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Council Policy to Help Close the Gap

“A new School Attendance Policy adopted by the Central Desert Regional Council will help improve school attendance.” So says Regional Council President Adrian Dixon.  

The Central Desert Regional Council has passed a new Policy that will help create an environment where it’s easier for families to get their kids ready for school.

Mr Dixon said that the Council is committed 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.  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." Mr Dixon said

The new policy 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.  

Mr Dixon said that Senator Scullion has been very clear about his desire to provide support to parents so that kids are well prepared for school.  “This is a policy that we strongly support, we’re really happy to be able to focus the attention of Night Patrol on the care and safety of kids. Getting kids off the streets at night is a priority.  We’ve already started and assisted in getting over 200 kids home in just 3 weeks. This is a good start. In some places our Patrollers also help get kids to school in the mornings.” Mr Dixon said. 

The Central Desert Regional Council’s School Attendance 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.” Mr Dixon said. 

Central Desert Regional Council CEO Cathryn Hutton explained that where possible Council operations will be geared towards supporting the Policy.  “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.”

Ms Hutton called 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.   

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For More information contact: John Gaynor 0428 849 520