Created on Thursday, 20 August 2009 13:10 Written by Administrator
Staff, parents and the community are entitled to have a full understanding of the proposal “Independent Public Schools”. Staff, parents and community should be making decisions based on full understanding of the proposal “Independent Public Schools”. Maybe the truth is ... decision making should be delayed until there is a full and proper explanation of the proposed operations of “Independent Public Schools. Is it right and proper to “invest” in significant educational change without full details?
If your school is considering making an application to be an “Independent Public School” there MUST BE an opportunity for staff and parents to be informed and engaged in the consultation .
As staff you should ensure that you have a representative at any school council/parent/ community meeting in order to raise queries/ questions and alert parents/community to further and broader issues they do not think about.
A staff meeting [all staff] should be convened to discuss the matter.
Prior to the staff meeting a copy of the relevant DET materials on Independent Public Schools should be circulated.
As a branch / individuals you should have at the ready your queries / questions about the status and nature of schools operating as Independent Public Schools. Where there is no clear answer you should be seeking a commitment from the school administration to find the answers before proceeding. Have a scribe in attendance to take down questions and answers for the record.
PLEASE forward any queries/ concerns noted in the meeting to the Union office on the INDEPENDENT PUBLIC SCHOOLS Queries & Concerns Proforma [see attached].
Key Areas: [attached are some questions to get you started]
CURRICULUM: What costs would the school/ students incur if we took up the International Baccalaureate? Who is going to provide PD for teachers in this instance? Would we be looking at specialising in any way? What impact would that have on local access arrangements? How would such a decision be made? Who will have responsibility for national curriculum implementation – development of resources, PD etc?
STUDENT SUPPORT: To what extent would the school have access to DET support through district office, central office, visiting teacher services, etc? How vulnerable would we be to parent complaints at lack of delivery? Resources? How would Schools Plus apply to us?
ORGANISATION & STRUCTURES: There is talk about flexibilities, what areas are Independent Public Schools able to be flexible in? Will the current promotional structures be able to be changed and/or removed from the school’s staffing profile (e.g. remove a deputy position)?
HUMAN RESOURCES: At what level will staff have an input into the “powers” under staffing profile and staff selection? Will we expect to see the cost of staff [salary levels] impact on the staff profile, i.e. more grads than experienced staff? Are there any guidleines about changing the staff profile? Will all positions be spilled? If I don’t want to work at the school under this new governance how can I leave? Can staff re-enter into the normal transfer system when they want to leave? Who is responsible for managing staff shortages?
GOVERNANCE & LEADERSHIP: To what extent will liabilities for OSH, DOC, building maintenance etc lie with the school and school council? What role would we expect the school council/parents/community to be taking with respect to appointments? Where do grievances go to?
FINANCE & FACILITIES: What aspects of financing will be included in one line budgets? How will this element of “independence” impact on our access to LSL, LWOP, sick leave etc? What level of responsibility will the school take up for maintenance, building replacement, etc? Will extra resources flow to the school to support the additional responsibilities? To what extent will schools be free to get involved in sponsorship deals and private partnerships?