Plan for parents to help choose principal is welcomed

A PLAN for communities to have greater say in the selection of principals, announced by the Newman Government last week, has been cautiously welcomed by Parents and Citizens Committees in the Gladstone region.

Builyan Parents and Citizens Committee's Rebecca Smith said the local community would like to have more input into principal selection at Builyan State School, but she was not yet sure whether the changes would have that effect.

"Our school is a one teacher school. The principal is the teacher, so it really matters that we get the choice right," she said.

"We're often surprised when principals leave, and we really want to make it work.

"We're lucky that our principal, who was appointed this year, was made permanent, but often we just get acting principals.

"I guess we'll have to see what these new rules do, and what the process entails.

"I'm always a little sceptical because they say they're going to streamline things, but they actually can create more difficulties sometimes."

The Queensland Teachers Union has slammed the change, saying it represents a retrograde step.

"There has not been a time when parents have been excluded from having a say in how a principal has been selected, ever," QTU's Kevin Bates said.

"The system they want to move back to is for individual schools to select their own principals," union president Kevin Bates said.

"Parents find it extraordinarily difficult to contribute because of demands on their time. In our experience these processes can take a week or two to complete - and people don't have that time."

Fast facts:

  • Parents and community representatives to get increased say in principal selection
  • Principals can apply for positions on a rolling basis instead of annually
  • Reducing the number of acting principals and increasing permanent appointments is a key aim

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