Secrecy Surrounds Review of the Registration of New ACT Private Schools

The ACT Minister for Education, Ms. Joy Burch, has initiated a review of the current arrangements for approving and registering new private schools in Canberra. The Minister stated that a review is underway in a letter to the Secretary of the ACT Branch of the Australian Education Union. The review is the result of a joint request by the Union, the P&C Council and Save Our Schools.

Continue reading “Secrecy Surrounds Review of the Registration of New ACT Private Schools”

Call for Independent Review of the Private School Registration Process

The ACT Branch of the Australian Education Union, the ACT Council of P&C Associations and Save Our Schools have written to the ACT Education Minister and the Chief Minister calling for an independent review of the registration process for private schools in the ACT. The letter outlines six major problems with the current process that warrant a review.

Continue reading “Call for Independent Review of the Private School Registration Process”

Education Minister Should be Sacked for Turning the Approval Process for New Private Schools into a Shambles

Save Our Schools has called on the Chief Minister, Katy Gallagher, to sack her Education Minister and overhaul the approval process for new private schools in Canberra. SOS Convenor, Trevor Cobbold, said that the Education Minister has turned the approval process into a “shambles” and destroyed any semblance of planning for new private schools.

Continue reading “Education Minister Should be Sacked for Turning the Approval Process for New Private Schools into a Shambles”

Approval of New Belconnen Private School Conflicts With Previous Assessment

The ACT Government has replaced a government school in north-west Belconnen with a private school with its decision to approve a new campus of Brindabella Christian College in Charnwood. Six years ago, Flynn PS was closed; now a new private school has been approved in the next suburb.

It seems that the ACT Government cannot make up its mind whether there is too much excess school capacity in the north-west Belconnen region or there is not enough capacity. The new private school has been approved even though a similar application by another private school was rejected only five years ago because of excess capacity in the area.

Continue reading “Approval of New Belconnen Private School Conflicts With Previous Assessment”

Secret Approval of New ACT Private Schools Is Farcical and Cowardly

Save Our Schools has attacked secret decisions by the ACT Minister for Education, Joy Burch, to approve three new private schools in Canberra as farcical and cowardly. SOS Convenor, Trevor Cobbold, said that secret decisions made last December will draw enrolments from existing schools in Belconnen, add to excess capacity and threaten the future of some schools. Continue reading “Secret Approval of New ACT Private Schools Is Farcical and Cowardly”

Mixed ACT Results from TIMSS & PIRLS 2011

The ACT achieved mixed results in the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) and the Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS) for 2011. ACT students achieved high average results but there was little improvement since 1995 and it has large achievement gaps in Year 8. Continue reading “Mixed ACT Results from TIMSS & PIRLS 2011”

Urgent Action is Needed on Shameful ACT School Results

A research paper released today by Save Our Schools shows that ACT school results have fallen since 2001 and that achievement gaps between the top and bottom students are amongst the largest of all developed countries.

SOS convenor, Trevor Cobbold, said the results are an indictment of ACT education policy over the past decade and he called for an independent public inquiry to set a new direction. Continue reading “Urgent Action is Needed on Shameful ACT School Results”

ACT Liberals Ignore Disadvantage to Defend Privilege

Tony Abbott recently claimed that private schools are the victims of an “injustice” because they get less public funding than government schools.

ACT Liberals have taken up this claim with a vengeance in their election promise to increase funding for private schools. They have revealed their true colours – their first priority is to support better-off families, not low income families.

They ignore the real injustice in ACT education – a massive achievement gap between rich and poor. Increased funding for private schools can only compound this gap.

Continue reading “ACT Liberals Ignore Disadvantage to Defend Privilege”

Huge Funding Bid by ACT Private Schools Should be Rejected

This article is a summary of an Education Policy Brief published by Save Our Schools. It can be downloaded below.

Private schools in Canberra are pressuring for a massive across-the-board 43% increase in funding by the ACT Government. They want Territory funding increased from about 17.5% to 25% of average government school costs.

The Catholic Education Commission, the ACT Association of Independent Schools and the Association of Parents and Friends of ACT Schools have all called for the increase to be applied to all private schools. Undoubtedly, this will be the focus of a private school campaign in the lead up to the ACT election this October.

The proposed increase would amount to about $19 million a year on 2010 funding figures, increasing from $44 million to $63 million. Catholic schools would receive an increase of $13.5 million and Independent schools $5.4 million.

This is an incredible claim which should be rejected on several grounds. It would compound the already privileged funding position of high socio-economic status (SES) private schools in the ACT. It is contrary to the new approach to school funding being developed following the Gonski review of school funding in Australia. It would reduce the funding available to address the major challenge facing ACT education – the large achievement gap between rich and poor students

Continue reading “Huge Funding Bid by ACT Private Schools Should be Rejected”

New Private Schools Use Loophole to Get More Funding

Save Our Schools has accused two Canberra private schools of using a loophole to get extra Federal funding. SOS National Convenor, Trevor Cobbold, said that the two schools will gain $2.4 million in additional funding by establishing new campuses of existing schools rather than for new stand alone schools. Continue reading “New Private Schools Use Loophole to Get More Funding”