Fig­ures in on school no- shows

Townsville Bulletin - - Inside Today - by Alexis Gill­ham

AT least nine Townsville schools fell be­low 90 per cent at­ten­dance last year.

This means, on av­era g e , 1 0 p e r c e n t o f stu­dents in those schools were ab­sent ev­ery day.

One of those schools – Thuringowa State High School – dropped un­der 80 per cent.

Ac­cord­ing to My School 2.0, at­ten­dance at Heat­ley S e c o n d a r y C o l l e g e , Townsville High School, North­ern Beaches State School, Kir­wan State High School, Ras­mussen State School, Cal­vary Chris­tian Col­lege, Kelso State School and Wil­liam Ross State High School ranged be­tween 82 per cent and 89 per cent in 2010.

Townsville Gram­mar School and St Joseph’s School Mund­ing­burra t opped t he ci t y with 96 per cent at­ten­dance for the same pe­riod.

Ryan Catholic Col­lege and South Townsville State School recorded 95 per cent at­ten­dance.

Ryan Catholic Col­lege prin­ci­pal David McNeale said that the school had im­ple­mented a tex­ting sys­tem where par­ents were rou­tinely texted if their chil­dren had un­ex­plained ab­sences from the school.

Ed­u­ca­tion Queens­land Cor­po­rate Strat­egy and Per­for­mance As­sis­tant Di r e c t o r - Ge n e r a l J e f f Hunt said there was an in­crease in the over­all stu­dent at­ten­dance rate f o r Queens­land s t a t e schools in Se­mes­ter 1, 2010.

Mean­while non-gov­ern­ment school prin­ci­pals – in­clud­ing Ryan Catholic C o l l e g e , C a t h e d r a l School and Townsville Gram­mar School – have crit­i­cised a My School 2.0 fund­ing ta­ble printed in the Townsville Bul­letin last Satur­day.

Cathe­dral School prin­ci­pal Ian Ga­mack said t h e t a b l e i n c o r r e c t l y showed Townsville non­govern­ment schools as re­ceiv­ing more gov­ern­ment fund­ing than state schools, a state­ment echoed by sev­eral of his col­leagues.

‘‘( In the) last col­umn ( printed in the Bul­letin – a per stu­dent fig­ure) does n o t r e f l e c t what t h e school re­ceives from the gov­ern­ment,’’ he said.

‘‘ The state schools are way ahead ( for to­tal gov­ern­ment fund­ing), as it should be be­cause we charge pri­vate fees for each child.

‘ ‘ Pri­vate schools get more from the Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment but they get sig­nif­i­cantly less from the State Gov­ern­ment.’’

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