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Educational equality priority in Australia

"The achievement of educational equality for Australia’s Indigenous peoples is an urgent national priority and we must assist schools in meeting this challenge," the Federal Minister for Education, Training and Youth Affairs, Dr David Kemp said today.

As chair of the Ministerial Council on Education, Employment, Training and Youth Affairs (MCEETYA), Dr Kemp issued a National Statement of principles and standards and an action framework for more culturally inclusive and educationally effective schooling in the 21st Century.

The Ministerial Council consists of Commonwealth, State and Territory Ministers of Education.

Dr Kemp launched the Statement and Model during a visit to Shalom College – an Independent, Indigenous-controlled primary and secondary school in Townsville.

The model is based on a number of findings from recent work to improve the nature of schooling and improve educational outcomes for Indigenous students.

Focusing on community school and classroom, it is designed for use by schools and systems as a means of creating sustainable change and improvement that integrates the successful outcomes of Indigenous programmes into mainstream schooling practice.

"The Principles outlined in this statement acknowledge the capacity of all young Indigenous peoples’ to reach their full potential in school and the role of Indigenous parents as the first educators of their children," said Dr Kemp

The Standards are described in terms of the rights of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students and their teachers and education workers to access the same level of government services as other Australians and to achieve equitable and appropriate educational outcomes.

The Ministers will ensure their governments also provide high-quality, accredited and culturally inclusive education and training opportunities in prisons, youth detention centres and other juvenile justice programs for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students.

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