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School for children of traveling showmen



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A h . MEDIA RELEASEJ i. A U S T R A L I A ,.^ K1703

DR DAVID KEMP, MR Minister for Education, Training and Youth Affairs 24 March 1999

SCHOOL FOR CHILDREN OF TRAVELLING SHOWMEN - ON THE ROAD WITH $1.42 MILLION OF COMMONWEALTH FUNDS

Schooling for the children of travelling show workers, identified as being among the most educationally disadvantaged in Australia, is set to change dramatically with the announcement of $1.42 million funding for a pilot education project announced today by the Minister for Education, Training and Youth Affairs, Dr David Kemp.

Dr Kemp said the Commonwealth will meet the capital costs of establishing a school for the children of travelling show workers. The Queensland Government will run the school through Education Queensland. .

The school will operate in two parts with each part accompanying a show troupe as it moves around the eastern part of Australia. There are two show circuits in eastern Australia.

Each part of the school will be staffed by two teachers and a teachers’ aide/ driver. A school principal will coordinate the school’s activities. It is expected the school will cotnmence operations later this year.

“The children of families who lead an itinerant lifestyle, such as the Show-workers, cannot use normal educational services the rest of the community takes for granted,” said Dr Kemp.

“The more traditional forms of education such as distance education or boarding schools are unable to meet the needs of these students which means that many may remain illiterate throughout their lives. The pilot project is estimated to benefit a maximum of 80 students per year.

“This latest initiative underlines the Government’s strong commitment to providing educational opportunities for all Australians so that they can reach their full potential.”

The Queensland Education Minister, Mr Dean Wells, has welcomed the joint pilot project.

Both Ministers agreed that the project has the potential to be of national and international significance because of the quality of the support to be provided to the children of itinerant families.

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Media contact: Samantha Herron 0412 639 754 or 02 6277 7460