The Federal Member for Parkes, Mark Coulton has called on members of the Electorate of Parkes community to have their say in a landmark review into regional, rural and remote education initiated by the Nationals/Liberal Government.
“This marks an important milestone of the independent review with the release of a discussion paper and launch of an online platform for public submissions,” he said.
The discussion paper, prepared by the reviewer Emeritus Professor John Halsey, identifies the key issues and challenges faced by rural students and poses areas of focus to stimulate ideas about possible solutions.
“I urge members of our education community, families and employers to consider the discussion paper and take the opportunity to share their ideas and experiences about how best we can support local students to succeed in school and beyond,” Mr Coulton said.
“We’re listening closely to regional communities throughout the Electorate of Parkes in our efforts to improve the education and preparation of young people from the country to develop into their best selves and fully participate in the 21st century economy.
“We know regional, rural and remote students are more likely to have developmental vulnerabilities, such as lower language and cognitive skills, when they start school. Their NAPLAN results are generally lower and they go on to be under-represented in higher education.”
The Deputy Prime Minister, Barnaby Joyce said the Halsey Review was part of the Coalition’s efforts to ensure regional, rural and remote students not only achieve success at school, but go on to further study, training and employment.
“Students living outside our major cities face unique challenges compared to their city cousins which can cause significant disparities between their education outcomes,” Minister Joyce said.
Education Minister, Senator Simon Birmingham said the public submissions would highlight issues to be further explored by the review through face-to-face consultations from July to October.
“Having now delivered a true model of needs-based funding for Australian schools – which results in an average annual rate of per student funding growth for students in regional and remote areas of 4.9 per cent compared with 4.1 per cent for all students – we are determined to ensure schools are armed with the best information to put this record funding to the most effective use possible,” Minister Birmingham said.
“The inquiry is particularly keen to hear from members of the education community, families, employers, government agencies and the philanthropic sector about how best we can support regional, rural and remote students to succeed in school and beyond.”
The final report and recommendations of the independent review will be provided to Government by the end of this year.
Submissions will close at 5pm, AEST 29 August 2017. For more information visit: https://www.education.gov.au/independent-review-regional-rural-and-remote-education