In­de­pen­dence for schools

Ellenbrook Advocate - - NEWS - Mon­tana Ar­don

THREE lo­cal pri­mary schools will be­come part of the Lib­eral Gov­ern­ment’s In­de­pen­dent Pub­lic Schools (IPS) ini­tia­tive in 2017.

Ellenbrook’s Malvern Springs Pri­mary School, Caver­sham Pri­mary School and Up­per Swan Pri­mary School were among the 73 schools an­nounced by Ed­u­ca­tion Min­is­ter Peter Col­lier to gain in­de­pen­dent sta­tus next year.

“Along with six new schools open­ing for the first time next year, the State Gov­ern­ment will have 524 In­de­pen­dent Pub­lic Schools in 2017,” Mr Col­lier said.

The min­is­ter said more than 100 school com­mu­ni­ties had ap­plied to join the ini­tia­tive, and the stan­dard was so high the ini­tial cap of 50 schools was ex­tended.

“Such a strong field of schools were deemed ready to be­come In­de­pen­dent Pub­lic Schools that we could not deny them this great op­por­tu­nity,” Mr Col­lier said.

“In­de­pen­dent Pub­lic Schools have stripped away the bar­ri­ers that used to shackle prin­ci­pals and staff from do­ing their jobs ef­fec­tively – that is, pro­vid­ing the very best teach­ing and learn­ing en­vi­ron­ments for stu­dents. Prin­ci­pals say they have never looked back af­ter be­com­ing in­de­pen­dent and hav­ing the author­ity at school level to se­lect staff, run bud­gets and de­cide how their schools op­er­ate.”

Op­po­si­tion spokes­woman Rita Saf­fi­oti said that while she sup­ported In­de­pen­dent Pub­lic Schools, it was im­por­tant the Gov­ern­ment mon­i­tored non-In­de­pen­dent schools as well.

“I know the school com­mu­ni­ties put in a lot of ef­fort to gain this sta­tus, and con­grat­u­late them on all of their hard work,” she said.

“I was re­cently on a com­mit­tee that iden­ti­fied gen­eral im­prove­ments that need to be un­der­taken across the sys­tem, to en­sure that schools that are not IPS are not left be­hind. We also want to see a con­tin­ued fo­cus on stu­dent out­comes through ev­ery re­form process.”

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