficulties and inadequate support networks are common problems that affect students in rural areas,” Mr Coulton said.
“I congratulate Get Real for addressing these issues and working directly with rural students to build their confidence to finish school and improve their opportunities down the track.
“Get Real is seeing a revival after research reported significant improvements in Year 10 and Year 12 completions during its time of operation between 2005 to 2009. Suspension and expulsion numbers, and youth violence and crime rates, also decreased significantly.”