IPS – What Does it Mean?
An Independent Public School is a public school where the principal has been given increased flexibility and responsibility to make local decisions across a range of school operations to enhance education outcomes for students.
Principals of Independent Public Schools have more freedom to make decisions about important matters that impact students’ education such as student support, staff recruitment, financial management, governance and accountability.
An Independent Public School caters to the specific needs of its students by determining the curriculum and specialist teachers required that best support them. Independent Public Schools may work in clusters, which enables them to effectively combine ideas and resources to create even greater flexibility and opportunities for each school.
Like all public schools, principals of Independent Public Schools must comply with relevant legislation, industrial agreements and whole of government policies and initiatives including, but not limited to:
- School Education Act 199
- School Education Regulations 2000
- School Curriculum and Standards Authority Act 1997
- Public Sector Management Act 1994
- Financial Management Act 2006
Benefits of being an Independent Public School
Independent Public Schools combine a powerful combination of local autonomy and central support to deliver high quality, tailored and distinctive education experiences for staff, students and parents.
It takes committed and proactive school communities to become Independent Public Schools.
Independent Public School communities take a greater leadership role in all aspects of education, with the ultimate goal of delivering high quality education to students.
Independent Public School principals have a direct line relationship with, and are accountable to, the Director General of the Department of Education.
Independent Public Schools:
- have greater independence for local decision making which directly reflects the needs of their students and communities
- establish more dynamic and open governance relationships with the people in their communities
- have access to additional sources of funding to assist them make a difference and to respond to higher levels of accountability
- employ greater flexibility in areas such as staff recruitment, budgeting, procurement, school development days, travel approvals and student support
- take part in regular external performance reviews to provide their school communities with independent assessment of the differences they are making over time
- have access to targeted leadership development programs to build principal capacity in getting the most impact in classrooms from autonomy
- participate in highly specialised board training covering all aspects of effective governance