Western Australia Minister for Education Elizabeth Constable
Sixty-Four More Schools Join WA’s Independent Public Schools Revolution
Victor P Taffa
Education Minister Liz Constable today announced that 64 more WA Public Schools would take on Independent Status from next year.
Dr. Constable said the second intake was almost double the initial 34 and illustrated the willingness with which public schools had sought the opportunity to make local decisions that best suited their community’s needs.
“Parents and school communities are embracing this new initiative and find it allows them to have a greater say in how their school is run.” the Minister said.
“With this announcement of an additional 64 schools, there will be almost 100 public schools in 2011 operating as independent public schools.”
“These will have the flexibility and autonomy to make decisions on the ground that meets the specific needs of their students, including recruitment and selection of teachers, education programs and management of their own budgets.” Dr. Constable said.
“The second intake represents a wide range of schools from many socio-economic backgrounds – with 25 % from the Country and 75 % from the Metropolitan Area.”
The Minister said 134 schools had applied for the second intake, illustrating the appetite for increased autonomy.
“Those schools that began operating as Independent Public Schools (IPS) in the first intake have told us that parents greatly value the increased input they have into how their school is run.” the Minister said.
“Principals also report that the freedom to select their own staff has made a big difference to their operations and morale.”
Dr. Constable said the new intake would receive extensive training and workshop opportunities in the next five months to prepare them for IPS status.
Other schools, including those that have not been successful this time, will have the opportunity to express their interest in becoming an Independent Public School in a third intake to begin in 2012.
Details on the next intake will be provided to school communities throughout the remainder of this year.