“This new special assistance school is building bridges of a different kind today, creating engaging pathways between school and employment to forge brighter futures for young students,” Ms Grace said.
“The Queensland Government will provide around $500,000 of recurrent funding this year towards supporting The BUSY Schools to operate across Queensland, with sites already open for business at Shailer Park and Cairns.
“We also provided $10,000 to The BUSY Schools this year as part of the 2020-21 Spotlight Schools initiative, upon recommendation from Independent Schools Queensland,” Ms Grace said.
“The Spotlight School initiative highlights quality standards in alternative educational settings, and emphasises collaboration across all sectors to identify, scale-up and showcase evidence-based best practice.
“I acknowledge The BUSY Group not-for-profit, together with the Federal Government, which fund the bulk of the costs required to keep ‘The BUSY Schools’ special assistance schools open.
“The Queensland Government operates 42 Special Assistance Schools across Queensland along with two other sites located within mainstream non-state schools, together supporting some 4,100 students.
“This is one of our key strategies for keeping students, at risk of disengaging, active and involved with their education and connecting them with real career possibilities that interest them.”
The BUSY Schools Salisbury Principal Toni Banfield said that currently about 40 students have started attending, with an expanded capacity of around 140 students expected within a few years.
“Our school offers purposeful academic and vocational skills pathways to support students to re-engage in senior schooling and explore career pathways leading to employment outcomes. Students have access to specialist staff who help keep them engaged by giving them individualised support and by encouraging them to set and achieve meaningful goals.
“Five of our students have already achieved school-based apprenticeships in areas ranging from commercial cookery, engineering and construction to community services and hairdressing.
“We’d like to thank both the Queensland Government and local employers for their support.”
In 2019, the Department of Education formed a Statement of Commitment with non-state schooling peak bodies to support high quality standards for alternative education settings, in both the state and non-state sector.
Education Minister Grace Grace was represented by Peter Russo, Member for Toohey, at today’s official opening.
In Photo from L – R: Lee Aitken (CEO for BUSY Schools), Peter Russo (Member for Toohey), Bella Scia Scia (Student), Mackenzie Johnson-Cremin (Student), Dr Kamal Dhaliwal (Director of BUSY Schools) and Toni Banfield (Principal, BUSY Schools Salisbury campus.
Phone: 0407 169 029