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The Forum > Article Comments > 'Bloated bureaucracy' or bullying balderdash? > Comments

'Bloated bureaucracy' or bullying balderdash? : Comments

By Lyndsay Connors, published 28/9/2012

The principal of The King's School is not in a strong position to criticise waste in public schools.

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Yet another facile polemic from an "educator" on one of the governments countless advisory boards (her nose in the trough) protecting her trough.

"His letter did not disclose how an outsider, the head of an independent, non-government school, had acquired the detailed knowledge of the duties, workload and effectiveness of departmental employees to inform these allegations."

Firstly, the debate in the news between Federal and state governments has made it clear to everyone that in the public education arena there is vast duplication and waste. Secondly as the head of a Kings, Tara, primary and secondary schools, Tim Hawkes, in dealing with the department of education would be an idiot if he did not have some in depth knowledge of the dept's workings.

TH's point is not that public schools should receive less funding, rather that funding for eduction should be spent on schools not beaurocrats.
Posted by Shadow Minister, Friday, 28 September 2012 1:29:58 PM
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Those wanting more detailed information about how the current funding system actually works, what the Gonksi report actually proposes, the hypocritical stances of various players and what the press generally will not report will find it at http://community.tes.co.uk/forums/t/576719.aspx.
Posted by Chris C, Friday, 28 September 2012 3:21:18 PM
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Lyndsay Connors has dealt tellingly with the bleating of the socially elitist section of the school system with their sense of special entitlement and with the isolation of students from the wider community. One must avoid calling this the private sector as the private sector can be divided into two parts - the sector directed to social exclusiveness and religious indoctrination and the truly independent sector offering education on the basis of highly successful concepts of teaching and learning which are not catered for elsewhere.

However there really is plenty of evidence that a bloated managerial aristocracy has attached itself (or been attached) to the public sector - one which badly needs drastic de-bloating and disempowerment. The horrendous decline of the public universities since John Dawkins was Education Minister has been described in a closely documented account by Dr Donald Meyers in a recent book obtainable free on line at http://www.australianuniversities.id.au/. Without going into detail here, consider the salary of the President of the United States of America - about 450K - and compare that with Australian Uni VCsí salaries from around $750K to well over $1m. As the cost of the managerialist superstructure has ballooned the funds devoted to teaching and research have collapsed. Read the book - for anyone not in the tertiary sector itís an eye-opener, and still they demand ever more money from the taxpayers.

As for the primary and secondary sectors, an example of bloating is a parasitic organisation called the WA College of Teaching (Google WACOT), which decrees who is and who isnít allowed to teach in any schools in WA. Thereís an online description at http://www.platowa.com/documents/Kessell%20Opinion%20piece%20WACOT.pdf which is rather dated (2007) but is as true today as ever.
Posted by EmperorJulian, Friday, 28 September 2012 7:08:09 PM
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EJ,

So, WA teachers have a professional registration authority, as do teachers in other states, as do other professions. Teachers get to elect 10 of the 19 members of the board (and, despite the 2007 link, elections have been held), which is more than can be said for doctors and nurses since their professional registration was taken over by the feds. They get to elect exactly zero members.

Similarly, Victorian teachers have had the Victorian Institute of Teaching, the professional registration authority from which WACOT was copied, for more than a decade. They elect half the members of the governing council.

Teachers in WA or Victoria who are disaffected by the decisions of their professional registration authority can always vote different representatives onto the board or council, as the case may be. The real problem is AITSL, a body whose governing board is totally divorced from classroom teachers as it is appointed by the federal government on the advice of the employers of most teachers; i.e., the state governments.

Teaching would have to be the only profession whose modern-day members object to professional registration. Older teachers fought, with lengthy strikes, to establish the system in the first place. Those who want a longer argument in favour of teachers having a professional registration authority on which they have a say on professional standards and teacher training course accreditation can go to
http://community.tes.co.uk/forums/t/414698.aspx?PageIndex=48.

Chris Curtis
Posted by Chris C, Saturday, 29 September 2012 2:31:55 PM
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I followed up Chris Curtis' lead to a debate in the UK about the need for _A_ professional registering body which enthusiasts have claimed to mean a _PARTICULAR_ registering body. Well, since that debate the UK government has created a new registering body, with the excellent provision: "There will be no requirement to register with the new Teaching Agency and no registration fee". Like the Royal Australian Chemical Institute for chemists, it provides monitoring of standards of qualifications and professionals can choose to register with it or not to.

A "professional" registering body like WACOT is no less a bureaucratic imposition for having some elected members. Teachers must already have professional qualifications before they can be hired, and the bureaucrats merely add their own "me too" and demand an annual fee to do so.

The UK solution is at http://www.gtce.org.uk/ - clear, simple and sensible.
Posted by EmperorJulian, Saturday, 29 September 2012 5:05:55 PM
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Julian,

The UK replacement body is an appointed quango. Teachers have no say in it, whereas here teachers have a say through their elected representatives on what standards should apply in teaching and in the approval of teacher training courses. A professional registration authority that members of the relevant profession do not have to register with is hardly a professional registration authority.
Posted by Chris C, Sunday, 30 September 2012 3:24:59 PM
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