The start of the school year will mark the beginning of a new era for 54 of Queensland’s new Independent Public Schools.
Minister for Education, Training and Employment John-Paul Langbroek said the schools would have more freedom to decide their direction and make decisions that benefitted local students and communities.
“Along with the first 26 Independent Public Schools that have enjoyed increased autonomy since January last year, these schools will now be able to have greater input from parents, teachers and community members,” Mr Langbroek said.
“Research shows that autonomy can improve school performance and student outcomes, which is why the Newman Government is investing $21 million in the Independent Public Schools initiative.”
Mr Langbroek said the new Independent Public Schools included primary schools, high schools, Academies, P-12 schools and special schools.
“There are also five high schools currently piloting the Year 7 move to high school by 2015 including Alexandra Hills State High School, The Gap State High School, Springfield Central State High School, Meridan State College on the Sunshine Coast, and Varsity College on the Gold Coast,” he said.
“By cutting red tape and removing layers of bureaucracy, school communities are empowered to make more decisions that impact directly on students’ learning.
“The first 26 Independent Public Schools have led the way this year, showing great innovation in the way they are managing their resources and tailoring programs to meet the needs of their school communities.
“For example, some of the first group have strengthened academic, music and sporting programs through increased flexibility with staffing and curriculum. Others are involved in partnership arrangements with other educational institutions, or are developing cultural relationships to support language programs.
“Our original target was to have 60 Independent Public Schools by 2014. We’re now well ahead of that with a total of 80, giving more communities a greater say in how their schools are run.”
Executive Principal of Mountain Creek State High School Cheryl McMahon said that being an Independent Public School had addressed local needs.
“We certainly see a greater flexibility to be able to use the funds in the school to be able to provide resources and facilities that best suits the needs of our students. It’s certainly been a positive move for us,” Ms McMahon said.
Mr Langbroek said the schools received a one-off payment of $50,000 to assist with the transition, and an extra $50,000 in funding each year.
A link to the DETE TV Independent Public Schools video can be seen here: http://www.youtube.com/user/DETQueensland (This can also be used as an additional vision and audio source for media).
For the full list of Independent Public Schools go to: http://education.qld.gov.au/schools/independent-public-schools/