16 November 2015     No. 22-15

[open pdf version]

IPS selection changes a step in the right direction

The 2016 round of Independent Public Schools (IPS) was announced today following a comprehensive selection process based on a new methodology.

There were 56 available places in addition to the four Private Public Partnership schools opening in 2016.  Sixty-one schools applied to become IPS in 2016 and 46 applications have been accepted by the DG.  A list of the 50 new IPS is available here.

Fundamental to the new selection process was more stringent but transparent selection criteria and the inclusion of QTU representation on the panel (QTU President, Kevin Bates).  The new prospectus issued with the opening of the expression of interest (EOI) process in early October provided clear advice on the changes.  Accompanying documents, such as the standards and scoring system to be used by the selection panel, were designed to ensure that all schools that wished to apply had a clear understanding of the expectations.

Critically, no school could progress to the selection panel where there was a negative outcome from one of three mandatory group votes or where the school had received a minimal outcome in the financial audit.  A number of schools were excluded from the selection process without being considered by the panel because of this requirement.

This commitment from Education Minister Kate Jones, and the clear evidence of its application in the selection process, marks a sharp contrast from the commitments given by the previous Minister in the Newman government that were cast aside for political expediency.

Of great concern to the QTU was the standard of consultation demonstrated through the applications and this will be a focus for the QTU into the future.  A major factor in this outcome in the 2016 round of IPS was the timing of the announcement of the EOI and the resultant contracted timelines for consultation.  QTU State Council has also expressed serious concern about this issue.

The QTU is preparing a new information package on consultation in schools that will be rolled out in early 2016 to support the increased expectations for consultation in schools generally and any specific IPS EOI process.

Planning for the 2017 round of IPS must include an agreed and published opening date for EOIs that will allow schools to plan a comprehensive consultation process across at least two school terms.

One significant area of improvement for 2016 is the spread of schools across the range of socio-economic status found in Queensland communities.  The number of applications received from schools at or below 1000 ICSEA was roughly equal to those received from schools above 1000 ICSEA.  The 2016 round of IPS continued the trend of the vast majority of applications, and therefore schools selected, coming from the three south-east Queensland regions.

Strategic Direction of IPS

Following an evaluation of the IPS scheme in June of this year, the Minister established the Independent Public Schools Strategic Directions Steering Committee.  A copy of the Terms of Reference for the IPS Steering Committee is available here.

Both the separate Ministerial HR Taskforce and the IPS Steering Committee will look at the issue of the operation of the transfer and relocation system and the impact of IPS on the operation of these systems.  While acknowledging that both systems were operating below expectations, data derived from the IPS evaluation clearly showed that IPS has apparently had a minimal impact on the operation of the transfer system but a more significant impact on the relocation system.  The outcomes of both Taskforces will need to address the actual impacts and the effects of the perceptions of impacts if true corrections are to be achieved for systems in decline. 

The IPS Steering Committee will complete its work in late 2015 and will then proceed to make recommendations to the Minister for changes to IPS that will apply to all current and future IPSs.  Further information on this work will be provided to members as soon as it is released.


Don’t forget to have your say about the 2016 EB claim.  Share your priorities with the QTU.

Survey regarding senior assessment 

The QTU is conducting a short survey of QTU members who teach senior secondary subjects.  The purpose of this survey is to provide QTU representatives with additional member feedback regarding a broad range of issues related to the review of senior assessment and tertiary entrance processes.

The survey will close on Friday 4 December and can be accessed by clicking here.

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