Pioneering school set to follow a path of its own

NEW BEGINNING: Springfield Central State High School principal Joseba Larrazabal with year 11 school captains (r-l) Ben Dowden, Kate Jones, Kate Macklin and Mitchell Charteris.
NEW BEGINNING: Springfield Central State High School principal Joseba Larrazabal with year 11 school captains (r-l) Ben Dowden, Kate Jones, Kate Macklin and Mitchell Charteris. Sarah Harvey

SPRINGFIELD Central State High School principal Joseba Larrazabal has been given an even greater say in how his school is run.

His was one of 54 state schools in Queensland recently approved to adopt the independent public schools model from the start of next year.

The transition came about through the State Government's Independent Public Schools initiative.

It gives principals like Mr Larrazabal the power to recruit all staff, control the budget, and school councils can liaise directly with local industry.

"The key element is that we can make local decisions for our school community," he said.

"We can decide on what is most important for us without having to jump through any bureaucratic hoops."

More than 100 schools submitted applications.

Mr Larrazabal said one of his goals was to build partnerships with neighbouring industry groups, such as the Mater Hospital and the University of Southern Queensland, to benefit his students.

Minister for Education Training and Employment John-Paul Langbroek said schools and students had benefited from increased autonomy.

"By cutting red tape and removing layers of bureaucracy, school communities are empowered to make more decisions that impact directly on students' learning," he said.

He said the first 26 independent schools, approved last year, had shown great innovation in managing their resources and tailoring programs to meet the needs of their school communities.

Mr Langbroek said independent schools would still share the same core values and have access to the same support as other Queensland state schools. He said careful consideration had been given to the selection of the schools as not all were ready to take on the additional independence.



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