Failure of leadership in remote education

Nicolas Rothwell; 20/3/10

Evidence of appalling attendance rates at Wadeye has not troubled the NT education establishment LAST weekend’s disclosure in Inquirer that only one in five children in the fast-growing Top End Aboriginal township of Wadeye attend school regularly has been met with leaden silence from the education authorities in the Northern Territory. The detailed figures from Wadeye, contained in a comprehensive report by Australian National University demographer John Taylor, make plain that only 21 per cent of the school-age population are in school for an average of four days in each five-day week. The official statistics that circulate in the education bureaucracy record student totals for enrolment, a figure measured on eight set days in each year. But enrolment figures are much higher than the true attendance rate and skew the picture completely