Local Canberra Government Schools Encouraged to Become Independent Public Schools

Senator Zed Seselja will be encouraging local Canberra public schools to consider participating in the Coalition Government’s new $70 million Independent Public School initiative.

Senator Seselja said the Independent Public School initiative will give government schools the opportunity to increase their own local governance and community and parental engagement, as well as helping them to become more independent.

“I encourage Canberra local public schools to express their interest in this fantastic opportunity to become more independent and to involve the whole school community in making decisions that will benefit their school and their students,” said Senator Seselja.

The Coalition Government’s Students First education reforms include a goal of 25 per cent – or approximately 1500 – existing public schools to become Independent Public Schools by 2017.

Education Minister Christopher Pyne MP, said the government is working closely with state and territory education authorities to increase school diversity and give all Australian students choice for a high-quality education.

“We know that principals, parents and schools communities are best placed to make decisions on how their schools should be run,” said Minister Pyne.

Research on school autonomy has helped develop five objectives for the Independent Public School initiative including:

  • Increased local governance and parental involvement;
  • Greater accountability to parents and the local community;
  • Implementing streamlined or one-line budgets;
  • Increased local management of school facilities and infrastructure; and
  • Increased delegation over staffing for school principals to maximise student learning outcomes and student support services.

Under the Students First approach, the Australian Government will work with the states and territories, teachers and parents to focus on four key areas that will make a difference, including teacher quality, principal autonomy, engaging parents in education and strengthening the curriculum.

To complement the Independent Public Schools initiative, the Coalition Government has also released a Guide for Parents on School Boards and School Councils. The guide is designed to help explain different ways that parents can get involved in the governance of their child’s school and how school boards and councils work in different school systems across Australia.

Further information on the Government’s Independent Public Schools policy, including the Guide for parents on school boards and school councils can be found at www.studentsfirst.gov.au.