Defying distance, ameliorating access: school education for remote Australian students

Natalie DOWNES, Philip Roberts, Michael Barbour

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In Australia, rural and remote schools are known for their innovation in providing education throughout remote locations, with students accessing distance education since the early 1900’s. Distance education in Australia involves students learning in a different location to their teacher, using a combination of ‘asynchronous’ and ‘synchronous’ learning using advanced ICT products that enable them to interact. This paper provides an overview of these schools in New South Wales, an education jurisdiction that has adapted distance education schools to meet the diverse needs of students. This includes the inclusion of a distance education school for gifted students, and “Access Networks” where students attend their local high school, and groups of schools share teachers using co-timetabled subjects and technology to communicate. These schools highlight that education for students in geographically remote locations is not only possible, but provides many benefits for students, when we accept that ‘school’ doesn’t have to mean numbers of children attending one setting together.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)248-255
Number of pages8
JournalEducation in the North: the journal of Scottish education
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 18 Dec 2020


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