Australian primary and secondary schooling requires major change to empower parents and teachers, and to meet the diverse needs of students. The old ‘public versus private’ debate has served
students, parents and teachers badly. It has focused attention on institutional arrangements on the supply-side rather than individualized arrangements on the demand side. A revolution in our schools
is needed as a national priority.
The ownership structure of schools is less important for parents than their ability to access individualized, person-centred education for their children within values frameworks of their own choosing.
Ideology is less important for conscientious teachers than opportunities afforded for them to be the best teachers they can be with appropriate peer and public acknowledgement.
Trade union agendas in schools are less important for students than individualized learning agendas and continuity in personal and social support from trusted adults.
Students have been the big losers in the false war between equity and choice, especially those students with disabilities, learning, behavioural and social difficulties.
People Power stands for
People Power will
Require all schools (public and private) to meet benchmarks on inclusion of students with social and educational disadvantages in order to be eligible to receive SBFE funds.
Amongst the benchmarks will be a requirement that a fixed percentage of enrolled students in every school
are students who have a learning, developmental or behavioural difficulty. Schools which meet these benchmarks may adopt their
own fee schedules to supplement SBFE entitlements up to a maximum fee of
$12,000. Schools which do not meet these benchmarks will not be eligible to receive public funds through SBFE entitlements.
entitlements for educational and social disadvantage in such a way that schools will compete to attract students with learning and developmental
deficits and behavioural difficulties, with additional financial incentives for achievement of performance-based outcomes with these students.
Allow all schools greater flexibility in determining curriculum (beyond core components), their preferred educational and organizational philosophy, and their preferred reporting
mechanisms to parents.
Allow schools in the public system to hire and fire staff as they see fit.
Allow schools in the public system to adopt a Charter
defining their educational philosophy, social
and cultural values, curriculum and structure as they see fit. Charter schools
would be given additional flexibilities in educational, governance, management
and financial operations.
Enable schools which are state owned to voluntarily transfer their educational leadership and management to non-government entities (foundations, community organizations, teacher co-operatives, parent entities). Following a ten year probationary period under such arrangements, schools may transfer their ownership to these not-for-profit bodies.
People Power Schools Policy Contact :
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