The latest edition of the Weekend Australian (22-23 February 2014) included a number of articles focusing on education, poorly performing schools and the Grattan Report’s ‘blueprint’ for positive change in schools (links below). It was very interesting to note that ‘parental and community engagement’ was identified as being one of the five key factors linked to school success. Another article identified the importance of engaging indigenous parents in order to improve their children’s school attendance rates. The coverage was all very relevant to CASSE’s work in both the Aboriginal Australian Relations Program and the Peaceful Schools Program.
CASSE’s approach is about leaders/principals/teachers/parents/communities being courageous enough to say ‘this isn’t working and we are not giving our children the education they deserve’. It is about all of the groups within a school community sharing a belief that positive change is possible and working together to raise the standard of the school. It is not about change imposed by government or any other authority, but rather change that is driven by the groundswell of belief in wanting positive change within that community.
Nonetheless funding for Aboriginal facilitators on indigenous programs seems essential in order to close the gap on disadvantage within education and socio-economic circumstances.