More than 40 small-school principals took part in a workshop, Small Schools: Challenges and Achievements, at the Principals’ Conference and were asked a range of questions to stimulate responses on four broad issues:
strategies to engage the local community
enhancing student opportunities for extra-curricular activities and excursions
innovative ways to address the Performance and Development Framework
increased compliance requirements of the Department under Local Schools, Local Decisions.
Small School Profile: Bilpin Public School
Bilpin Public School is a three-teacher school with 59 students, located in a semi–rural area on the fringe of the Hawkesbury and Blue Mountains. It’s nestled among orchards known for their fresh apples and cider. The school continues to focus on the quality of student outcomes in literacy, numeracy, technology and engagement, and caters for a broad range of activities including performing arts, leadership, as well as sporting, environmental, academic and cultural pursuits.
Small schools staffing entitlements
Protecting and enhancing school staffing entitlements is a priority campaign for Federation in the lead-up to the next state election. At the recent meeting of the Small Schools Restricted Committee this campaign was discussed in line with Federation policy and the committee identified that the current allocation of administration days for teaching principals is inadequate. This issue has been raised with NSWTF Senior Officers.
Shaping small schools policy
Small schools occupy a unique and significant position within the public education system and Federation is currently investigating the need to update policy to better reflect the issues specific to small schools.