Equity, Access & Quality Education in Rural Australia
A Survey of SPERA Members
In 2017, SPERA members and supporters were surveyed on their views of rural education. Forty-two participants responded to the online survey through targeted and snowball recruitment. Participants shared their opinions of the main issues in rural education, the challenges facing rural communities and schools, and what they would like to see change to improve the futures of rural youth. There were two consistent themes: concern about access to quality education for all learners and the survival of rural communities. This included worries about isolation, the attraction and retention of teachers, the availability of opportunities for different types of learners and knowledge, insufficient infrastructure, and post-school options for youth. It is noted that these findings are similar to those in other key reports such as the recent Independent Review into Regional, Rural and Remote Education, 2000 Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission (HREOC) Report and the 1987 Schooling in Rural Australia Report, with their persistence a disappointing concern for education in Australia.
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