Boarding Australia is ready to provide follow up to the weekend’s report by the ABC questioning the benefits for students and the efficacy of funding over the past 10 years by the Australian Indigenous Education Foundation (AIEF).

The special report presented as a segment of Sunday night’s ABC News and online offered the perspective of a student who was ‘deeply distressed’ by her boarding experience in an urban college and that of another young woman who benefited from having a mentor.

Exploring and presenting perspectives on the issues are on Boarding Australia’s (BA’s) agenda and will certainly be part of the Symposium in March 2019 expects Greg Franks, BA’s CEO.

Under the current scholarship arrangement, the AIEF pays part of the total cost of tuition and boarding with remaining contributions being made by the host school, parents and other government supplements.

Questions were raised about the accuracy of dropout rates particularly the alleged skewing of data which reflects the overall perception of AIEF’s operation, with other issues including lack of follow up, students’ needs not being met and the potential of students not re-engaging in education when they leave the boarding setting.

Anthony Bennett, President of Boarding Australia says, ‘The researchers and spokespersons on the ABC story were present at the 2018 Symposium and will certainly be invited to contribute further at the March 2019 event to be held in Brisbane. It is important that the good work of the schools and AIEF is acknowledged while open conversations are held to offer the best opportunities for Indigenous students.’

Marie Wood, Boarding Australia Director