Principals back Abbott's plan to give them greater say

PUBLIC school principals around the country have backed the Abbott Government's plans for greater school autonomy, but have warned a "blanket policy" will not work.

The Australian Government Primary Principals Association president Gabrielle Leigh, told APN the Federal Government's plans had to allow for difference, especially in regional areas.

She said while some states, such as Victoria and Western Australia, had already made reforms to put decision-making in the hands of principals, a national scheme would need to be responsive.

"Every state has a different structure in primary education, the Federal Government provides the funding, but the states have responsibility," she said.

"Hence, what might work in Victoria or WA won't work in regional Queensland or New South Wales, you have to adapt it and do it very carefully to respond to local issues like staff retention."

The association also welcomed the government's announcements to improve the quality of teacher training at universities, but urged the government to take on the Gonski funding arrangements.

Ms Leigh said to improve teacher quality and principal autonomy; they had to be trained properly to deliver more services.

"We certainly applaud the initiative of the Gonski Review, and we want to make sure the promised resourcing is in place for the full six years," she said.

"But while the Gonski recommendations talk about the students needs, we want to make sure funding for schools includes resourcing for teacher training and principals on top of that.

"In order to have a world-class education system, we need to resource it in a world-class manner."

The government is currently reviewing the education funding system, as part of a wider inquiry into teacher training, principal autonomy and the national curriculum.


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