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News Media Releases School experiment expanding before results in
School experiment expanding before results in
Tuesday, 28 February 2012 09:35

A decision by the Barnett Government to further expand the Independent Public School (IPS) program has been criticised for failing to provide evidence that it is working.

Simone McGurk, Secretary of UnionsWA said:

“The the Independent Public School program is an untested experiment in WA.  Before further expansion, a proper review should be undertaken, as recommended by the WA Auditor General.”

Dr Scott Fitzgerald, Curtin Graduate School of Business, author of a study on the IPS said:

“Overseas evidence of similar programs has shown that disadvantaged students and school communities often lose out.  Generally, class sizes grow and schools tend to employ less experienced teachers while they and support staff are more poorly paid.”

Community and Public Sector Union Assistant Branch Secretary Jo Gaines said:
“If school support staff are given more responsibility they need more resources to do their job properly otherwise they will have major workload issues which impacts on enrolments and parents.”
Carolyn Smith, Assistant State Secretary, United Voice, said:

 “It’s the first step towards privatisation of services at schools.
“This is a system that has failed in other parts of the world. In the UK Walsall council had to admit defeat in a highly publicised case, cancelling Serco’s 345 million pound contract to run education services. This decision impacted on 400 jobs and thousands of students.

“Despite this, the Barnett Government has travelled to the UK to see how education services are privately run there. It is the direction they want to take. Privatisation of support staff at schools affects our members. Lower wages.  Lower staff numbers.

“Public services should remain in public hands. Government schools should be run by the Government, to keep them accountable.”

The Auditor General’s Report is available from:
The Curtin Graduate School of Business report: ‘Putting the Public First”: is available at:

pdf School_experiment_before_results.pdf 196.81 Kb

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