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The Forum > Article Comments > Community engagement Kafkaesque in NSW Education Department > Comments

Community engagement Kafkaesque in NSW Education Department : Comments

By Philip Roberts, published 17/2/2015

But what exactly does the NSW Department mean by community engagement? The language seems to suggest a genuine partnership between schools and communities, however experience makes me hesitate.

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Interesting article Phil. I have just started on some projects for a client that involves identifying suitable students that may want to work in a particular industry while they are still at school. What has become resoundingly clear is that the principals and teachers alike are trying to improve their engagement with both students, parents and the broader community. From an outsiders point of view, they don't either have the time, knowledge or resources to undertake this effectively, so perhaps this funding could greatly improve their current engagement strategies and techniques.

It is unfortunate that the NSW Education Department are not clear on what the specifics are with the funding. However in fairness to the government, each school will be different in what they need to do to improve their community engagement. The techniques used will vary depending on many things such as demographics, linguistics, cultural beliefs, broader community, etc.

It would be interesting to hear what some of the school principals and teachers have to say and how they would use the funding. Like any government department, they would be cautious in what they say as they would not want things to be blown out of proportion or taken out of context.
Posted by CatieM, Tuesday, 17 February 2015 9:10:19 AM
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Thanks CatieM - I'd agree with you that community engagement should be as you describe and it's great to hear the positive experience you describe. Sadly, you may get the subtext between the lines in what I described that the discussions I have with my school about engagement are because it doesn't really happen. Consultation only happens in relation to implementing decisions made by an element of the school management. It does not happen in relation to the issues or as an initial exploration of ideas and possibilities. The parents group seems to be positioned solely as a fund raising and volunteer facilitating organisation. Odd given the NW education act Section 116 Objectives and Functions 1 '(c) to encourage parent and community participation in curriculum and other education issues in schools where there is no school council.'
Posted by PhilRoberts, Thursday, 19 February 2015 7:16:30 AM
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