Western Australia Minister for Education Elizabeth Constable
State Budget 2010-11: Support Grows For Independent Public Schools Initiative
Victor P Taffa
Western Australia Minister for Education Elizabeth Constable has announced that an additional $18.727 Million over four years has been allocated in this year’s State Budget to continue the State Government’s election commitment to give more autonomy and flexibility to public schools.
Education Minister Liz Constable said the funding would allow the Government to continue to build on the highly successful Independent Public Schools initiative.
“The creation of Independent Public Schools honours the Government’s key election commitment to hand greater control to schools and cut bureaucracy in the Western Australian school system.” Dr. Constable said.
“We currently have 34 schools operating as Independent Public Schools and they are experiencing a surge in community involvement.”
“The initiative moves decision-making, responsibility and accountability closer to where it matters the classroom and schools in the initial intake have been very positive about the changes.”
“We will continue our drive to hand more control to schools and their communities. The Budget has strong foundations so we can work together to improve education.”
The Minister said the Government had received 132 expressions of interest from schools eager to take on independent status and therefore have greater flexibility in how they operated from next year.
“An independent panel will now assess individually these expressions of interest and the successful schools which form the second intake of Independent Public Schools will be announced in July.” the Minister said.
An allocation of $3.324 Million for 2010-11 will support schools in their transition to Independent Public Schools, including professional development for school staff.
The schools will have six months to participate in the induction and transition program and prepare themselves to commence formal operation as an Independent Public School at the start of the 2011 school year.