Parents ask for transparency in approving new private schools

The ACT Council of Parents & Citizens Associations is urging the ACT Education Minister to implement changes to the Education Act after new private schools were approved with little community support.

Council Acting President Mr John Haydon expressed the Council’s disappointment with the minister’s decision to approve the new Brindabella Christian College and Canberra Christian School campuses given the strong objections a number of education groups made to the applications.

“There was certainly room under the Act for the minister to deny these new schools given the applications contained little evidence of demand for such schools from the community” says Council’s acting President John Haydon.

Council, and a number of other education groups made submissions to the Minister, objecting to the applications of these new schools, but were not advised when the schools had been approved.

“The Act needs changing to improve the transparency of this process, rigorous and fair criteria for approval of non-government schools need to be included in the act, public money is being spent to fund these new campuses, the public has a right to know about them” says Mr Haydon.

Council has expressed concerns that under the existing funding model these new campuses would receive additional government funding that they would not have received if they were registered as new schools.

“Some of these campuses are up to 10km away from the original school and will cater to a student cohort significantly larger than the original schools capacity, that’s not a new campus, that’s a new school” says Mr Haydon.