30 May 2018

Better outcomes, more opportunities for Corangamite students

The Hon Michael McCormack MP
Deputy Prime Minister Minister for Infrastructure and Transport

Senator the Hon Simon Birmingham
Minister for Education and Training
Manager of Government Business in the Senate

Sarah Henderson MP
Federal Member for Corangamite

The Coalition Government has accepted all 11 recommendations of the Independent Review into Regional, Rural and Remote Education (IRRRRE), committing to a whole of government approach to improve the education opportunities outcomes of country kids.

Federal Member for Corangamite Sarah Henderson said by accepting all of Professor Halsey’s recommendations, the Government is putting the education needs of Corangamite student’s front and centre.

“All students deserve a quality school education regardless of where they live,” Ms Henderson said.

“And while there are many great school communities throughout Corangamite the educational outcomes and transitions to further study, training and employment of local students have often lagged behind those of students from metropolitan centres.

“Thank you to all of those in the community who took the time to contribute to the review and share their ideas and experiences about how best we can support Corangamite students to succeed in school and beyond.”

Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack said the Halsey Review considered the key issues, challenges and barriers that impact on the educational outcomes of students living in regional, rural and remote communities.

“The Coalition parties are the only ones that can be trusted to deliver for regional Australia,” Deputy Prime Minister McCormack said.

“It’s not acceptable that the achievements of students in regional, rural and remote areas are lagging behind those of urban students – and have been for decades. We owe them better than that.”

Minister for Education and Training Simon Birmingham said the Halsey Review had an important place in the push to drive excellence across Australia’s education system.

“Professor Halsey’s review highlighted the number of people with a degree decreases as you get further from our capital cities,” Minister Birmingham said.

“There’s clearly a gap between the city and the bush in the level of study or qualifications students achieve.

“I’ve asked Australia’s higher education leaders to increase the transparency of the student accommodation options they offer and to guarantee places for regional, rural and remote students.

“The findings from Professor Halsey’s report have also been considered as part of the Review to Achieve Educational Excellence in Australian Schools and they’ll inform our negotiations with states and territories on a new school funding and reform agreement starting in 2019.

“One of the most important commitments we’ve made is to ensure the findings of the Halsey Review are fed into conversations with states and territories, who have a central role in delivering policy and programs across schools in regional, rural and remote Australia.”

The Coalition Government’s response includes:

  • The creation of an extra 500 sub-bachelor places at regionally based higher education institutions, and an additional 500 Commonwealth supported bachelor places for students at the Regional Study Hubs we’re establishing and maintaining. Applications for the Regional Study Hubs are open until 5pm 27 July.
  • Improved access to Youth Allowance by lifting the parental income cut-off for the ‘workforce participation’ independence criterion for regional students from $150,000 to $160,000, and by a further $10,000 for each additional child in the family.
  • Tackling the information and communications technology challenges some students face outside of our major cities by ensuring every student can take advantage of remote learning opportunities that suit their needs.

The full report and official government response are available at www.education.gov.au/independent-review-regional-rural-and-remote-education

30 May 2018