Breakfast is on at connected communities schools

20 March 2014  

Minister for Education Adrian Piccoli today announced a $100,000 investment in breakfast programs at the 15 Connected Communities schools across the State. 

Mr Piccoli said the breakfast program is an important element of the Government's Connected Communities strategy to improve educational outcomes in Aboriginal communities. 

"Health research tells us that breakfast is vital for a student's concentration during the day," Mr Piccoli said. 

"A good start means good learning. Offering a breakfast program ensures students are ready to make the most of their day." 

The Government's strategy aims to improve education outcomes by positioning Connected Communities schools as hubs that deliver a range of services. 

"Connected Communities is a unique approach that gives schools unprecedented authority to tailor education to students' needs. The strategy recognises that one size does not fit all and we have given schools the power to do things differently." 

The funding will supplement breakfast programs already operating at some schools and will enable new programs to be developed at Boggabilla Central School, Coonamble High School, Coonamble Public School, Menindee Central School, Moree Secondary College, Taree High School and Taree Public School. 

Mr Piccoli said Connected Communities schools are encouraged to build on their relationships with government and non-government organisations in the roll-out of the breakfast programs. 

"Connected Communities provides Executive Principals with the resources they need to plan, deliver and manage the breakfast programs," Mr Piccoli said. 

"As with all of our efforts in Connected Communities schools, we want the community to be involved, and this may range from menu suggestions to ideas on partnerships with non-government organisations." 

Mr Piccoli stressed this is typical of the Connected Communities approach. 

"In the past millions of dollars have been spent on initiatives developed outside of the communities they affect," he said. 

"Connected Communities is a radical initiative in Aboriginal education because it puts the community first. I know Aboriginal people are insulted – and rightly so – when plans or policies about their future and their children's future are simply presented to them without their input or consultation. 

"In our Connected Communities if something is not working, we will consult and we will change it, and change it again. Until we get it right." 

The NSW Government launched the Connected Communities strategy in May 2012 to bridge the gap in educational achievement between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal students. 

In November 2013 the NSW Government announced a $35 million capital investment and maintenance program to improve facilities in Connected Communities schools. 

The program, to be delivered over four years, includes $25 million to undertake substantial rebuilds and refurbishments at Walgett Community College High School, Moree East Public School and Brewarrina Central School. 

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