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Thursday, 5 February 2009
Page: 664


Mr Abbott asked the Minister for Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, in writing, on 20 October 2008:

Further to her answer to question No. 213 (Hansard, 13 October 2008, page 121) concerning the Improving School Enrolment and Attendance through Welfare Reform Measure: (a) what are current school attendance rates at the eight locations where the program will be trialled; (b) what will constitute ‘regular’ attendance for the purposes of this program; and (c) will these schools be required to inform Centrelink if a child is not attending regularly.


Ms Macklin (Minister for Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs) —The answer to the honourable member’s question is as follows:

(a)   The Improving School Enrolment and Attendance through Welfare Reform Measure is being trialled in six sites in the Northern Territory (NT) - Katherine, Katherine Town Camps, Wadeye, Hermannsburg, Wallace Rockhole and the Tiwi Islands - an area in Cannington, Western Australia (WA) and one other metropolitan location yet to be announced. Attendance rates for government schools are available on the NT and WA Departments of Education and Training websites. Attendance data for non-government schools is not publicly available. The tables below provide 2008 attendance information about government schools in the NT and WA trial locations:

NT School

Area

Attendance Rate - %

Ntaria

Hermannsburg

69

Wallace Rockhole

Wallace Rockhole

71

Milikapiti

Tiwi Islands

76

Pularumpi

Tiwi Islands

80

Casuarina St Primary

Katherine

91

Katherine High

Katherine

83

Katherine South Primary

Katherine

88

MacFarlane Primary

Katherine

74

Clyde Fenton Primary

Katherine

80

 

WA School

Suburb

Attendance Rate - %

Beckenham Primary School

Beckenham

93

Cannington Community Education Support Centre

Cannington

87

Cannington Community College

Cannington

92

Sevenoaks Senior College

Cannington

77

Gibbs Street Primary

East Cannington

94

East Kenwick Primary

Kenwick

92

Kenwick School

Kenwick

89

Queens Park Primary

Queens Park

89

Wattle Grove Primary

Wattle Grove

94

Wilson Primary

Wilson

93

 

(b)   The monitoring of attendance falls under the responsibility of state/territory education authorities. Under the measure, state/territory education authorities can ask Centrelink for assistance where the education authority believes that a child is failing to attend school to the satisfaction of that state or territory as required by the law of that state or territory.

(c)   Under existing arrangements, education authorities are responsible for monitoring children’s attendance at school. Where an attendance issue is identified, it is anticipated that the education authority will draw on existing practices to attempt to resolve the issue. If the attempts to resolve the issue are unsuccessful, the education authority could consider whether a referral to Centrelink under the measure would be helpful.