Four more schools go independent

Education Minister Peter Collier.
Education Minister Peter Collier.

Education Minister Peter Collier announced the latest intake of independent public schools on August 27. They are Clarkson, Quinns Beach and Quinns Rocks primary schools and the West Coast Language Development Centre.

They join Butler, John Butler Primary and Mindarie Secondary colleges, as well as Butler, East Butler, Mindarie, Yanchep Beach and Two Rocks primary schools.

Quinns Rocks principal John Nowicki said the school had been ready for independent status for a while.

‘We are looking forward to greater flexibility to do with staffing and stronger community involvement,’ he said.

‘Our strategic direction over the next five years will be on pedagogy ” having learning groups rather than year groups.’

Quinns Beach principal Aileen Jones said they were excited and the community was fully behind the move.

‘We are looking to continue to provide the very best service for the kids (and) it gives us the opportunity to be distinctive,’ he said.

‘It just gives our school that empowerment to really determine the needs for our students and how we manage our resources.’

West Coast Language Development Centre principal Shelley Blakers said the independent status would give the specialised school more flexibility at its four campuses, including Ridgewood.

‘The flexibilities that come under the IPS umbrella make sure that we can best employ staff that can best help the kids,’ she said.

‘A lot of what we have to do doesn’t come in a book ” it’s not like a normal school.

‘It’s important that we can select the right staff (and) we can actually look at things outside the box.’

Mr Collier said the IPS initiative was a significant reform transforming schooling in WA.

‘WA is leading the way in giving local schools and communities more say and flexibility in the way they offer education to meet the needs of students,’ he said.

‘With the school and community working together, the most appropriate decisions for students can be made because they know what is needed and what works.’

North Metropolitan MLC Peter Katsambanis said it was good to see schools ‘taking control of their own destiny’.

‘The Independent Public School model is all about government getting out of the way and allowing our local schools to take control of their future,’ he said.

‘This will lead to better outcomes for students because local schools working together with parents and the whole school community are in the best position to know what works best for their students.’