Central Desert makes school attendance council business

Footy at Yuendumu Sports Weekend in 2013: events and carnivals must be planned to not interrupt school, according to new Regional Council policy. 

 

A new School Attendance Policy adopted by the Central Desert Regional Council ensures that activities for school aged kids run by the Council on nights preceding school days are finished by no later than 8.30pm.

 

It also mobilises Council resources such as Night Patrol to help get kids home at night.

 

Designed to help improve school attendance, it reflects the council’s commitment to improving educational achievement amongst all its residents.

 

“We are fully behind what Federal Minister for Indigenous Affairs Nigel Scullion is trying to do to close the gap on school attendance,” says Regional Council President Adrian Dixon.

 

“Education underpins the future of our kids and the future of our communities.

 

“Our Council stands by the principle that every school child should attend school every school day.  It’s up to the parents to ensure that their kids are getting to school but as a council, we can make sure that what we’re doing makes it easier for them to do that.

 

“Getting kids off the streets at night is a priority.  We’ve already started and assisted in getting over 200 kids home in just three weeks. This is a good start. In some places our Patrollers also help get kids to school in the mornings,” says Mr Dixon.

 

The policy extends to community events and sporting carnivals: “The Council is very clear that it won’t support events that interrupt school days.  We will only support those sports weekends that are planned well in advance and approved by Local Authorities, are scheduled for school holidays or long weekends and are well time-managed,” he says.

 

Central Desert Regional Council CEO Cathryn Hutton calls on other Councils and Social Clubs to adopt a similar policy and to work with Government towards a Central Australia wide compact to improve the management of sports carnivals and events.

 

“Our Youth, Sport and Recreation and, Night Patrol Officers and our Council Service Managers are committed to working together. Our programming is aimed at providing the least disruption possible to the school term,”

says Ms Hutton.

 

Source:  Central Desert Regional Council media release. 

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