NSWSPC responds to the NEW MODEL OF SUPPORT TO SCHOOLS AS PROPOSED BY DEC PUBLIC SCHOOLS NSW PORTFOLIO
NSWPPA / NSWSPC / PSPF – RESPONSE TO THE MINISTER FOR EDUCATION
• As leaders of NSW Principals’ Associations, we recognise the proposed State Office and Regional realignments as a means by which DEC can fit service provision within the Government’s ‘ budgetary envelope’. However, while the proposals have been presented as a necessary ‘cultural shift’, we see little if any evidence that such a shift is needed, desired or driven from the ground up. This is essential if major ‘cultural’ change is to be embraced in a system as vast as Public Education in NSW. Our understanding is that any budgetary constraints impacting on DEC service delivery will be factored-in to the 2013 – 2014 State Budget, which gives us time to collaboratively work on meeting these constraints, while minimising any potential loss of essential services and support to schools. We are calling for a halt to any further implementation of this model pending a fully collaborative approach being undertaken from now through Semester 1 2013.
• We believe that the time is right for full and meaningful consultation as to whether a ‘cultural shift’ in the way our Public Education system supports school education is needed or warranted.
• In moving support closer to schools and enhancing the capacity for Principals, in collaboration with their school communities, to have more authority in education delivery, the Government, DEC and the Associations need to work collaboratively and initiate change from ‘the ground up’.
• A top-down model for imposing change has rarely proved effective or long lasting in any democratic society. It seems to many Principals that people who have been providing quality support to schools in a number of service areas are the ones most likely to be missing in the proposed model.
• We anticipate that effective change-management will occur within the DEC, once there is an acknowledgement that frontline managers i.e. experienced Principals, have the knowledge and understanding of ‘what works’ for students.