Transforming Our Schools
Transforming Our Schools is a comprehensive approach to breaking the stalemate in education reform in Australia. It begins with parents and teachers, and seeks political and policy support for measures which empower grassroots people and drive innovation towards a Real Education Revolution in Australia.

This project grew out of ideas and insights generated in forums in Sydney on 17th August 2009 and Melbourne on 18th August 2009.

Your participation is warmly invited. There are many ways to become involved.

We aim to have a parent contact in every school in Australia, and a teacher contact in every school, so we can organise a strong nationwide voice for education and school reform.

To register your participation, complete the online registration form below.

Participate in Transforming Our Schools

There are three components to Transforming Our Schools:

Partners in Learning is a parent-school partnership model, based on groups of parents of students in public schools who share a particular educational philosophy or culture and who want this philosophy or culture offered as a stream in their school;

Campaign for Independent Public Schools is a nation-wide campaign based on the successful Western Australian initiative in establishing independent public schools, which are non-fee public schools which have greater autonomy and flexibility than traditional state schools in curriculum, student support, staff recruitment, financial management, governance and accountability.

Charter for a Real Education Revolution is a policy direction statement for education reform directed to governments and policy makers.
 
Partners in Learning
 
This is a parent-school partnership model, oriented to school-based innovation and partnership with parents which is applicable to every school in Australia. It is oriented to parents at the school level who want to partner with their school in shaping and governing the design and culture of what their school can offer to students and their parents.

It is based on the right of every parent to negotiate with and enter into partnerships with schools and other education providers to shape and govern the educational philosophy, culture and pedagogy that best fits their child.

The model based on four key features:
 
1. Groups of parents participating in Partners in Learning determine an educational philosophy, culture and pedagogy that fits what they want for their child, and this philosophy, culture and pedagogy are subject to a process of negotiation and agreement with their school (there may be one or more parent groups in each school);
 
2. Schools which embrace the Partners in Learning model undertake to form a partnership with the participating parent group(s) to implement their preferred approaches to learning;
 
3. Parents, teachers and administrators in Partners in Learning schools undertake to manage the partnership in a collaborative manner, with reciprocal rights and responsibilities;
 
4. Parents and teachers combine to select and appoint a non-parent, non-teacher mentor for each child as an additional partner in each child's learning.
 
Our Partners in Learning groups are established in public schools. Express your interest in establishing a group in your school by filling in this form.
 
Campaign for Independent Public Schools

In Britain, Sweden and the United States, a major trend is underway in which many public schools are being transformed by acquiring the benefits of greater autonomy and flexibility in curriculum and culture, while remaining free or non-fee public schools.

In Western Australia, 34 independent public schools were established in 2010 by the WA Department of Education, and a further 64 were introduced in 2011. Their development is a model that can be repeated in public schools around Australia.

Parents and teachers are invited to participate in our Campaign for Independent Public Schools. We aim to engage governments, education departments, policy makers and schools in introducing a program of independent public schools in every Australian state and territory.

Become involved by filling in this form.

Charter for a Real Education Revolution

The Charter is a policy direction statement for the development of a more sophisticated and strategic public debate about school and education reform. It is directed to governments, members of parliaments, policy makers and opinion leaders.

The text of the Charter is:

"1.Every child and student is entitled to a portable Individual Learning Plan that will be accepted by schools, teachers and specialist practitioners as a foundation document and ongoing tool for the design and management of each student's learning.
 
2. Every parent is entitled to negotiate with and enter into partnerships with schools and other education providers to shape and govern the educational philosophy, culture and pedagogy that best fits their child.

3. Every parent is entitled to a student-centred funding entitlement for their child and young person with a weighting for educational and socio-economic disadvantage, rural and remote location, and disability or developmental challenges, to give parents greater leverage in selecting an appropriate school for their unique child and in negotiating with and forming partnerships with schools and other education providers.

4. Every parent is entitled to an annual financial report from their school on how their student-centred funding entitlement is spent.

5. Every conscientious and talented teacher is entitled to ongoing public investment in their skills, professional development and remuneration to retain quality teachers in the profession and to attract the best and brightest of each generation into the teaching profession.

6. Every teacher who is not suited to teaching is entitled to active support from schools, education departments, and career and training agencies in exiting the teaching profession without industrial relations agendas inhibiting their rapid movement out of the teaching profession.

7. A ceiling of $20,000 in annual fees should be set for fee-charging schools who wish to receive public resources, so that public resources do not drive social exclusion through inaccessible school fees. Fee-charging schools may choose to set fees within the ceiling and receive public resources, or exceed the ceiling and forfeit public resourcing.

8. National uniformity in school curriculum is not an important social or educational goal, except in core literacy and numeracy. The Commonwealth's national curriculum authority accredits diverse curricula from a range of education providers."

Participate

To register your participation, complete this online registration form.

Send us your comments

Please forward your comments and suggestions to:

Vern Hughes
0425 722 890
vern@civilsociety.org.au