I am extremely disappointed to hear that the McGowan Government has plans to close WA’s Schools of the Air.
The nature of our great state means that some people are based full-time in remote locations – vital contributors to Outback communities including land managers, pastoralists, allied health and medical staff, tourism operators and emergency services. Many families cannot remain in the Outback long term if their children do not have access to high quality education.
Without Schools of the Air, many children would miss out on the peer support and social interaction that is so important during the formative primary school years. Schools of the Air do not duplicate the services offered by the School of Isolated and Distance Education (SIDE) – Schools of the Air provide a local peer group and teacher support that SIDE is unable to match.
Closing WA’s five Schools of the Air would deny remote children the equal access to education that they deserve, leading to a decline in educational outcomes. In many cases, families would choose to relocate to Perth or coastal towns in search of an education for their children, resulting in a huge loss of expertise and community leadership and diminishing the social fabric of WA’s Outback.
Labor has always been a champion of education, and I am extremely disappointed to see the McGowan Government abandon these core values. I urge you to reverse your decision to axe WA’s Schools of the Air.