MEDIA RELEASE: Aussies urged to play their part in kids’ education as new research reveals importance of ‘sense of belonging’ - It Takes a Village

MEDIA RELEASE: Aussies urged to play their part in kids’ education as new research reveals importance of ‘sense of belonging’

29 April 2019: All Australians – not just parents and teachers – are being urged to recognise the role they have to play in helping young Australians achieve at school following the release of new research today which reveals that having a ‘sense of belonging’ is a common factor among high-achieving students.

The new research revealed in a paper published in the latest edition of Issues in Educational Research found that social factors such as friendships and sense of belonging at school through participation in non-academic programs are rated among the most importance factors by high-achieving school students.

Community Council for Australia CEO, David Crosbie, said the charity sector has been urging Australians to recognise the importance of fostering positive relationships with young people as part of its new It Takes a Village campaign.

“This new research highlights what we’ve been saying for a long time – we all have a role to play in keeping our young people in education and helping them to achieve big things,” Mr Crosbie said

“Each year, 86,000 kids don’t finish school, and many more are under performing.  The evidence tells us that if you don’t complete year 12 your prospects of employment are substantially reduced, and you face a greater chance of bouts of homelessness, poverty, and ill-health.  

“There are always going to be students who leave school for various reasons, but the simple fact is the figure is too high.

“We know having an educated youth and low unemployment rates is good for all of us – now it’s time to start ensuring we’re all pulling our weight to make sure that happens.

“Educational outcomes are linked to the overall well-being of our young people. Students do better when they are happy, have a sense of belonging and have a range of positive influences in their lives outside school.

“All Australians should be looking at this research today and asking themselves what steps they’re taking to improve the education of a young person in their community. Keeping our kids in education is good for everyone, and responsibility doesn’t just fall to parents and teachers. It takes a village.

“You might be involved in a sports club, music teacher, a local business owner, an uncle, a neighbour, a grandparent, or even a volunteer at a local charity. If you’ve got a young person in your village, you have a role to play in helping them get a good education and achieve their dreams.

 “Education is everyone’s business. It’s time all Australians started to recognise that and looked for opportunities to play a greater role.”