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    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Minister for Education and Training and Minister for the Arts
    The Honourable Rod Welford

    Expanded homestay options for rural students

    Minister for Education and Training and Minister for the Arts
    The Honourable Rod Welford

    Thursday, June 19, 2008

    Expanded homestay options for rural students

    Queensland secondary students from rural and remote communities will have a greater choice of state high schools at which to study under an expanded Homestay Program.

    Education and Training Minster Rod Welford said the program has been expanded from seven to 16 schools to give geographically-isolated Year 8 to 12 students the chance to study away from home while boarding with either relatives or a local family.

    “Our Government wants to ensure that students in regional areas – no matter where they live – have access to a range of education pathways to realise their aspirations,” Mr Welford said.

    “The Homestay Program was introduced in 2006 to create an affordable education pathway offering quality care in a family home environment for secondary students who choose to complete their education away from home.

    “Statewide community consultations for the Queensland Government’s Blueprint for the Bush initiative highlighted that access to secondary education is one of the factors influencing people to relocate from the bush to larger regional centres.

    “Our Government hopes a more affordable education pathway for geographically isolated students will give families the option to stay in their home community, while their children live away from home during term to complete their education at a state high school.”

    For the first time, such students are able to access Homestay arrangements at Warwick, Miles, St George, Goondiwindi and Palm Beach-Currumbin State High Schools and Kelvin Grove State College.

    They will also be able to access the three Queensland Academies—Creative Industries, Kelvin Grove; Science, Mathematics and Technology, Toowong; and Health Sciences, Southport.

    Palm Beach-Currumbin State High School and Kelvin Grove State College are both Schools of Excellence and the Queensland Academies require an entrance test.

    The schools join the existing Homestay schools of Kirwan, Townsville, North Rockhampton, Centenary Heights, Toowoomba, Maroochydore, Miami and Balmoral State High Schools, and Bentley Park College, Cairns.

    Participating students are eligible for financial assistance from the State and Commonwealth Governments to help cover costs of board and travel between home and school-term accommodation. Applications close Monday 6 October.

    Further information about the Homestay Program is available from Jann Piasecki at the Department of Education, Training and the Arts on 07 3405 3714, jann.piasecki@deta.qld.gov.au or www.education.qld.gov.au/ruralandremote/homestay.html

    Media contact: Marnie Stitz or Emma Clarey on 3237 1000