DARWIN, July 10 - A review released by the Australian Council for Educational Research on Monday shows real community consultation, evidence-based research and consistent long-term government policy is vital to bring dismal school attendance rates up.
It found First Nations people continue to be the most socio-economically marginalised group in Australia, despite decades of policy efforts and investment by successive commonwealth, state and territory governments.
Lead Author Dr Kevin Gillan says the political process and rapid election cycle mean insufficient time is allocated to policy implementation and funding is often cut.
"Indigenous Australian children carry with them the educational and trauma debts of their parents, grandparents and communities," he said.
Gillan, who is Executive Director of Education Partnerships in the Northern Territory Education Department, argues that no one solution will remedy the colossal problem but neither will policies premised on ideological views.
ACER Chief Executive, Professor Geoff Masters says research underpinning policy design and implementation has been consistently lacking.
"Further research into factors inhibiting Indigenous school attendance and learning, for example, is urgently required if we are to design and implement more effective policy," Professor Masters said.
"This review also shows that fully engaging the indigenous community is critical to the design and implementation of successful policies."