Improving on our Successes

2 August 2017

James SlomanRecently, the Australian Senate passed the school funding reforms known as Gonski 2.0. For the Moreton Bay Colleges the modelling indicates that there will be a fair increase in funding to our two colleges. We have only pursued a fair portion of the $24 billion which will flow into schools over the next decade. I have been a long-time proponent of needs based funding using a simple and transparent distribution model. Importantly, improvements in school performance need longterm and certain funding so that school improvements can have the essential time needed to be realised. Importantly, Gonski 2.0 overcomes many of the special deals that have unfairly advantaged some sectors or jurisdictions over others that was so endemic in Gonski 1.0. The current arrangements are fairer, more transparent and are a real endeavour to get the money where it is needed. Further, it does not favour the more politically active but focuses more on student needs. You may hear various sections of the educational community complaining that they have lost out. They have been overfunded and this has been inequitable! Gonski 2.0 is an important and significant investment in Australian education and puts a lot of the unfairness of the past behind us. All that needs to happen now is for the finer details of how the information and data that will be used to determine where the funding is needed most. Importantly, for us, we should welcome the fact that the funding will, in all likelihood, be tied to school improvements.

The colleges continue to build on and further enhance the outstanding educational experience for our children. Part of this means having to reflect on our current practices, confirm what we are doing well and look to improve in areas where we can. Earlier this year I wrote to you in a newsletter that we intended to undertake a college wide review of our practices. The purpose of this is to inform the next Strategic Plan from 2019 onwards. This review, based upon the Australian Council for Educational Research’s, National School Improvement Tool, has just concluded. The review team, led by Mr Norm Hunter, an educational consultant, retired principal Ms Pam Hall, esteemed academic Professor Rob Gilbert, teaching staff Allison Robertson, Kate Bruschweiler, Mandy Barnett, Arran Montgomery, Caroline Fogg and our community representative, Mrs Sharon Atkins have just concluded what is perhaps the most complex and comprehensive consultation process undertaken across both colleges. All staff members, numerous students and many parents were allocated an interview session interviewed. A report that synthesises these views into both commendations and recommendations is currently being drafted by the review team. This will then be tabled with the Board of Governors for consideration. It is hoped that an executive summary might be made available to the community when it becomes available.

A significant focus of our work in recent times has been continuing to add to the professional culture that is so strong in both colleges. We have a strong focus on teacher professional learning where teachers are working together on improving their teaching. This is characterised by a strong focus on instructional practices and peer feedback on teaching performance. The professionalism of our staff is to be commended and while we have an ambitious plan for the educational experience for all our students, you can be assured that what your children are receiving is truly outstanding. We are just looking for ways to continue to improve on this!

James Sloman
Executive Principal

 

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