Distance education boost
Extra support for regional secondary schools, including four in the Pilbara, in delivering distance education courses has been announced by WA Education Minister Sue Ellery during a tour of Karratha schools last week.
Ten regional WA schools, including Karratha, Hedland, Tom Price and Newman Senior High Schools, will from next year each receive an independent learning co-ordinator to assist upper-school students studying courses through the School of Isolated and Distance Education, Ms Ellery said at Karratha Senior High School last Friday.
Schools were chosen based on those with the highest number of students studying SIDE subjects over the past two years in regional WA.
Ms Ellery said the announcement delivered on a Labor Party election commitment to provide additional assistance to students at regional secondary schools.
“We know that one of the issues is, for some regional secondary schools that have high numbers of students who are taking particular subjects through SIDE, that for those students, getting additional one-on-one support in the classroom is really important,” she said.
Also part of the announcement is the introduction of eight regional learning specialists to be based at SIDE offices, who will work with Year 11 and 12 students and visit schools each term to provide additional specialist support.
Pilbara MLA Kevin Michel said the extra support would encourage more children, and in turn families, to remain in the region for their education.
Department of Education Pilbara regional executive director Neil Darby said SIDE offered regional students more choice in their studies and it was good to see more support for that in place.
“As our schools are growing in the Pilbara region, especially in Karratha and Hedland, the aim is to offer more course opportunities and one way of progressing that has been through SIDE, so these additional resources are going to help Karratha and Hedland and the smaller high schools,” he said.
Karratha Senior High School board chairman John Lally welcomed the extra support for SIDE students at the school.
Ms Ellery also visited Baynton West Primary, Millars Well Primary, Tambrey Primary and the North Regional TAFE complex and met with the City of Karratha during her tour.
Education Minister Sue Ellery, second from left, with Karratha Senior High school captains Kirk Baker, 16, and Crystal Salathiel, 17, and Pilbara MLA Kevin Michel.