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Country Education Strategy – supporting education in country schools and preschools

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The Country Education Strategy sets the direction for education in country areas over the next 7 years.

The strategy will focus on 3 main goals:

  • quality leadership and expert teaching in every country school and preschool
  • better access to digital infrastructure, student support services and business administration systems for country schools and preschools
  • access to quality learning and career, study and training opportunities for country children and young people.

Download the strategy below or read on to find out more about these goals.

Read or download the strategy

Download the Country Education Strategy (PDF 3.5MB)

Quality leadership and expert teaching in every school and preschool

To attract, retain and support quality teachers and leaders, we’re going to:

  • work with SA universities to encourage students studying teaching to do their teaching placements in the country, for example by providing support packages
  • develop a graduate program for pre-service teachers that provides country placements and part-time employment in a teaching support role, to support their teaching practice ahead of graduation
  • review current incentives and support for working in the country and recommend changes to better attract and retain teachers and leaders
  • pilot improvements that make sure quality relief teachers are available in the country
  • pursue options and investment for improved housing and induction support for country teachers.

Better access to digital infrastructure, student support services and business administration systems

To make sure students and staff can access the systems and support they need we’re going to:

  • speed up ICT infrastructure assessments in country schools and support infrastructure upgrades
  • introduce targeted business improvement support in country schools and preschools to reduce administrative burden
  • improve access to student support services in country locations by implementing telepractice (such as audio calls or video chats) in psychology and speech pathology and introducing speech pathology outsourcing in targeted country areas
  • strengthen infrastructure improvement planning, decision making and investment for all country schools and preschools
  • improve the adoption, integration and innovation of digital technology in country schools and preschools through the development of our Digital Strategy.

Quality learning and career, study and training opportunities for students

To improve access to quality learning  and career, study and training pathways, we’re going to:

  • invest in local partnerships between schools to broaden curriculum options for country students
  • deliver improvements to early learning, including reviewing policy around access to preschool programs and expanding the child development screening system in country areas, as part of our Early Learning Strategy
  • explore best practice delivery of online learning in primary and secondary schools
  • explore ways to expand and promote online and in-person career expos and opportunities to students.

Achieving our strategy goals

To make sure our goals for country education are achieved, we will:

  • create a country education reference group of country teachers and leaders that will provide advice on implementing the strategy
  • monitor early childhood development and academic achievement in country schools, including AEDC, NAPLAN and SACE, to determine if education outcomes are improving
  • develop key measures to make sure new programs and initiatives have their intended effect.

2021 to 2022 progress report

In its first year, South Australia’s first Country Education Strategy 2021 to 2028 focused on:

  • attracting and retaining teachers to country locations
  • uplifting technology infrastructure in our country schools
  • bolstering services to support student access to speech pathology, mental health and wellbeing in areas where provision is limited.

We’re pleased to share a summary of our achievements and key outcomes in the Country Education Strategy 2021 to 2022 progress report (PDF 213 KB) .

Strategic reform with a country focus

The unique opportunities and challenges for country areas will be taken into account as we work on other strategic reforms, for example workforce, Aboriginal education, early learning, and digital.

To make sure these reforms are designed and implemented with a country focus, we’re going to:

  • expand the Rural Youth Ambassadors program and make sure the country youth voice is considered in the education reform agenda
  • work with the country education reference group to bring a country perspective to system reforms
  • make it essential to consider country impact in department processes for developing new policies and reforms.

Country Education Team

Emaileducation.countrystrategy [at] sa.gov.au