darren.chester.mp@aph.gov.au 1300 131 785
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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.

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

“Students living outside our major cities face unique challenges compared to their city cousins which can cause significant disparities between their education outcomes,” Minister 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 under-represented in higher education.”

Minister for Education and Training Simon Birmingham said the public submissions would highlight issues to be further explored by the review through face-to-face consultations from July to October.

“Having now delivered a true model of needs-based funding for Australian schools – which results in an average annual rate of per student funding growth for students in regional and remote areas of 4.9 per cent compared with 4.1 per cent for all students – we are determined to ensure schools are armed with the best information to put this record funding to the most effective use possible,” Minister Birmingham said.

“The inquiry is particularly keen to hear from members of the education community, families, employers, government agencies and the philanthropic sector about how best we can support regional, rural and remote students to succeed in school and beyond.”

The final report and recommendations of the independent review will be provided to Government by the end of this year.

Submissions close on August 29, 2017 at 5pm.

For more information visit: https://www.education.gov.au/independent-review-regional-rural-and-remote-education.

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