The Guardian August 23, 2000


Do collegiates RATE?

Collegiates, created by amalgamating high schools and creating senior 
high schools with junior high schools attached, are being promoted by the 
NSW Government as a solution to funding and staffing problems in the 
state's high schools. The NSW Teachers' Federation says there is no 
research and analysis to back up the Government's push, asking  does it 
RATE (Research, Agreement, Transparent, Expansion)?

Has the proposal been the subject of Research and analysis?

There is an absence of research that supports the assertions of the 
Minister [John Aquilina] that the re-configuration of a group of schools 
into a collegiate group will enhance the attainment of positive educational 
outcomes for students.

Issues of significant educational concern are already emerging in some 
areas at the newly created collegiate groups.

Research and analysis and rigorous academic evaluation could identify 
potential shortcomings in order for them to be appropriately debated and 
addressed.

Is there a commitment from the Government that there will be an 
Agreement on the staffing and resourcing of the collegiate group?

By definition, collegiate groups can give rise to potential "savings" for 
Government as a result of the aggregation of senior students on one site.

The Government's refusal to negotiate an agreement on the staffing and 
resourcing of collegiate groups, with the exception of Nirimba, could allow 
for the syphoning away and rationalisation of resources.

Has the proposal been subjected to the Transparent process of 
consultation? Claims by the Minister that collegiate groups are only 
established as a result of desired change by local communities can be 
proven to be false.

At best, in most areas in NSW, where collegiate groups have been 
established, all that is evident is a facade of consultation.

Secrecy has been the prevailing characteristic, which has preceded 
ministerial announcements. The outcome of any consultation process that may 
follow is generally predetermined.

A transparent process also allows for particular circumstances of school 
communities surrounding collegiate groups to be considered and addressed. 
Surrounding schools could be adversely affected by the creation of a 
collegiate group.

Will the proposal lead to the Expansion of the provision of public 
education in your community? Re-organisation and re-configuration is often 
a smokescreen to achieve the rationalisation of services.

The experimentation of [then Liberal Education Minister] Metherell in 1989, 
which resulted in the expansion of selective, and creation of specialist 
high schools contributed to the residualisation of the local comprehensive 
high school.

The Australian electoral process is such that ministers come and go as do 
governments. The question that needs to be asked is: who will be held 
accountable for this significant change in public policy in a few years 
time?

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Acknowledgments: Education

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