Principals Forum 2011 – Interviews Part 1
Principals Forum 2011 – Interviews Part 1
ON SCREEN: Which Government program has your school most benefited from?
Terry Grant: We’re thrilled with the BER program. That has been the best injection of capital into primary schools in our living history.
Bert Beekhuizen: We received one building as a result of that and it has given us a lot more flexibility in terms of how we can use that building.
Bernadette Jones: Staff are loving working out of the new facilities. It’s been a real boost to staff morale and the community are very proud of the new facilities.
Michael Hansen: And can I say that I’ll stand on any soapbox anywhere and promote the absolute brilliance of that program. It has enabled our school to get a world-class library, it has enabled our school to get a world-class life skill centre and now a function room that we use for professional development opportunities with computer labs for students and so forth.
Jo Bednall: The DER has really kick started us and made us take from doing baby steps to try and improve our IT to actually taking a big leap.
Beverley Stanes: We’re just rolling out next term 1:1 laptop program for our year 9 and 10 students and we hope to actually continue that in year 11 and 12.
Andrew Eastcott: It’s changed their attitude and become more engaging to the students because
they’ve grown up with technology yet haven’t been able to use it at school.
Bernie Robuck: We’ve certainly been involved in the Trade Training Centre program. We’ve just completed a new commercial kitchen in our school which for a community like mine, 2000 people, is a fantastic resource.
Tony Green: We’ve got ourselves involved in the Quality Teaching Excellence program where we’ve attracted some young people from the city to our school, which is a regional centre, and we’ve been able to actually employ them after they’ve come for a visit via the Centre of Excellence. And it’s about trying to engage our young teachers in taking a chance to move to other sites, to remote schools and country schools.
ON SCREEN: What will be the next big things in education?
Bert Beekhuizen: I think the Indigenous education, certainly in the Territory, as everyone knows it’s a major major factor that needs to be addressed.
Andrew Eastcott: We need to make sure that whatever we come up with as a National Curriculum doesn’t devalue or downgrade what’s already in existence.
Kathy Neely: And coming up with an open process that people can see where funding comes from because it’s all a bit of a mystery who gets what and how it happens. So I think being able to make that more transparent will be really important.
Eddie Fabijan: So for us it’s about teachers in the classroom doing their best job and to do that they need to know how the students feel about what they’re receiving, but also what parents are saying and what their colleagues are saying, so that we have a good conversation around how I’m doing my job and can I do it better.
ON SCREEN: Did you enjoy the Principals Forum?
Andrew Eastcott: Everyone gets the opportunity to have their say, to listen, you discuss differences, you get a better understanding of the other systems they get a better understanding of yours, go away with some ideas and also we can make sure that DEEWR are aware of the issues everywhere.
Glenn Butler: For me personally coming from suburban Melbourne, there are many aspects relating to distance that I probably hadn’t considered and it’s interesting to hear about those things from other principals.
Jodie Green: It’s also really powerful having a high level conversation with other principals about the complexities and the issues that we face on a day to day basis.
Michael Battenally: To work with teachers from the other sectors and the other year cohorts around some of the big picture policy ideas and some of the needs of our schools and opportunities to sort of take Australia forward as a nation around the education of our young people is extremely important.
Bert Beekhuizen: It’s a great opportunity for Federal Government, DEEWR and other areas of our department and government to hear the views in such an honest and open transparent way.
Michael Hansen: The Minister was able to take the time to stay for the full Forum and I do believe that he was actively listening and I do believe that he did hear the messages that were shared and I believe that the context and the way that the messages were shared were very collegial. It’s a fantastic opportunity and I feel privileged to be invited to come here.