250 Queensland schools facing uncertain future
THE future of a controversial schooling model that's been rolled out across hundreds of Queensland schools remains unclear with the State Government refusing to say whether it will fund it should it win the upcoming election.
The Independent Public Schools (IPS) model, which gives greater autonomy to 250 state schools, was introduced by the Newman Government in 2013.
The Queensland Teachers' Union (QTU) has long voiced its opposition to the program while the LNP has urged the Government to continue it.
But Education Minister Grace Grace this week refused to say whether the Government would continue funding the program if it won the election, instead saying her sole focus was ensuring schools and students have everything they needed to get through COVID-19.
"That means new and upgraded school infrastructure, new school resources as well as thousands of additional teachers," she said.
"This is all part of our plan for economic recovery and to support jobs into the future."
Under the program, schools receive an additional $50,000, with the facilities to have greater autonomy in decision-making.
In 2018, the Government initiated a public review to determine the "best parts" of the program, which Ms Grace said had been applied to all state schools.
"We have empowered principals to make local decisions around resourcing, providing greater autonomy in decision-making and increased capacity to work in new ways," she said.
"Our position on IPS remains unchanged."
LNP education spokesman Jarrod Bleijie said the party would continue to support IPS if elected.
"Not only will we continue them into the future, we will expand them if an LNP Government is elected in October," he said.
Mr Bleijie said not knowing whether the program would continue to be funded created uncertainty.
QTU president Kevin Bates said the last review identified issues with the model, including around HR and governance.
"From our perspective what we have seen over the last two years is our schools are operating in a single system," he said.
"We want to see the name go and would prefer for that funding to be redirected on the basis of need."
Mr Bates the system needed to be working in the same way.