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Alternative Education

Education provides pathways for young people to explore and build their capacity through academic achievement and skill development that may enable social development, community participation and economic outcomes for individuals and the community as a whole.

Access to education is a right, not a privilege. Education systems need to provide inclusive settings with opportunities for young people to learn and develop in ways that recognise and respond to their diverse strengths, backgrounds, learning styles and individual needs.

There have been major changes to education requirements for young people in the ACT with amendments to the Education Act from 1 January 2010. Previously, compulsory school age ending was 15 years of age. All young people are now required to remain in education until completing Year 10. Following this, they will have to participate full time (at least 25 hours per week) in education, training or employment until completing Year 12 (or equivalent) or reaching the age of 17, whichever comes first (for more information, please refer to the Education Section of the Big Red Book). 

There are many reasons why a young person may have difficulties at school such as poverty, family difficulties, health, and social and environmental factors. It’s important to support young people, their families and schools to find solutions to these barriers. Suspension or exclusion from school may not be the best response and could lead to further exclusion and isolation of a young person.  

It’s the responsibility of workers and the community to know and action young people’s rights. Workers need to be aware of young people’s rights in education and support them to stay in mainstream education where possible.

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