NSW Government delivers local authority to public schools
Minister for Education Adrian Piccoli today praised NSW public schools, their principals and teachers for their hard work to implement reforms that give schools much greater local control over staffing, teaching and maintenance.
"Two years ago we introduced the most significant reforms in a century to transfer power, accountability and responsibility to local schools," Mr Piccoli said.
"The results of Local Schools, Local Decisions have been outstanding. Right across NSW, schools are responding directly to the particular needs of their students and local communities.
"Instead of being tied up in red tape, filling in endless forms and seeking approval from head office to even buy a ream of coloured craft paper, principals have been empowered to get on with the job of leading world-class teaching and learning in their schools."
Mr Piccoli today visited Granville Public School with the Member for Granville Tony Issa to see first-hand the changes achieved under Local Schools, Local Decisions - backed by a new needs-based funding system, the Resource Allocation Model (RAM).
"It was heartening to see what Granville has done. In responding to her students' needs, school principal Linda Barry has reorganised her teaching staff and created a new assistant principal position to provide direct support to teachers just beginning their careers," Mr Piccoli said.
Across the State, schools have:
- invested in lifting the quality of teaching through direct professional development;
- reshaped their teaching workforce to suit local needs;
- provided additional literacy and numeracy support for students; and
- employed additional staff to focus on community and student engagement.
"When the NSW Liberal & Nationals Government took power in 2011 schools were struggling with archaic bureaucratic controls which the Labor Party had done nothing to address in 16 years," Mr Piccoli said.
"Two years ago, after widespread consultation with the profession, I launched Local Schools, Local Decisions and started these much-needed reforms.
"Today I release a report card which highlights the tremendous progress made -- as well as the work currently underway to ensure all 2226 NSW schools enjoy the full benefits of local authority by 2016."
All NSW public schools are now:
- managing their own planned maintenance programs;
- making purchases of up to $5000 without head office approval; and
- choosing how to fill around 60 per cent of all vacancies.
"While the reforms to give principals and school communities much greater local authority were overdue, the most exciting aspect is the way they have used this opportunity," Mr Piccoli said.
"They have focused on changes to improve the quality of teaching and learning. And that's the best news we could have because we know when the quality of teaching improves, so too do student outcomes."