East Gippslanders with a stake in the education of local students now have a chance be part of a landmark review of education in regional, rural and remote areas.

Member for Gippsland, Darren Chester, has encouraged local teachers, parents, students, employers and others with an interest in education to be part of the review initiated by the Federal Government.

The review, launched earlier this year, has reached an important milestone with the release of a discussion paper and launch of an online platform for public submissions.

The discussion paper, prepared by the reviewer Emeritus Professor John Halsey, identifies the key issues and challenges faced by rural students and poses areas of focus to stimulate ideas about possible solutions.

“I urge members of our education community, families and employers to consider the discussion paper and take the opportunity to share their ideas and experiences about how we can best support local students to succeed in school and beyond,” Mr Chester said.

“We want more regional students to complete their schooling and go on to further study, training and employment.

“As many students begin to look towards the end of their final year of secondary school, there’s still an enormous amount of uncertainty for their families about whether they can afford to send their child away from home to attend the university of their choice.

“For many families in Gippsland, this is one of the most significant and pressing issues they face. This independent review is giving the community a chance to provide its feedback on what’s working and what’s not.”

Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce said the Halsey Review was part of the Coalition’s efforts to ensure regional, rural and remote students achieve success at school.

‚ÄúStudents living outside our major cities face unique challenges compared to their city cousins which can cause significant disparities between their education outcomes,” Mr Joyce said.

“And the difference starts early. We know regional, rural and remote students are more likely to have developmental vulnerabilities when they start school, such as lower language and cognitive skills. Their NAPLAN results are generally lower and they go on to be underrepresented in higher education.”

Submissions close on August 29.

From the East Gippsland News, August 2, 2o17