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    Media Statements

    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    JOINT STATEMENT
    Premier and Minister for the Arts
    The Honourable Annastacia Palaszczuk
    Minister for Education and Minister for Tourism, Major Events, Small Business and the Commonwealth Games
    The Honourable Kate Jones

    Extra funding for drought-affected distance education families

    JOINT STATEMENT

    Premier and Minister for the Arts
    The Honourable Annastacia Palaszczuk

    Minister for Education and Minister for Tourism, Major Events, Small Business and the Commonwealth Games
    The Honourable Kate Jones

    Wednesday, April 22, 2015

    Extra funding for drought-affected distance education families

    Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has announced extra funding for Queensland’s Schools of Distance Education to help relieve the financial pressures faced by drought-affected families in remote areas.

    While meeting parents and students in Barcaldine with Education Minister Kate Jones, Ms Palaszczuk said up to $250,000 in extra funding would be distributed this year through the Rural and Remote Education Access Program (RREAP).

    “We know there are many Queensland families out there doing it really tough because of the drought,” Ms Palaszczuk said.

    “And that includes many families with children enrolled in one of Queensland’s seven state Schools of Distance Education.

    “This extra funding will help these schools reduce the extra costs to families of participating in school activities such as residential camps and mini-schools.

    “These face-to-face activities are an important part of the distance education curriculum and they help to maximise learning outcomes for students.

    “My government is committed to providing all young Queenslanders with access to a quality education, regardless of where they live or attend school.”

    Education Minister Kate Jones said it was important that distance education students didn’t miss out on important education activities because of the drought.

    “Queensland’s Schools of Distance Education have a long and proud tradition of educating geographically isolated children across the state, and we know they already do a great job at minimising costs to families,” Ms Jones said.

    “This extra funding will allow our distance education principals to further relieve some of the financial burden associated with these activities while large parts of the state are still drought declared.”

    Ms Jones said the funding would be allocated to Queensland’s seven state Schools of Distance Education next month to support programs across Terms 2 and 3, when most of the face-to-face programs occur.

    “This extra funding doubles the amount previously available to Schools of Distance Education through RREAP and schools will work with their communities to determine how best to use it,” Ms Jones said.

    “I would like to thank the distance education principals for raising this issue with me and with the department so we were able to take action and offer extra support.

    Longreach School of Distance Education Principal Rowena Arthur said the extra funding would provide welcome relief for many families at the school.

    “Some of our students travel many hours and hundreds of kilometres to have opportunities to interact face-to-face with other students in their class,” Ms Arthur said.

    “This unrelenting drought is having a significant impact on families in Western Queensland and I know they will be grateful for the extra help towards the reducing the costs of accessing this aspect of their children's schooling.”

    For further information: http://rreap.qld.edu.au/ and http://education.qld.gov.au/curriculum/distance/

    Media contact: 0437 837 976