Third time lucky — school wins independent status

COLLIE Senior High School has finally won its bid to become more independent.

Director-General of Education Sharyn O’Neill announced this afternoon (Wednesday) that a further 48 schools had been chosen to become Independent Public Schools (IPSs) in 2013, and Collie is one of them,

The latest group to get IPS status will take the total to 255 — more than one-third of the state’s public schools.

An elated principal, Domenic Camera, was in Perth when he heard the news.

He saw it as “an acknowledgement of the consistency of our work with the students and a positive reflection of the school and the wider community,” he said.

He was grateful to the school council, particularly Glyn Yates, for its support and advocacy, and also to South-West MLC Colin Holt and Regional Development Minister Brendon Grylls.

IPS status would allow the school to be more responsive to student needs, Mr Camera said.

“It will enable us to look at each cohort individually,” he said. “IOt will also let us look at strategies to attract teachers.”

Colin Holt said the school’s new autonomy would allow it to spend its funding in ways it believed would benefit students, rather than having to follow the direction of departmental bureaucrats.

This would allow it to set future directions and cater for the specific needs of its students and school community.

He predicted Collie Senior High School would use its new status to enhance the range of courses available, to maximise students’ post-school opportunities.

The Vocational Education and Training program for example, allows students to move into local industry and business as quality well trained apprentices, he said,

Mr Holt, who asked questions in Parliament in March about why the school has not achieved IPS status, welcomed the announcement.

“It’s great to see Collie Senior High School being successful in their bid to become an Independent Public School,” he said.

“It shows they have a keen interest in having more say about their direction and more control of staffing and budgets.

“As the town’s key educational institution, becoming an Independent Public School has been viewed as an important part of Collie’s transition to a ‘SuperTown’.

“Independent status of Collie Senior High has been raised with me many times and I have raised this issue with the minister on numerous occasions.

“I am sure all of those who have been advocating for this change over recent years will be very pleased.”