A review of regional education has urged the Turnbull Government to offer more incentives for established teachers to do a stint outside the city, and to break down the stigma around the bush as a place for teachers to work. Source: Canberra Times.
The Turnbull Government commissioned the review last year in a bid to improve lagging results for country students compared to their city counterparts. The report, presented to education ministers on Friday, also recommended making the national curriculum more relevant to regional and remote students.
“The achievements of [country] students have in the main lagged behind urban students for decades,” wrote report author Professor John Halsey of Flinders University. “This has to be turned around in the shortest time possible.”
The National Catholic Education Commission yesterday welcomed the report, with acting executive director Ray Collins noting it took into account the views of key stakeholders, including submissions from the Catholic sector.
“It is a thorough report which was informed by an extensive literature review and 340 submissions including the NCEC and other Catholic education authorities,” Mr Collins said.
“Professor Halsey and his team also visited many regional rural and remote schools and education providers across the length and breadth of Australia and it is clear from the recommendations that the needs of these communities resonated with the team,” he said.
“I was particularly impressed by the reports identification of the needs of RRR schools in relation to the provision of teachers in these schools, the quality of the learning experiences for students, the importance of experienced and creative leadership and the important links between schools and their communities.”
Mr Collins said it was good to see that the difficulties young people face in accessing university and vocational education providers far from their homes was clearly addressed in the report.
“A significant feature of the report is the identification of initiatives that clearly address the issues raised, including the Diocese of Cairns’ innovative approach to encouraging [university] students from Brisbane to consider teaching in far North Queensland schools, and the Diocese of Wagga Wagga’s weekly boarding program allowing [secondary school] students to return to their home communities each weekend, retaining their connections with families and their local communities,” he said.
Review targets city, country school divide (9news.com.au)
Independent Review into Regional, Rural and Remote Education (Department of Education and Training)