Indigenous Education

ACT public schools encourage indigenous students to participate in education so as to achieve equitable and appropriate educational outcomes, especially with literacy and numeracy skills.
Indigenous programs also aim to increase student understanding of, and respect for, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural perspectives and to extend the teaching of these perspectives across the school curriculum. These programs assist schools to implement measures to address prejudice and racism and address the maintenance and development of Indigenous languages.

The AEP aims to provide a guideline for schools that ensure Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander involvement in educational decision making; provide equality of access for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to education services. In addition to those long-term goals, education and training providers implement strategies.

The ACT Department of Education and Training, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Strategic Plan 2006–09 has been developed in association with the Australian Directions in Indigenous Education and the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education Policy (AEP).

The Indigenous Education Consultative Body (IECB) provides advice to the Department of Education and Training. The IECB holds community meetings to provide parents, caregivers and members of Indigenous communities in the ACT with opportunities to discuss issues that they consider impact on educational outcomes for Indigenous students

The Department’s Indigenous Policy and Organisational Practice section (IPOP) supports ACT public schools to implement the strategic directions of the plan and in particular coordinates the provision of the Indigenous Education Officers program.

The Department regularly reports to the ACT Legislative Assembly on achievements in Indigenous education in ACT public schools. Copies of these reports can be downloaded from this website.

Koori Preschool Program

The Koori Preschool Program is administered through the Early Childhood Education Section, within the directorate of Indigenous Education and Early Childhood Education, in the ACT Department of Education and Training.
The Koori Preschool Program provides an early childhood education program for Aboriginal children and Torres Strait Islander children aged 3-5 years. Children under the age of three are welcome to attend but must be accompanied by a parent or adult carer.

Children attend two sessions per week at one of the following sites:

Monday 9:00-1:30
Holt-Kingsford Smith School
Ngunnawal-Ngunnawal Primary School
Calwell-Calwell Primary School

Tuesday 9:00-1:30
Holt-Kingsford Smith School
Ngunnawal-Ngunnawal Primary School
Calwel-Calwell Primary School

Thursday 9:00-1:30
Narrabundah-Narrabundah Early Childhood School
Wanniassa-Wanniassa School

Friday 9:00-1:30
Narrabundah-Narrabundah Early Childhood School
Wanniassa-Wanniassa School

The Koori Preschool Program focuses on learning through play, participation, exploration and experimentation. Within a developmentally appropriate, play based program staff plan programs to support children across all areas of development. In particular the program focuses on the development or Standard Australian English literacy and numeracy skills and children’s capacity to engage with school. Staff within the program provide a safe culturally inclusive environment for Aboriginal children and Torres Strait Islander children.
The Koori Preschool Program is supported by Home School Liaison Officers (HSLO), located at each site. HSLOs provide cultural support to children in the program and liaise with families and other community members. HSLOs visit children who attend local preschool settings and provide cultural advice and support to local preschool teaching staff.
Children may attend the Koori Preschool Program in addition to attending any preschool for which they are eligible.

Indigenous Early Entry Program
Indigenous Early Entry placements are for Aboriginal children or Torres Strait Islander children in the year prior to attending preschool. These placements are offered from third term of the school year for 12 hours per week (15 hours per week where provided), if places are available. Children have access to nine hours per week in the Koori Preschool Program in addition to 12 hours of preschool per week (15 hours where provided) in local preschool settings.

For more information contact Early Childhood Education on 6205 7903.