The NSW rural and remote education strategy is the first of its kind in NSW. For the first time a NSW Government department has recognised that small “rural and remote” communities have nothing in common with big regional or metropolitan cities, and that addressing the opportunities and challenges in rural and remote towns requires an entirely different approach. This plan was developed through consultation with people who live in rural and remote towns, as well as practitioners, which is another ‘first’ for the NSW government in designing a plan for these communities.
Why is this useful for rural and remote people to read?
Research tells us that every additional year of education improved health and wellbeing across the life course. To improve health in rural and remote towns, we must first improve educational participation, attendance and completions. This Plan provides clarity around what NSW Education plans to do to address low educational attainment and is an essential read for rural and remote people interested in improving community health. Further, the fact that NSW Education recognises that improving outcomes for rural and remote communities requires that we recognise these communities as different to regional cities is really important. In other areas such as health the argument of rural and remote people for governments to plan around the specific needs of rural and remote communities has largely been dismissed on the basis that ‘remote, rural and regional are all the same’. This has directly contributed to the failure of rural health services and declining health outcomes in these towns. If NSW Education recognises rural and remote as a different geography, the argument for recognition of rural and remote by other departments and agencies is strengthened.
RURAL STRATEGIES & PLANS
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