Christopher Pyne’s flawed Independent Public Schools policy has taken another hit, with both South Australia and the ACT accepting funding from his $70 million IPS fund without actually creating Independent Public Schools.

AEU Deputy Federal President Correna Haythorpe said South Australia and the ACT deserved credit for standing firm and rejecting the idea of Independent Public Schools.

“Turning 25 per cent of public schools into ‘independent public schools’ was supposed to be Minister Pyne’s flagship policy, but opposition from most states has seen it watered-down to providing money directly to states for school autonomy programs,” Ms Haythorpe said.

“Consistent with international evidence, the AEU has consistently opposed the IPS policy as having no educational benefit and being a distraction from the resourcing issues facing public schools.

“There is no evidence that the kind of school autonomy Minister Pyne is trying to promote improves educational outcomes.

“The OECD’s PISA report in 2009 found that there was no relationship between local autonomy over staffing and budget allocation and student or school performance. The report said that ‘countries that create a more competitive environment in which many schools compete for students do not systematically produce better results’.

“It is a positive development that SA and the ACT have refused to implement Independent Public Schools despite pressure from the Federal Government. Tasmania accepted funding in August without moving to an IPS system.

“NSW Education Minister Adrian Piccoli has also said that ‘we will not be introducing charter schools or independent public schools because there is no evidence they improve student performance’.

“Minister Pyne has no vision for improving public schools, only a plan to cut their funding from 2018 by abandoning Gonski agreements.

“Without needs-based Gonski funding we will not be able to close the achievement gaps between advantaged and disadvantaged students.

“Attempts to implement thought bubbles like the IPS plan are no substitute for properly resourcing public schools to ensure all students can get a quality education.”

Media Contact: Ben Ruse 0437 971 291