Education in Remote and Complex Environments

Published on Friday, 27 November 2020 at 12:00:00 AM

On Wednesday, 27 November 2019, the House Standing Committee on Employment, Education and Training adopted an inquiry referred by the Minister for Education, the Hon Dan Tehan MP, to inquire into and report on the education of students in remote and complex environments.

This inquiry examined how education meets the learning needs of students in regional, rural and remote communities and how barriers in education can be overcome.  The committee found that Australians growing up in regional and remote areas have lower educational attainment rates in school, in Year 12 and in tertiary education, compared to those living in metropolitan areas, and that a range of factors contribute to gaps in access and equity across a child’s education journey.  The committee made 14 recommendations to improve access to quality education, and outcomes for students in regional, rural and remote communities.

Discover more about the Education in remote and complex environments report here.

Here are some key findings from the report:

4.16  The Town of Port Hedland noted that Pilbara people are concerned by ‘the significant gap in educational attainment for all levels of schooling between regional, rural and remote areas, and metropolitan areas’. Furthermore, the need to move to access improved schooling options was reported as a prominent reason for people in the 30-39 year age range to leave the Pilbara region.

“The focus on education approaches that retain and enhance the local skills base by delivering highly contextualised education aligned to employment opportunities, is key to ensuring that Port Hedland and other Pilbara towns are appropriately positioned to retain students in Town, meet new economic  opportunities and be resilient during economic fluctuations.”

5.94  The Western Australian government reported it is working with universities to explore ways to encourage young people in the regions to aspire to university education. For example: The Western Australian Government has committed to invest $550 000 into establishing the new Pilbara Universities Centre, a not-for-profit education support service for current and aspiring students undertaking university education within the Pilbara region.’ The Centre will provide ‘a learning environment through which students gain access to educational support, application and enrolment assistance, guidance on courses and pathways, connections with local industry, comfortable and modern facilities in which to study and connect with other students, as well as administrative and student support.

The full report can be accessed here.

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