BOTTOM OF THE TRUANCY CLASS
The shocking school attendance figures that triggered a massive State Government response in the North West have been released.
In a report presented in Parliament last fortnight, the Public Accounts Committee found that children in
the Kimberley and Pilbara went to school less than students in any other parts of the State last year.
The statistics showed that only 76.3 per cent of Kimberley children attended school in 2017, with the Pilbara recording an 84.2 per cent attendance, compared to 92 per cent in Perth.
The Kimberley also had the fewest number of students with a 90 to 100 per cent attendance rate, with just 41.7 per cent of its youth falling into the category, opposed to about 75 per cent in the metro area.
The alarming findings prompted the State Government to roll out a $7 million education package in the Pilbara, including the Partnerships for Student Success initiative, designed to tackle issues impacting on learning in the area, including gaps in technology, hands-on learning and family support. Hedland Senior High School principal Bill Mann said the school offers positive initiatives and many disciplines needed to work together to increase school attendance.
“Better attendance improves learning outcomes, which means stronger engagement with the associated improvement in attention and behaviour in class, leading to further learning gains. It is a neat cycle to be in for all young people,” Mann said.
“The community, and particularly parents and caregivers, have a key role in ensuring all students attend school regularly.”
Similarly, the Kimberley Schools Project was launched at the beginning of the year, where four coaches visited 10 remote schools across the region and worked with communities to identify unique ways to increase attendance and engagement. The project is set to expand to nine more schools by Term 1.