Education Minister Grace Grace has launched a $100 million strategy to support schools in rural and remote areas, while touring the new Centre for Learning and Wellbeing in Mount Isa.
Ms Grace says the Centres are a key platform of the Government’s Advancing rural and remote education in Queensland state schools strategy.
“Almost half of all Queensland state schools are located in rural and remote areas and we know that these communities face unique challenges. These centres will offer support to a network of state schools in rural and remote locations through coaching and professional development, both face-to-face and through virtual delivery methods.”
“These facilities will also offer links to support services, so our teachers, students and families can access the assistance they need to grow and prosper in remote communities.”
Ms Grace says the four-year rural and remote strategy includes a range of initiatives to boost student performance, enhance staff development and support parents in remote areas of the state.
“To improve the living and working experience for teachers in the bush we are investing around $56 million to improve staff housing and a further $4.5 million to upgrade internet connectivity in their homes. We’re also investing more than $3.2 million to build leadership skills in aspiring school principals so that they can confidently take up leadership roles in rural and remote locations.”
“Another important initiative is our $1.5 million Partners in Learning program which is about giving parents and tutors of students in schools of distance education reading coaching.”
Queensland president of the Isolated Children’s Parents Association (ICPA) Tammie Irons welcomed the release of the rural and remote education strategy.
“A key part of this plan is for schools in rural and remote areas to actively develop strong and sustainable partnerships with families and communities, because we know that when we do this our students thrive.”
Mark Breckenridge, President of Queensland Secondary Principals’ Association, has welcomed the new centres.
“These new centres will support school leaders in their work, building their capability to lead world class schools. Having access to professional support and expert advice in the local community is a very positive move.”