Queensland spending $288m to keep students engaged in education - Education Matters Magazine
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Queensland spending $288m to keep students engaged in education

The Queensland Government has launched a $288 million package for students needing additional support to remain engaged or become re-engaged in education and those involved in youth justice.

The integrated package will combine intervention and prevention initiatives to support students to remain engaged in a structured, supportive learning environment, in a format that meets their needs.

More than $120 million will be invested to expand the successful Queensland Pathways State College model from six to 12 campuses.

New campuses will be established in Toowoomba and Deception Bay in 2024, followed by Mt Isa, Central Queensland, Logan and Cairns.

These facilities play an important role in supporting vulnerable students in years 10-to-12 to complete their year 12 education, and create pathways to tertiary education and training.

An additional $45 million has been earmarked to create 50 new FlexiSpaces in high-needs schools, on top of the existing 52 schools which already have one.

The new FlexiSpaces will have a dedicated teacher to provide extra support for students who need a break from the classroom, including due to mental health issues or disruptive behaviour.

$27 million will be invested in specialised alternative learning programs run by non-government organisations in priority locations Cairns, Townsville, Ipswich and Mt Isa.

There will be a further $57 million for intensive case management for students known to Youth Justice authorities.

The five-year package will also see the creation of 177 new frontline positions, including 12 new Court Liaison Officers.

Court Liaison Officers will work closely with students appearing before the Childrens Courts to help get their education back on track.

The youth engagement package also includes a range of strategies for students who need additional support to remain engaged or become re-engaged in learning.

The package will also have a focus on increasing engagement programs targeting First Nations young people.

In addition to this, a targeted curriculum aligned to the Australian Curriculum will be developed for use in all Queensland state school alternative learning programs, which will also be made available to special assistance schools in the non-state sector.

Queensland Minister for Education Grace Grace said keeping students connected to their school and classmates is the best way to prevent disengagement.

“We are already providing a range of engagement supports in our schools and it’s clear we need to do more as the complexity of issues facing students and families is increasing,” she said.

“Our comprehensive approach will target the most complex communities and students to keep them engaged in learning and get them back to learning quicker.”

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