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Letter to the Editor - Schools Act Responsibly

Letter to the Editor, published in The Courier-Mail on 24 September 2019

Queensland's independent schooling sector, contrary to columnist Peter Gleeson's sweeping categorisation (C-M, Sep 23), is highly regulated, well-governed and very successful.

Some of the sector's longest-serving schools have been operating for more than 150 years.

This is the result of effective governance, strong financial management, inspired leadership, high-quality learning outcomes and community confidence.

Across the state, about 2000 volunteer school board governors, supported by more than 210 principals and 15,000 teachers and staff, are united in their missions to keep safe, educate and guide the lives of more than 123,000 children - or one in seven school-age Queenslanders - attending independent schools.

Parents value the diversity and quality of education on offer in independent schools as evidenced by the growth of new schools, campuses and enrolments in the sector.

Nationally, the independent schooling sector is the most successful, with the highly respected Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA 2015) showing Australian independent schools are achieving results on par with some of the world's top-performing countries.

The sector contributes more than $5 billion to the Queensland economy and supports almost 35,000 direct and indirect jobs The public can feel confident in their local independent schools which are highly regulated by a range of state and federal Acts of Parliament and by government oversight bodies. Independent schools are not only accountable for the public funding they receive from the Queensland and Australian governments, but also for the significant private contributions they receive from parents.

Independent schools exist because of the trust and confidence of their communities. They do not take this trust lightly or for granted.

David Robertson
Executive Director
Independent Schools Queensland, Spring Hill

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