Showing posts with label Independent public schools. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Independent public schools. Show all posts

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Independent public schools

Wondering if your school has applied for independent public school status? Wonder no longer!

Click here!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Independent Public Schools

There is a lot of talk in the papers about independent public schools in WA. Independent public schools would be given increased independence from DET and the ability to manage their own affairs.

This could be a wonderful thing:
  • Schools given ability to hire and fire staff on a needs basis
  • Schools better able to pay according to need within the school
  • Schools able to seek maintenance independent of bureacracy
  • Schools able to advertise based on strengths of school to attract students
  • Schools better able to remove difficult students, bullying decreases
  • Schools results gain on independent school sector

so on and so forth but ..

Schools become semi-autonomous Qwangos.. organisations that are paid for by government but that government is not directly responsible for. Typically these organisations start out well and then have their funding squeezed (typically by inflation) until they are inoperable. A very nice political manouver that brings about an expensive government rescue in a few years time..

So let's make some predictions about what happens when wholesale efficiencies are lost (such as staffing, maintenance, curriculum and payroll) and these roles are now paid for by schools with existing budgets.

  • less FTE available for face-to-face teachers due to increased administrative requirements
  • class sizes increase or time in class trade offs occur (see current private sector)
  • lower availability of relief and PD
  • fewer subjects available for students (especially where high teacher:student ratios are required)
  • increased reliance on "online learning"/SIDE
  • staff bullying increases ("managed exits" becomes a common euphemism)
  • non-independent public schools are saddled with students unable to exist in independent public schools; rather than shared across all schools (non-independent public schools become safety net for disaffected youth)
  • capable teachers move to independent public school sector
  • schools exceed budget and seek emergency funding in term four
  • inflation erodes school budget
  • increased audit requirements
  • increased pressure on parents and corporate sector to fund public schools with non tax dollars
  • hiring in regional areas becomes more difficult (non-centralised staffing)
  • schools expected to perform as businesses but run by administrators

DET is less than perfect, but asking schools to do more with less may not be the answer. If we know the issues upfront maybe we can sidestep most of them and initiate change within DET bureaucracy rather than creating larger administrative teams in schools!