New school year begins in western NSW

NSW Nationals

More than 14,000 students across 120 schools in the state's central and far west have headed back into the classroom today for the start of the 2023 school year.

The western division includes schools from Broken Hill, Wee Waa, Walgett, Rankins Springs, Louth, Hay, Gol Gol, Deniliquin and Ashford. They receive additional holiday dates at the beginning of each school year due to the higher summer temperatures.

Nationals Minister for Education and Early Learning Sarah Mitchell said many of these schools are in small rural settings and played a pivotal role in the community.

"I grew up, was educated, and am now raising my family in regional NSW. I know firsthand that our public schools are often at the heart of our regional, rural and remote communities," Ms Mitchell said.

"As a mum who recently dropped her youngest daughter off on her first day of kindergarten, I also know just how special the first day of school is for families.

"This is the beginning of a life-changing journey for the 1,098 kindergarten students walking through the school gates today, as well as the parents of the 1,079 Year 7 students making the move into high school - and for the parents, don't forget to pack the tissues!"

Ms Mitchell also reminded parents to pocket savings and redeem their Premier's Back to School NSW vouchers, with the government extending the vouchers for use on school excursions in Term 1 and 2, 2023.

"Whether your child is about to begin Kindergarten or is heading to high school, whether that's at a government school or home-schooling, families have until 30 June to apply for and spend their vouchers. From new backpacks and textbooks to a school excursion, the Premier's Back to School vouchers are here to help."

The Premier's Back to School vouchers are part of the NSW Nationals' long-term economic plan to support parents by easing pressure on household budgets.

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