Report shines light on rural education

FORREST MHR Nola Marino said the recently released Independent Review into Regional, Rural and Remote Education report would help ensure South West students were getting the support they needed.

Led by Emeritus Professor Dr John Halsey, from Flinders University, the extensive report commissioned by the Federal Government identified key areas to help overcome the educational divide between capital cities and regional and rural areas.

“The report has identified four priority areas including establishing a national focus for regional, rural and remote education, better tailoring research for successful learning, addressing information, communication and technology needs and focusing on the transitions into and out of school,” Mrs Marino said.

Dr Halsey consulted with education authorities, peak bodies, schools and communities, and more than 300 submissions from stakeholders.

Mrs Marino said the report addressed issues she had fought hard for, such as a reversal to changes to youth allowance by the previous government.

“Their changes made it tougher for regional students like students in Harvey, to access youth allowance as an independent, as they introduced means testing of parents of children who weren’t financially supporting children living out of home – a massive disadvantage for regional and rural students,” Mrs Marino said.

“I’ll continue fighting for regional students’ equality of access to higher education as their city cousins,” she said.

Mrs Marino said the Federal Government was carefully considering the review’s recommendations and would release a response in due course.

“Many of the recommendations fall within the responsibilities of the States and relevant school sectors that are responsible for the day-to-day management of schools,” she said.

“The recommendations will take the combined efforts from the State Government, families, teachers, school leaders, universities and student accommodation managers.”

Source: Harvey-Waroona Reporter.