New Engagement Strategy to Lift School Attendance
The Territory Labor Government has today released a new strategy aimed at lifting school attendance across the Territory, backed up by an initial $10 million action plan over the next three years.
The NT Education Engagement Strategy 2022-2031 sets a new course for student engagement and improved educational outcomes.
It reflects feedback from students, families, communities and education experts, with 72 consultation sessions held across 21 urban, regional and remote communities and 51 online submissions.
An Expert Reference Group of researchers and academics with expertise in Aboriginal education and culture guided the development of the Strategy.
Central to the Strategy’s success will be embedding cultural and two-way learning in the curriculum and increasing the number of Aboriginal educators and cultural advisers in classrooms.
A range of urgent actions have been identified across four key areas:
Ensuring education is a real partnership
Work with communities to embed cultural and two-way learning in the curriculumEstablish a youth voice peak groupEstablish regional Aboriginal education advisory groups.
Getting the right people, doing the right things
Expand the Remote Aboriginal Teacher Education programProvide localised cultural and language competency training for school staffProvide more jobs in schools for local community members, including as cultural educators.
Providing students with meaningful learning:
Back bilingual education in schools and through the Australian CurriculumExpand the Learning on Country programProvide more options for secondary education in remote locations.
Looking after the wellbeing of our kids:
Invest in more school counsellorsPartner with Aboriginal health organisations to better support student wellbeing.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Education Lauren Moss:
“We need every child attending school every day; this Strategy offers a new approach for engaging students, and ensuring schools are more culturally responsive with communities at the centre of decision-making.
“Students, families, communities and educators have told us loud and clear what we need to do to lift attendance and support better educational outcomes for our kids.
“Our approach focuses on strengthening relationships with families and communities, embedding culture and first languages in teaching and learning, building our Aboriginal workforce in schools and better supporting the wellbeing of our kids.”
“Government won’t be able to do this alone; everyone needs to work together to get our kids to school and make sure they are engaged. This Strategy provides direction as we walk the path together to set our kids up for success.”
Quotes attributable to Professor Ruth Wallace, Expert Reference Group Chair, Dean of College of Indigenous Futures, Education and the Arts; Director Northern Institute CDU:
“This Strategy has been shaped by the voices of Territorians – families, community members, students, educators – who have told us, in sometimes confronting ways, about why so many young people are disengaging from education and what we can do to better engage them.
“For students in the NT to successfully engage in education, our educators must listen, develop trust, and collaborate with families, with communities and most of all, with our children and students.
“Our communities play a key role in leading our schools and so this strategy is about creating strong partnerships between schools and communities and building on our strengths to make positive changes to last.”