22 August 2016      No.23-16
view as pdf

Nominations for Independent Public Schools called

On Friday, the department announced that the closing date to apply to become an Independent Public School in 2017 will be Friday 11 November 2016. Late applications will not be accepted.

This announcement was preceded by the release of the Independent Public School Policy Framework on Tuesday last week. Click here to access the Independent Public Schools 2017 Prospectus.

The policy has a strong focus on Independent Public Schools being part of the state-wide system and also provides the opportunity for schools to withdraw from the IPS initiative if they choose to.

Consultation

The QTU is aware that a number of schools have already started their consultation processes for submitting an EOI to become an IPS in 2017. Schools that are considering submitting an IPS application should start their consultation process as a matter of urgency. It should be noted that the problems with the short consultation period, which included school holidays, has been resolved this year with the time frame extended to November.

In 2015, a more stringent selection process was put in place for schools nominating to become an IPS. This selection process included more transparent selection criteria and the inclusion of QTU representation on the panel (in the form of QTU President Kevin Bates). A key part of the selection criteria was a stronger mandatory consultation process. The selection process in 2016 mirrors this process, with no school being able to progress to the selection panel if there was a negative outcome from of the three mandatory group votes – QTU members, the local consultative committee and the P&C. In addition, schools are required to consult with their region about their capacity to assume greater autonomy as an Independent Public School before submitting an application.

Below are some key messages in relation to consultation and submission of an expression of interest to become an IPS in 2017.

  • The consultation provision in the government’s EB8 offer has been strengthened. That draft clause states – Consultation involves more than a mere exchange of information. For consultation to be effective, the teacher must be contributing to the decision-making process, not only in appearance, but in fact.
  • The LCC should be used as a vehicle for consultation. The role of the LCC is to initiate, implement, review and renew/replace/remove changes within a school. It is the school’s union/management consultative forum.
  • Effective consultation occurs when the proposal is outlined to members, they have time to consider the proposal and raise questions/provide feedback to Union Reps and the school leadership team, and these views are considered when making a financial decision around the proposal.
  • Consideration of issues by the LCC without seeking input from members to inform deliberations is not consultation.
  • The roles of the QTU reps on the LCC is to represent and advocate for the views of members. Consequently, QTU reps will use a range of mechanisms, including feedback boxes, emails and ballots to effectively represent member views.

If schools are thinking of submitting a nomination form to become an IPS school next year, the QTU recommends the following strategy.

  • Become acquainted with the IPS materials.
  • The principal and union reps should discuss a proposed consultation strategy. 
  • QTU Reps should hold a meeting of Union members to discuss the proposed consultation strategy and consider a motion endorsing the consultation strategy.
  • The principal and Union Reps should meet regularly to discuss any issues or questions arising during the consultation strategy.
  • The draft expression of interest (EOI) and written application should be provided to Union members.
  • Before the EOI is submitted, a secret ballot of all QTU members should be held to vote on whether the school should become an IPS.
  • Report the result to the QTU, as this information is to be provided to the IPS selection panel.
  • If the ballots of all unions are in favour of becoming an IPS, then final endorsement by the local consultative committee should occur.

Schools can access the 2017 IPS Cohort – EOI Scoring Matrix.

To assist school leaders and Union Reps in the consultation process, the QTU produces an IPS Consultation Kit, which is updated each year. This kit is being updated this week to reflect the changes in the Independent Public School Policy Framework and consequential fact sheets. The kit can be found on the QTU website or by emailing qtad@qtu.asn.au


 Authorised by Graham Moloney, General Secretary, Queensland Teachers' Union