One question holds the key to the future of 250 Qld schools

 

Queensland's independent public schools will need to explain how they've spent taxpayers' dollars, with their answers to potentially shape any future changes to the controversial program.

The Education Department will this month ask the 250 schools how they've spent the annual $50,000 in funding as a result of an investigation into one of the schools.

Education Minister Grace Grace said she expected full transparency.

"As a result of a recent public investigation involving an IPS school, all schools are being asked by the Director-General this month to outline how they intend to spend this funding in 2021 and how they have spent this funding in past years," she said.

Education Minister Grace Grace. Photo: Tara Croser.
Education Minister Grace Grace. Photo: Tara Croser.

"Schools are being asked how their spending of the funding is in line with the intent of the IPS program, including in areas such as governance training for school councils and staff and school improvement strategies.

"School responses may inform any potential future changes to the current IPS Policy Framework."

It was revealed last year that IPS weren't required to report how they spent the $50,000 they receive each year to facilitate the program.

Ms Grace told Budget Estimates in December that Director-General Tony Cook had been made aware of "some concerns around governance".

The program, which grants the schools greater autonomy, began in 2013 and has since expanded to 250 schools.

Each school must maintain a functioning school council which has a legislated role.

The Minister said all Queensland state schools were accountable for the funding they receive and spend.

IPS funding hasn't been guaranteed beyond this year, with Ms Grace telling Budget Estimates the government hadn't "landed either way" on its future.

Originally published as One question holds the key to the future of 250 Qld schools