The State Government will consult with schools and communities in the Kimberley about their willingness to participate in the Kimberley Schools Project.
Aboriginal students comprise more than 60 per cent of the Kimberley region's school population. However, they face significant challenges to complete their education.
They are about twice as likely as the average Australian school student to enter school with at least one developmental vulnerability. They are less likely to meet key benchmarks and complete Year 12.
The Kimberley Schools Project will customise, intensify and better support existing strategies to accelerate student progress in Kimberley schools and communities that opt in to the project.
It will provide funding and support to public, independent and Catholic schools that opt in to the project across these four elements:
The quality of teaching is a significant in-school influence on student engagement and outcomes. The project will support principals, teachers and other community-based educators to deliver evidence-based, targeted teaching practices by providing applicable coaching and teacher development activities; developing quality materials tailored to the needs of Kimberley children; and facilitating frequent, fine-grained measurement of individual student progress.
Early years learning and care
The largest impact on school success and later life chances for children in vulnerable communities is education and health interventions between birth and a child's third birthday. The project will support community co-design of initiatives that build on and improve existing services; engage families as first teachers to improve developmental building blocks; and increase outcomes from existing services.
Engagement and attendance
Attendance at school every day is critical to student success, yet a range of familial and social factors mean that many Aboriginal students in regional and remote areas do not attend school regularly or are not engaged in school. The project will evaluate the key drivers of non-attendance for opt-in schools and communities, and support community co-design of strategies to address those drivers.
Connecting community, school and learning
The connection between the community and the school has a direct effect on student attendance and engagement, parental support and teacher and principal retention. The project will fund development of extended learning programs and related initiatives in collaboration with the community, to build a shared school vision between schools, families and communities.
The project is being managed by the Kimberley Development Commission in partnership with Department of Education, Catholic Education WA, Association of Independent Schools WA, Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development and Regional Services Reform Unit.
Some of Western Australia's most remote schools in the Kimberley have been selected to be the first to take part in the project, which will encourage children to attend school regularly and accelerate the progress of Aboriginal students.
The 10 schools participating in the Kimberley Schools Project in Term 1, 2018 are:
- Bayulu Remote Community School (Public School)
- Dawul Remote Community School (Public School)
- Derby District High School (Public School)
- Djugerari Remote Community School (Public School)
- Kalumburu Remote Community School (Public School)
- Looma Remote Community School (Public School)
- La Grange Remote Community School (Public School)
- Nyikina Mangala Community School (Independent School)
- Wangkatjungka Remote Community School (Public School)
- Wyndham District High School (Public School)
Expert staff based in Broome will visit schools across the region regularly to provide one-on-one support and advice to principals and teachers. Curriculum materials have also been specifically developed.
The initiative includes ways to improve learning opportunities for children three years old and under, including building relationships between schools and their communities.
All schools in the Kimberley have the option to take part in the project, with at least 22 schools set to be involved by the end of the project in 2020.