There isn't just one thing preventing young people from engaging in education. There is a long list of things that can and do make it harder for young people to attend school and everyone's experience is unique to them.
Common elements we heard throughout our consultation however were young people talking about the impact of poor health and mental illness, financial hardship, lack of motivation and exhaustion, bullying, violence, trauma, family issues, stress, boredom, feeling of isolation or not fitting in at school and just not seeing the point of school.
Disengagement or detachment from schooling is a significant issue with a significant flow on throughout the Loddon Campaspe region. For example the Campaspe Shire alone identified that 497 young people aged 15-24 in its Shire were not employed or in education according to the 2016 Census.
It is difficult to share direct quotes from young people that represent more than just that individual's experience, but we have tried to select those that show the diversity of issues impacting young peoples engagement with education. Here is what some young people said:
"Financial distress, living in a remote area and threats for physical and emotional safety."
"Sometimes things at home make you have a hard day at school, even if you try to forget."
"Lack of family support. personal mental and physical issues or those of friends and family and difficulty with transport to and from school."
"Bullying, or family matters like illness, transportation, finances or even just motivation."
"It's hard when you're having trouble at home, such as violence or a sick loved one, or if you struggle in the school environment, caused by bullying or teachers who don't understand."
"Divorce, drugs, family problems, money and more."
"Sometimes it's hard to attend school because it feels as if you are drowning in school work and homework."
Read the full report here.