by Cheryl Lacey, ©2021
(Jul. 26, 2021) — AUSTRALIAN children are educated under State controlled school systems.
Currently, parents with children of compulsory school age are compelled to enrol their children in State registered schools. Although there are several alternatives – government, non-government and denominational schools and home schooling – all must be registered by the State. So too must all teachers.
Under this State controlled system, students who have not acquired sufficient skills or capabilities to secure employment when their compulsory schooling ends are dumped by the State. Then federal government welfare and interventions kick in. States effectively wash their hands of families and distance themselves from failings that are the result of State control over school education.
Parents who have the financial means can intervene during the compulsory school years. They try to rectify identified deficits in their children’s education by paying tutors and other service providers. Not every family can afford to do this. Those families who can, and who believe it to be necessary, are effectively covering up for systemic failures on the part of the State.
Despite the accountability void, State controlled school education continues in its current form. And it’s easy to see why. Its regulations and limitations are firmly entrenched and have controlled family life for generations. It has become the acceptable societal norm.
Although other sectors – including law enforcement, health, fitness, retail, media, and helplines – have a 24/7 work cycle, State controlled school systems remain in a convenient time warp. It’s fairly obvious that they have just one brief: to control the masses.
In fairness, we must acknowledge that students have succeeded, and dedicated teachers have served well in State controlled school systems. That is not to say, however, that parents and educators who require different options should be ignored.
Agreement on what is essential and non-essential teaching and learning, and accountable monitoring of this, is the way forward. This can be coupled with variations in curriculum, syllabus, schedules, locations, educators, term breaks and timeframes. It’s all possible.
More options drive competition, and competition drives commitment. Where there’s commitment there is also responsibility and greater personal fulfilment.
In other words, if Australia had a range of innovative education services, and if the current State controlled school system were just one of many on offer, then parents would have genuine control over education pathways for their children.
AUSTRALIAN children are currently educated under State controlled school systems. As it stands, this model doesn’t work for everyone.
Join me in a movement to call for the introduction of properly governed, family friendly schools and other education services that offer services of genuine distinction, and in which choice isn’t an optimistic dream but a reality.