ENGAGING WORKSHOP: Centacare’s Amie Joseph is involved with Keeping Them in School, which explores why young people disengage and how to get them excited about learning again.
ENGAGING WORKSHOP: Centacare’s Amie Joseph is involved with Keeping Them in School, which explores why young people disengage and how to get them excited about learning again. Max Fleet BUNCEN

Workshop to help kids stay engaged with school

PARENTS concerned their child is becoming disengaged with mainstream education have a new workshop to help them.

A new Centacare Bundaberg workshop called Keeping Them in School is aimed at parents of children who are at risk of, or have already disengaged from mainstream education.

The program explores why young people disengage with education and how to get them excited about learning again.

Centacare Bundaberg family and relationship educator Amie Joseph said truancy and disengagement was significantly high in the region's schools, particularly from Year 10 onwards.

"We categorise truancy as naughty or deceitful behaviour but there is often an underlying barrier that we are not addressing," she said.

"It's usually an emotional reaction to something happening outside of the education system."

Last month, an APN Newsdesk analysis of State Government data revealed Bundaberg had the 10th highest level of absences out of the state's 75 council areas.

The region's primary and secondary pupils skipped 58,037 days between January 1, 2010 and December 31, 2014

Ms Joseph said the workshop was ultimately about equipping parents with the tools and knowledge to help keep their child passionate about learning.

"We are pretty lucky in Bundaberg that we do have these alternative pathways for students that have disengaged," she said.

"Throughout the program we look at why these children are not engaging and what behaviours are contributing.

"Then we look at support systems available at the school and elsewhere to help the children."

Ms Joseph said there were warning signs parents could look out for including:

a notification from the school about your child missing classes

a change in your child's social group

depression and anxiety symptoms relating to attendance

a strong resistance in the morning from your child going to school.

Ms Joseph said she worked with the community as she developed the workshop.

"I'm part of a regional youth hub network - a group of professionals including educational staff who nut out school trends and behavioural issues," she said.

The workshop is broad but there is potential for one-on-one workshops with families in the future.

Program details

Where: Centacare Bundaberg, 79 Woongarra St

When: 9.30-11am Monday and 5-6.30pm Tuesday

Cost: $5 (fee may be waived)

Contact: Phone 1300 523 985 or email registrations@ centacare.net



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