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Punitive measures are not the solution for NT education

Media Release
Rachel Siewert 20 Oct 2011

The Australian Greens have identified the need for effective case management and engagement with parents as integral steps in improving educational outcomes in the Northern Territory.

Commenting on today’s Senate Estimates hearings, Australian Greens spokesperson on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Issues Senator Rachel Siewert said the Government was unable to connect important programs with better educational outcomes.

“This morning, we were clearly told by the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations that punitive programs such as the School Enrolment and Attendance through Welfare Reform Measure (SEAM) cannot be linked to better education outcomes in communities,” said Senator Siewert.

“The Department confirmed what we already knew- that the impact of SEAM at the community level is unquantifiable and that at an individual level results are mixed at best, with children apparently slipping in and out of school attendance.

“The Department was the first to admit that the value of SEAM lies in getting parents to engage with Centrelink, and that the best outcomes are really delivered through the case management processes.

“It is this case management which is the key to improving educational outcomes, rather than punitive measures which are implemented without any supporting evidence.

“Families should be supported, and the educational system needs to be adopted to meet the needs of parents, students and communities. Only then will we see positive educational outcomes in the NT,” Senator Siewert concluded.

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