Review to look at barriers to education in the regions

A review into regional education launched today aims to identify some of the barriers students from outside metropolitan areas face when it comes to successfully completing school, continuing studies and gaining employment.

Northern based Government Senator Ian Macdonald said he welcomed the independent review, which will look at the equity of education access for rural and regional students, and the challenges that impact on educational outcomes.

“There’s no doubt students in regional and remote areas face many more barriers to a successful education and career path than do their city peers, and that is simply not acceptable,” Senator Macdonald said.

“Given the Government’s multi-billion dollar commitment to developing Northern Australia, we need to ensure our future leaders in these communities have not only the same access to quality education, but also the skills and experience they will also need to secure meaningful employment after school.”

Statistics indicate approximately one third of regional and remote students don’t complete Year 12 or an equivalent unit of study, and that number rises to almost two thirds of very remote students, Senator Macdonald said. 

The independent review will be led by Emeritus Professor John Halsey of Flinders University, who has a great deal of experience with regional and remote students, and will be conducted in consultation with key stakeholders.

Senator Macdonald said he encouraged local stakeholders to get involved in the review.

“I especially encourage groups like the Isolated Children Parents Association, along with the many community groups supporting families across the north, to consider making a submission to ensure their story is heard.”

A discussion paper and online platform for public submissions will be available from April 2017.

For more information on how to be involved visit

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