Council strategy encourages community learning



Glenorchy City Council in Tasmania has launched a LEARN (Learning, Engaging, Achieving, Respect and Networking) Strategy to provide the community with opportunities to continue learning for life.

The LEARN Strategy aims to address low participation and attainment in education and training across all age groups and create learning opportunities for the whole Glenorchy community.

‘It’s no secret that educational attainment and retention are quite poor in Glenorchy,’ the Mayor of Glenorchy Kristie Johnston says. ‘But education is so important in all areas of our lives. It underpins our success in employment, health and community wellbeing.’

Through the development of partnerships, the Council plans to improve education, training and employment outcomes for young people and encourage and support a culture of lifelong learning in Glenorchy. ‘The Council doesn’t provide educational services but we have a very important role in facilitating discussion and showing leadership,’ Ald Johnston says.

The partnerships approach guided the Strategy’s development. Over the last 2 years, Glenorchy City Council has consulted with over 200 stakeholders, including indepth conversations with 42 key education, training and employment service providers.

The Strategy is informed by Australian Bureau of Statistics research and builds on a number of government plans. The research phase of developing the strategy also involved a review of plans and approaches to establishing learning communities in Australia and overseas.

‘It was a fantastic experience for us to take part in this process and the whole Council was involved in its development,’ Ald Johnston says. ‘It was a learning process for the Council as well as for the community. Our extensive community consultation and the research we undertook stimulated conversations that had not happened before. The process was a revelation to many on our Council.’

With the launch of the Strategy complete, a Leadership Group was established to develop projects, community campaigns and other initiatives.

‘We’re already seeing differences,’ Ald Johnston says. ‘People in the community are more aware of programs available and have a better understanding of what’s on offer.’

Fast facts

  • Retention rates in Glenorchy are low with 50.3% of the total adult population having left school at Year 10 or below.
  • One in four of the current student population in Glenorchy continues on to complete Year 12.
  • Job Service Providers in Glenorchy have reported that more than 10% of their total clients are 16–18 years of age at first contact.
  • Only 35% of 19–21 year olds living in Glenorchy are attending any educational institution.

 

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