AUSTRALIAN COUNCIL FOR THE DEFENCE OF GOVERNMENT SCHOOLS - D.O.G.S.
PRESS RELEASE 131#.
26 January 2006
EDUCATION AND TRAINING REFORM BILL
WILL BRACK'S GOVERNMENT PROPOSED EDUCATION LEGISLATION
FOLLOW THE APPROACH TAKEN BY BLAIR'S "OPUS DEI" EDUCATION
SECRETARY RUTH KELLY?
(See Press Releases 102, 109-115,122,124-126)
The Reform Bill can be viewed on the following internet connection: http://www.det.vic.gov.au/det/resources/papers.htm
Destruction of Public Education Blueprint:
There are a number of aspects in the Education and Training Reform Bill which, taken together will destroy the public education system in Victoria. This News Release however, deals with the proposed authority which will be instrumental in the closure of schools and destruction of our public system. For this reason alone, this legislation should be opposed at all costs by all parents, teachers and supporters of the public school system.
It should never get near the Parliament House nor appear on the Notice paper.
Key Instrument in Destruction of Public Education
The proposed authority with power to destroy public education is called the :
" VICTORIAN REGISTRATION AND QUALIFICATIONS AUTHORITY"
This is dealt with in Chapter 4 at pages 242-308. DOGS have discovered that most Victorian teachers are not even aware of the existence of the proposed legislation and this proposed body- although the leadership are.
If Victorian teachers are concerned by the Victorian Institute of Teaching and its treatment of them; if Victorian teachers are concerned about the effects of adverse inspection procedures - which they fought against in the 1960s, then they should be looking very carefully indeed at this proposed authority and compare it with the effects of OFSTED in England. Information on OFSTED and the rebellion of Labor MPS to the Blair/Kelly privatisation of English State schools into "faith schools" and private "for profit" academies can be found on the Guardian website. http://www.guardian.co.uk/ and http://education.guardian.co.uk/, http://education.guardian.co.uk/policy/story/0,,1693576,00.html and http://education.guardian.co.uk/schools/story/0,,1577159,00.html
Private School Operators and Privatizers Drafted Legislation
Private school interests and privatizers who have drafted this legislation have deliberately modelled the above proposed body on the disastrous and discredited federal schools commission formed by Kim Beazley to legitimate the billions of dollars a year diverted from the public into the private system and attempted elimination of opposition to State Aid.
The key to the exercise is the personnel of the key decision making body and the deceitful, weazel words contained in the draft Bill on the website. The disastrous nature of the body can be seen by considering the functions on pages 249 - 252; the membership of the authority on pages 253 and 254; the delegation of the authorities' powers at page 254 and 255; registration of students and providers at pages 257 and the review of the operations of schools by the authority on pages 259 and page 260.
Membership of Authority Modelled on Schools Commission Approach
Kim Beazley chose cunningly in 1973 and structured the appointment of Schools Commission personnel to ensure the neutralisation of the public school interests while maximising the private school domination of that body. In actual fact, the proposed membership of the Victorian Registration and Qualifications Authority is potentially even more disastrous for Victorian public schools because no member has to have any commitment to public education or close connection with public schools. Section 4.2.4 of the Draft Bill indicates how this can occur. This paragraph reads:
4.2.4 Membership of Authority
(1) The Authority consists of not less than 9 and not more than 12 members of whom—
(a) one is to be appointed by the Governor in
Council as the Chairperson on the nomination of the Minister as a person who, in the Minister's opinion, is highly regarded
in the area of education and training;
(b) one is to be the Secretary or the nominee of the Secretary;
(c) the remaining members are to be appointed by the Governor in Council on the nomination of the Minister in accordance
with sub-section (2).
(2) In nominating persons to the Governor in Council for appointment to the Authority under subsection (1)(c) the Minister must have regard to
(a) the members of the Authority include—
) at least 3 persons who, in the Minister's opinion, are highly regarded in the area of school education;
(ii) at least 3 persons who, in the Minister's opinion, are highly regarded in the area of post-school education and training;
(b) the composition of the Authority—
(i) is a fair and balanced reflection of the diversity of the community; and
(ii) reflects both metropolitan and country interests;
(c) there is sufficient management and regulatory expertise amongst the members of the Authority.
A perusal of the above indicates that the principle of "diversity" means that private school interests can predominate. The wording of the section means that one or two people with a slight connection to public school education but no commitment or first hand experience of public schools might and we emphasise MIGHT be on this body. At least four out of the 9-12 members don't have to have anything to do with school education whatever. Yet this authority will oversea all primary and secondary education in Victoria.
To get this through and quieten the major public interest groups has Minister Kosky promised positions for the "Uncle Toms" whose token representation will be used to try and prevent any adverse reactions or even knowledge of this legislation?
If this legislation is passed, the DOGS can see where every member of the authority is in support of privatisation of the public education system or, without any real commitment to public education, going along for the ride.
But this Authority goes much further. It is an Inspection Agency similar to OFSTED In the UK.
The Functions of the Authority:
The outrageous requirements in the Bill for the personnel is magnified many times by the functions of the Authority. This Body has been put over what is known as the Department of Education. For instance, the Authority's first listed function is to
REGISTER BOTH GOVERNMENT AND NON GOVERNMENT SCHOOLS
Other functions are:
The Oversight of Public Education by Private Providers
The real sting for public schools is in the tail. The Authority can delegate any function or powers (except the delegation power) to
The above is a really quite obvious blueprint for the oversight of the public system by private providers and the even more obvious plan is the Blair/Kelly UK model of corporate oversight of schools through private public partnerships with for profit multinational corporations or takeover by "Faith Schools"
The Authority will be given the power to inspect not only public school teachers but schools, If the behaviour of OFSTED in the UK is any guide teachers can expect to be monstered by inspectors and schools for disadvantaged children "failed" and handed over to church or private corporations.
Kosky, Bracks and Brumby Cannot be Trusted to Administer this Legislation
DOGS experience in observing Kosky and her private school advisers and privatizers in 2005 indicates that they cannot be trusted to promote or administer public education in an open and transparent fashion. They have manipulated the time lines and major pressure groups.(with one or two notable exceptions). The DOGS have found them deceitful and believe that the proposed legislation is open to downright trickery.
Supporters of Public Education cannot support either the spirit or the letter of the proposed legislation and should prevent it going any further.
For further discussion on these matters, listen to 3CR, 855 on the am dial
12.30 p.m. next Saturday.
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|Last modified:Wednesday, 25 January 2006|