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Parental Support for Schooling Should be Top of Mind for Politicians this Election

In the lead-up to the State Election, Independent Schools Queensland has prepared some insightful articles for our parents to read. We hope you find this one informative and helpful.

Amongst the busyness of end-of-year exams and events, Queenslanders will elect their next State Government.

For parents of school-age children like yourselves, it is already a hectic time of year that demands every ounce of your energy and every moment of your attention. Finding time to read and analyse election polices may not be top of your priority list, but you are encouraged to familiarise yourself with your local candidates and their policies. Independent Schools Queensland has created a dedicated 2017 State Election web page to keep independent schools and our communities informed about the latest election policy announcements on education.

The government formed after the 25 November election has an opportunity to set a new long-term education reform agenda that sets young Queenslanders and this state up for the future. Visionary reform requires political will and leadership because the fruits of change in education take time to bear.

Lifting system-level results, even incrementally, takes sustained and ongoing effort. Evidence-based education policies take time to craft, trial and implement. Queensland’s major education reforms of the past decade, including the “learning or earning” laws, the Prep Year and moving Year 7 to high school, had a four-year lead time.

The ground work needed to support the most significant overhaul of senior schooling in more than 40 years has also been extensive. Year 11s in 2019 will be the first to experience the new system – five years after a review report and recommendations were handed to government.

Queensland has strong education foundations and a workforce of talented and dedicated educators. Policy makers should spend more time looking inward, at independent schools like ours, than outward for evidence of education practices that are driving student achievement.

Much has been made of Australia’s declining results in the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA). However, an examination of the results of Australian independent school students reveals they achieved results that put them first in reading and second only behind Singapore in science.

The independent schooling sector plays an important role in developing Queensland’s human capital and contributing to its economic prosperity.

The value you, as parents, place on education and the investment you make in your child’s schooling reduces the tax burden on other families and the cost impost on governments. By not taking up a fully-funded place at a state school in Queensland, children in independent schools save taxpayers in the order of $1 billion a year in both recurrent spending and building costs. This is a critical point that is sometimes lost in education policy debates.

If you have the opportunity, let your local candidates know about the important role played by our school in educating future generations of Queenslanders and the valuable contributions parents like you make to the provision of quality education choices in this state.

For your convenience, you can download and save this article as a PDF here.

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