More local decision making for 23 Tasmanian schools Wed 25 July 2012 Nick McKim Minister for Education and Skills Download hi-res version More than 20 of Tasmania's Government schools will have a greater say in how to deliver better outcomes for their students, under an exciting new partnership with the Commonwealth. The Minister for Education and Skills, Nick McKim, said the Department of Education will support 23 schools to have greater capacity to make decisions about how their schools are run. "The schools selected will implement measures to increase the capacity of principals, parents and school communities to be involved in making decisions about their schools," Mr McKim said. "This is a wonderful opportunity to further strengthen and improve our practices. "Each participating school will receive a one-off start-up grant of between $40,000 and $50,000, to support their Empowering Local Schools initiatives. "For example, Mountain Heights School at Queenstown will develop a plan over three years that will ultimately enable the teachers, school staff and community to manage their affairs to a far greater extent than ever before. "This includes addressing challenges faced by a remote community such as literacy and numeracy outcomes, student attendance, pathways beyond Grade 10, teacher absences and the lack of relief teacher and high turnover of teaching staff. "In the south, Windermere Primary has an innovative vision to build strong community partnerships. The school intends to use a hands-on model of governance to include parents in key decision making activities within and across the school community. "Ideas include establishing a community garden, with produce from the garden being used in a community cooking program. "Parents will be central to governance, decision making and assisting in implementing the program, which is aimed at further strengthening parent engagement and involvement in the school. "In the north, the East Tamar Federation, comprising Brooks High and Rocherlea, Mayfield, Mowbray Heights and Invermay primary schools, will use the funding to build on the work already achieved and provide further opportunities for community consultation and involvement. "Under an agreed governance model, staff members work across the five campuses to share their expertise, learn from each other and provide more opportunities to improve student learning." Mr McKim, who attended a Plus Schools induction day in Launceston today, said that under the $1 million Empowering Local Schools National Partnership $77,000 in funding will be provided for training and professional development for principals and school communities through the Department of Education's Professional Learning Institute. "The Australian Government has committed $62.2 million to the Empowering Local Schools initiative to support 1000 government and non-government schools to participate in Phase One of the initiative." The 23 schools taking part are Burnie High, Cygnet Primary, East Tamar Federation (Brooks High, Rocherlea Primary, Mayfield Primary, Mowbray Heights Primary, Invermay Primary), Dodges Ferry Primary, Howrah Primary, Lenah Valley Primary, Moonah Primary, Mountain Heights, Norwood Primary, Riverside Primary, Riverside High, Snug Primary, Taroona High, Waimea Heights Primary, Sandy Bay Infant, Waverley Primary, Ravenswood Heights Primary, West Launceston Primary and Windermere Primary.