Minister for Education, the Hon Christopher Pyne MP welcomed the Queensland Government’s announcement that 250 Queensland schools would become Independent Public Schools in the next three years.
Mr Pyne said Queensland will receive $12.88 million from the Australian Government between 2014 and 2017 under the Independent Public Schools (IPS) initiative.
“The Australian and Queensland Governments have listened to local school communities and they have told us they want more say over how their school runs because they are best placed to make the key decisions for their students,” Mr Pyne said.
“That’s why the Australian Government provided nearly $13 million to build on the great work the Queensland Government has already done to give more schools more say.
“With this funding, the Queensland Government is able to extend its existing programme, helping an extra 130 schools to become Independent Public Schools by 2017, taking the total from 120 to 250.”
Students in 80 Queensland state schools are already benefiting from staff and school communities having more freedom to make decisions.
By 2017 one in five Queensland state schools will be Independent Public Schools, with a better opportunity to focus on the needs of their students.
The funding will also assist with the development and implementation of three professional development programmes, and an online system to help schools better manage their own budgets.
“Parents across the nation are recognising that increasing school autonomy means better outcomes for their children,” Mr Pyne said.
Victoria, South Australia, Tasmania, Queensland, the Australian Capital Territory and the Northern Territory are all benefitting from the $70 million fund being used to take steps towards more autonomous and independent public schools.
“This important part of the Australian Government’s Students First approach will allow Queensland schools to better meet the needs of their students and communities,” Mr Pyne said.
The Students First approach focuses on four key areas that will make a difference to students:
- teacher quality
- school autonomy
- parental engagement
- strengthening the curriculum