Minister Ignored Dept Advice on Demand for Islamic School

Information obtained through a FOI request by Save Our Schools shows that the Minister for Education ignored advice by her department in granting in-principle approval for the new Islamic School to be located in Spence. SOS Convenor, Trevor Cobbold, said that it is spectacular evidence of the Minister’s failure to follow the requirements of the Education Act.

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Registration of New Islamic School Should be Postponed

Save Our Schools has called on the ACT Education Minister, Joy Burch, to postpone consideration of the application of At-Taqwa Islamic school for provisional registration until the school obtains a permanent site other than its temporary location in Spence.

The revelation that the new Islamic school will be located temporarily in Spence shows that the Minister’s secret approval of the school last December, along with two other private schools, was premature. Approval for the school was given before its location was known so that the implications for existing schools in the area have not been properly assessed. There is a very real danger that the school’s location in Spence may become permanent and impact on the viability of existing schools in the area.

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Directorate of Education Figures Refute Minister’s Claims on Private School Registration Panels

Official figures show that the registration of private schools in the ACT is now being decided by a “club” of private school interests. Regulations requiring registration panels to be independent are being ignored by the Minister for Education. Continue reading “Directorate of Education Figures Refute Minister’s Claims on Private School Registration Panels”

Registration Panel for New Charnwood Private School is Biased

The ACT Minister for Education has appointed a biased panel to assess the registration application for the new campus of Brindabella Christian College (BCC) in Charnwood. Private school representatives make up six of the ten panel members. The Minister has ignored her own departmental manual for the registration of private schools which states that the panels are independent. Past practice has been that registration panels have a majority of members not associated with private schools.

This new revelation shows that the Minister has stacked the deck in favour of the new Charnwood campus. She failed to properly assess its likely impact on existing schools in Charnwood and north-west Belconnen as required under the ACT Education Act, she kept her decision to give in-principle approval secret for three months and now she has appointed a biased panel to assess its registration application.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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”