FOR RELEASE – May 31, 2021
Child and Youth Advocate provides advice to Minister of Education to address barriers to school attendance
On May 31th, 2021, the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly tabled a report entitled Review on School Attendance in the Yukon: What is, What Could Be. The report was completed by the Yukon Child and Youth Advocate Office in accordance with section 15 of the Child and Youth Advocate Act.
Highlights of the report include:
School attendance data from the Department of Education over the last three years
A critical analysis of the issue conducted through a children’s rights framework and the Circle of Courage model
Six key Areas of Concern that contribute to school attendance issues
A list of 14 recommendations from the Advocate to the Minister of Education
Over the last year, the Advocate’s office (YCAO) conducted mixed methods data collection through interviews, surveys, and focus groups throughout the territory in order to better identify and analyze barriers to school attendance. Conversations took place with children, youth, parents and caregivers, educators and administrators, community organizations, First Nations, Elders, and the Department of Education in order to get as comprehensive an understanding of the issue as possible.
“This review puts the voices of children and youth at the centre” states the Advocate, Annette King. “Despite COVID-19, we were pleased with the engagement across the board. Throughout this review we observed a shared vision to find solutions and address the barriers children have in accessing their right to education”.
The six Areas of Concern that were identified as systemic barriers to school attendance are: Belonging & Culture, Safety in School, Mental Health & Trauma, Personal Factors, Educational Supports, and Behavioural Supports. These correspond with the Advocate’s 14 recommendations that address school environment, attendance policies, mental wellness, and behavioural and educational supports.
The review will be available at the Yukon Child & Youth Advocate Office at 2070 2nd Avenue, and online at www.ycao.ca.
The Child & Youth Advocate Office is an independent office of the Legislative Assembly committed to upholding children’s rights and amplifying the views of young people. The operations of the office are guided by the Child and Youth Advocate Act. Children, youth or others concerned about a child or youth receiving services within Yukon Government can contact the Child and Youth Advocate Office at (867) 456-5575.
Systemic Advocacy Analyst
Yukon Child and Youth Advocate Office
(867) 456-5575; firstname.lastname@example.org