Is the ACT School System Underperforming?

The following is a short presentation to the Progressive Canberra Summit held at the National Gallery of Australia on Saturday, 14 November. It uses results from the OECD’s Programme of International Assessments (PISA) for 15 year-old students conducted every three years to assess the performance of the ACT school system. The latest results are for 2012.

Continue reading “Is the ACT School System Underperforming?”

ACT Chamber of Commerce Needs Education

It seems that the ACT Chamber of Commerce does not want to retain a highly-skilled workforce in Canberra. Its proposal to cut expenditure on government schools threatens to return ACT education to the dark ages of lower school participation rates and Year 12 completion.

Continue reading “ACT Chamber of Commerce Needs Education”

Islamic School Refused Registration

A proposed new Islamic school in Canberra has been refused provisional registration by the ACT Minister for Education, Joy Burch, because it has failed to meet legislative requirements for new schools. This decision means that the school cannot open as proposed on 6 February 2014 and it will have to submit another application for provisional registration if it wishes to proceed.

A damning report by a panel appointed by the Minister to review the application for provisional registration by the At-Taqwa Islamic School found that the school would not be financially viable, lacked a qualified principal and teachers, and did not have an adequate curriculum or student safety and welfare support processes.

Continue reading “Islamic School Refused Registration”

The Folly of ACT School Closures Revealed

Education Minister Joy Burch has exposed the folly of the 2006 school closures as an expensive and short-sighted mistake. The loss of spare capacity has now seen new classrooms built in schools only kilometres from closed schools, at a cost of tens of millions of dollars.

Continue reading “The Folly of ACT School Closures Revealed”

Schools Advisory Council Calls for More Transparency in the Registration of Private Schools

The ACT Government Schools Education Council (GSEC) has called for changes to the registration process for private schools. It says that the transparency and objectivity of the process should be improved.

It proposes that private school approval procedures match the rigorous requirements for assessing the need for new government schools. It suggests that the evidence to make an objective assessment of community need for new private schools and their potential impact on the viability of existing schools should be more clearly specified.

Continue reading “Schools Advisory Council Calls for More Transparency in the Registration of Private Schools”

Independent Panel to Review Private School Registration Process

Save Our Schools has welcomed the appointment of an independent panel to advise the ACT Minister for Education on the review of the in-principle approval and registration process for private schools in the ACT. SOS Convenor, Trevor Cobbold, said the appointment of the panel provides some prospect for a much-needed tightening of the registration process.

Continue reading “Independent Panel to Review Private School Registration Process”

SOS Calls for Sweeping Changes on the Approval and Registration of Private Schools

Save Our Schools has called for sweeping changes to the legislation and administrative regulations governing the approval and registration of new ACT private schools. It has made 23 recommendations for change in a submission to the ACT Government review of the process. The full submission can be downloaded below.

Continue reading “SOS Calls for Sweeping Changes on the Approval and Registration of Private Schools”

Minister Ignored Dept Advice on New Private Schools

Information obtained through a FOI request by Save Our Schools shows that the ACT Minister for Education ignored advice by her department in granting in-principle approval for two new private schools. It is spectacular evidence of the Minister’s failure to follow the requirements of the ACT Education Act.

The FOI documents are a ‘smoking gun’. They provide irrefutable proof that the Minister for Education ignored her responsibilities under the Education Act in approving the new Islamic School and the new campus of Brindabella Christian College in Charnwood. Continue reading “Minister Ignored Dept Advice on New Private Schools”