Regional Development Australia (RDA) Orana has renewed hope that country students will have better access to educational opportunities in the future, following the release of an extensive independent review into regional, rural and remote education.
The report by Emeritus Professor John Halsey from Flinders University was
released to the public last month and includes 11 recommendations aimed at improving the education of country students so they can reach their
full potential and participate in Australia's economy.
RDA Orana Chair John Walkom said the report clearly addressed the gaps between education outcomes in the city and the bush.
“It is clear that our kids are not getting the same opportunities as their city cousins and, without the right educational supports, our rural communities
will continue to suffer,” Mr Walkom said.
Among Professor Halsey’s recommendations are a bid to make the curriculum relevant for rural, regional and remote students; a move to ensure all children
start school with a strong foundation for learning; and improvements to the availability, accessibility and affordability of information and communications
technology for schools, teachers, students, parents and communities.
“Professor Halsey has recommended the government expand the availability, affordability and accessibility of high quality work experience placements,
VET, dual VET/university options and associate degree programs for countrystudents,” Mr Walkom said.
“These actions link directly to the results of a skills audit we will be releasing later this month. It included a survey of 180 regional businesses
to see what barriers they are experiencing.
“Our study backs Professor Halsey’s call for better support for country kids to make successful transitions from school to university, training and
Among his suggestions are a broker-style arrangement to help country kids find affordable accommodation when they are studying in major cities.
He also recommends incentives to lure quality teachers to the bush by ensuring they can return to their current roles after a few years sharing their
knowledge with country students and teachers.
Media contact: Megan Dixon, Executive Officer, 0459 685 091
Read Professor Halsey’s Independent Review into Regional, Rural and Remote Education online