Queensland schools show enrolments at highest level ever
A larger than expected increase in the number of Indigenous prep school enrolments in Queensland this year has far exceeded the Stronger Smarter projections. What does this mean for educators?
The Stronger Smarter Institute’s CEO Darren Godwell says he’s astounded by the numbers of Indigenous new school enrolments which are exceeding our expectations.
“Our organisation prides itself on working with hard evidence to target where we can best make an impact on outcomes for Indigenous students. This year we began the Stronger Smarter Jarjums program to arm our early childhood educators for the Black Baby Boom. Now we realise there’s an even greater urgency for principals, teachers and Indigenous education workers to plan for the future. 2018 looms as the crunch year,” says Darren.
QLD Department of Education Statistics
- From 2011 to 2016, an extra 10,000 Indigenous students have enrolled at Queensland state schools, an increase of 24% across the last five years.
- In February 2016, there were 51,813 Indigenous students enrolled in DET education facilities across the state up from the 41,888 Indigenous students in 2011.
- On a regional level, there are significant increases in student numbers over the same period.
- 45% increase in South East to 6,440 students
- 42% increase in North Coast to 8,090 students
- 29% increase in Darling Downs/South West to 5,560 students
Growth is particularly high in regions of South-East Queensland; and some regional centres such as Cairns and Ipswich. The three regions with the strongest growth in the 0 to 4 year age bracket are:
- Moreton Bay (Combined North and South region) 43.1%
- Sunshine Coast 43.1%
- Ipswich 23.2%
Strong in culture leads to better education outcomes
Indigenous students who positive educational experiences right from the start are more likely to have positive life outcomes. The research documents that the single strongest factor that correlates to improved life outcomes across the board is: the level of educational attainment. Good schooling in the early years results in better health, wellbeing, employment and housing outcomes and reduced rates of incarceration.
Being connected to our own culture with a focus on positive self-perception correlates to improved resilience, stronger identity construction and improved educational outcomes.
“We want Indigenous children to be strong in culture and not just smart at school. Educators who have a better understanding of our culture, history and engage their local communities in their school life are more likely to produce better academic, cultural and life outcomes. The Stronger Smarter Leadership Program gives teachers the know how to engage their Indigenous students,” said Darren.
Educators are key
The Stronger Smarter Institute’s signature Leadership Program, founded by Professor Chris Sarra, continues to work in hundreds of schools around Australia with thousands of committed educators.
“We don’t preach to teachers, we arm them with the skills to be able to come up with their own solutions to the challenges in their schools and communities.” Says Darren.
We have faith in educators to transform children’s lives. We see results in schools like Aitkenvale State School in Townsville where Principal Judd Burgess has been delivering ongoing improvements for his students since 2012. Likewise, Yolanda Coutts of the Northern Peninsula Area College, Bamaga in Far North Queensland and Yarrabah State School are successfully engaging high populations of Indigenous students with positive education outcomes.
For interviews, enquiries or further information contact:
Nancia Guivarra 0402 107 042 email@example.com