What our leaders will do about high school drop-out rates
QUEENSLAND'S political leaders have failed to detail how they would fix high school drop-out rates in regional Queensland despite promising to act.
Neither the LNP nor Labor would commit to specific policies to encourage more regional school students to finish Year 12.
Yesterday, this paper revealed regional school students were less likely to graduate high school than Brisbane kids and called on the Labor Party and LNP to change that and give our kids the best chance at success.
Labor leader Annastacia Palaszczuk said school graduation rates in regional areas were increasing - but change was slow.
"Every young Queenslander deserves access to quality education and training to develop the skills and create the opportunities for them to move from the classroom into the workforce," she said.
"In addition, my government has developed a policy with a range of actions, called Everybody's Business: Re-engaging young Queenslanders in education.
"Through the first year of the strategy, 4000 children have re-engaged with school across the state."
Ms Palaszczuk said she stood on her record on schools - stating she had employed 3500 new teachers, 1000 teacher aides and announced the construction of 10 new schools.
She said in contrast when Tim Nicholls was treasurer the LNP closed three schools.
Mr Nicholls said Queensland's education sector needed to be modernised.
"Our education and training sector must rise to the challenges and rewards that come with increased automation and ongoing technological improvements and digitisation in Australian industries," he said.
"That is why the LNP has identified education as one of six key economic drivers to Queensland's growth and prosperity."
Mr Nicholls said under the LNP the number of students finishing Year 12 increased from 47,181 in 2012 to 47,911 in 2013.
Education Minister Kate Jones said her department had worked hard to reengage students and get them back into the education system.
"We've made it so schools are responsible for every Year 12 student and report to the regional office on their attendance," she said.
"We've also employed child safety officers and coaches in every region whose job it is to work with kids at risk of dropping out of school.
"Our government has also had a targeted strategy to work with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students - closing the gap by retaining more students at state schools." - NewsRegional