The Coober Pedy 'Getting Kids Back to School' Shared Responsibility Agreement (SRA) focuses on improving education outcomes for Indigenous school children in Coober Pedy. The SRA involves the local community, State and Commonwealth governments and the Coober Pedy Area School in achieving this aim.
Shared Responsibility Agreements are agreements between governments and Indigenous communities to provide discretionary funding in return for community obligations. The new arrangements developed from an initiative of the Council of Australian Governments and replace the previous ATSIC system of funding. For more information see ‘Shared Responsibility Agreement’ below.
The SRA aims to increase the capacity for all Indigenous children to attend school by addressing the issue of children missing science classes because they do not have the required uniform. The SRA also focuses on ensuring better education outcomes by developing an engaging curriculum and encouraging healthy eating.
The shared responsibilities are outlined as follows:
'The Australian Government is committed to this SRA by providing support to the school and to families to ensure young people attend and thrive at school and, in particular, are given the opportunity to participate in science classes in a safe environment. To do this the Government is giving funding to provide school uniforms and enclosed shoes appropriate for the students to take part in laboratory work.
Also working with the community is the SA State Government which will offer an innovative approach to teaching science to engage the children and will continue to operate bus transport to and from school and run food education and nutrition programs.
The community is committed to this project and will show their commitment in a number of ways. They will enforce a ‘no school no pool’ policy through a Community Recreational Officer, with this incentive encouraging children to go to school. Community CDEP workers and volunteers will supervise at the pool and provide swimming classes where necessary.
Parents and carers will get their children to school by using the bus service and encourage children to attend school throughout the day by giving their approval for pool use after school. Parents will also volunteer time to be involved in the food education and nutrition programs and will participate in school sporting activities like swimming carnivals.' (Australian Public Service Commission, 2005).
The Coober Pedy SRA will be administered by the Port August Indigenous Coordination Centre.