Queensland non-state school framework set for review - Education Matters Magazine
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Queensland non-state school framework set for review

The Government has announced a comprehensive independent review of the accreditation framework used for non-state schools in Queensland.

Education Minister Grace Grace said she wanted to make sure the powers the Non State Schools Accreditation Board (NSSAB) have are fit for purpose.

“The Palaszczuk Government is committed to providing choice for families in deciding the best school for their children,” Ms Grace said.

“Non-state schools play an essential, valued role in fostering this choice, and providing quality education for Queensland children and young people.

“The current legislation has been in place for five years, so now is the right time to make sure the accreditation framework is fit for purpose, supports the provision of high-quality education, and ensures public confidence is maintained in our non-state schools.

“The review will look at the regulation of non-state schools in other jurisdictions, assess the powers currently in place, consider the balance between imposing standards and minimising any regulatory burden, and make recommendations for improvements.”

Minister Grace said the review would also consider the powers NSSAB has to help protect the wellbeing of students.

“The terms of reference have been agreed amongst all stakeholders and will include improvements for the efficient running of the board, as well as the health and wellbeing of students.”

Independent Schools Queensland CEO, Christopher Mountford, said a regular, independent review of the regulatory framework which guides non-state schools was a proactive measure which is supported by the independent school sector.

“When the current Accreditation of Non-State Schools Bill was passed in 2017, it was agreed that the Act struck a balance between accountability and school autonomy, while also streamlining the approval process for non-state schools,” Mr Mountford said.

“With a rapidly changing education landscape, it makes senses to review the current framework in a collaborative manner to ensure it is still fit-for-purpose and meets the needs of students whose parents or guardians make the informed choice to send their child to an independent school.”

Queensland Catholic Education Commission Executive Director Dr Lee-Anne Perry said the review would provide an opportunity to ensure the accreditation framework serves the current needs of students, families, schools, and systems.

“As the largest provider of non-government schooling, the Catholic sector looks forward to close consultation with the government throughout the review process,” Dr Perry said.

Independent Education Union – Queensland and Northern Territory (IEU-QNT) Branch Assistant Secretary/Treasurer Paul Giles said the union welcomed the review.

“The review is an opportunity to ensure the legislation regulating non-government schools reflects community expectations in the operation of schools,” Mr Giles said.

The Education (Accreditation of Non-State Schools) Act 2017 and Education (Accreditation of Non-State Schools) Regulation 2017 provide the legislative framework for accreditation of non-state schools in Queensland. The Non-State Schools Accreditation Board independently regulates non-state schools in Queensland under this legislation.

The review will be conducted by an independent reviewer to be appointed shortly.

Terms of reference are available here.

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