Minister announces more school support on Karratha tour

Alicia PereraPilbara News
Education Minister Sue Ellery with Karratha Senior High school captains Kirk Baker, 16, Crystal Salathiel, 17, and Pilbara MLA Kevin Michel.
Camera IconEducation Minister Sue Ellery with Karratha Senior High school captains Kirk Baker, 16, Crystal Salathiel, 17, and Pilbara MLA Kevin Michel. Credit: Pilbara News, Alicia Perera

Extra support for regional secondary schools, including four from the Pilbara, in delivering distance education courses has been announced by WA Education Minister Sue Ellery today during a tour of Karratha schools.

Ten regional WA schools, including Karratha, Hedland, Tom Price and Newman Senior High Schools, will from next year each receive an independent learning coordinator to assist upper school students studying courses through the School of Isolated and Distance Education, Ms Ellery announced at Karratha Senior High School this afternoon.

The selected schools were chosen based on those with the highest number of students studying SIDE subjects over the past two years.

Ms Ellery said the announcement delivered on a Labor Party election commitment to provide additional assistance to students at regional secondary schools.

“We know that one of the issues is, for some regional secondary schools that have high numbers of students who are taking particular subjects through SIDE, that for those students, getting additional one-on-one support in the classroom is really important,” she said.

“Most often what happens in schools is that the teachers who are supervising the SIDE students, who do a lot of things online, those teachers also have a classload.”

“What we’re announcing today is additional resources into 10 regional secondary schools to provide independent learning coordinators, to provide that one-on-one assistance so that teachers in the rest of the school can continue their normal classload and those students who are doing the subjects online through SIDE can get one-on-one support.”

Also part of the announcement is the introduction of eight regional learning specialists to be based at SIDE offices who will work with Year 11 and 12 students and visit schools each term to provide additional specialist support.

Ms Ellery said the extra support would encourage more children, and in turn families, to remain in regional areas for their education.

Department of Education Pilbara regional executive director Neil Darby and Karratha Senior High School board chairman John Lally welcomed the extra support for SIDE students.

Ms Ellery also visited Baynton West Primary, Millars Well Primary, Tambrey Primary and the North Regional TAFE complex and met with the City of Karratha during her tour, which was her first visit to regional WA since taking office.

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