Businesses back school campaign

Tayler NealeAlbany Advertiser

A new campaign aimed at improving student attendance through local businesses refusing to serve students during school hours is being rolled out in the Albany region.

The initiative is a collaboration between a host of organisations including the Department of Education, WA Police, City of Albany, Albany Chamber of Commerce and Industry and business owners.

Businesses involved in the campaign will not serve compulsory-aged students during regular school hours and will have posters displayed in their shopfronts.

Mt Barker Community College principal Andrew Fraser highlighted his support for the campaign.

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“There is a great deal of evidence which proves the link between attendance and educational outcomes for students and that every day lost at school means that less learning takes place,” he said.

“This can lead to gaps in learning, which make it very hard for students to really catch up on any lost time. “The Keeping Kids in School campaign is another piece of the attendance jigsaw and having our local businesses support attendance is a great message to the community that attendance is a very important community issue.”

There will be some exceptions to the campaign with students on work experience and school development days able to access the businesses.

Students can also be granted leave passes by their schools, which allow them to access shops associated with the initiative during school hours.

Mr Fraser said he was hopeful of local businesses getting on board.

“In past campaigns, support from the business sector has been tremendous and we hope businesses in our towns take the opportunity again this year,” he said.

Hungry Jack’s Albany store manager Cristy Kibblewhite said the campaign had benefits.

“If they’re not in school, then they can be up to no good and start to make trouble so we need to do everything we can to keep them in school,” she said.

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