Western Australia Leads with Important School Principle

The Business Council of Australia has welcomed the announcement that West Australian school principals will be able to make staffing, resource and curriculum decisions.

BCA Chief Executive Katie Lahey said Australian business leaders support reforms to school education that will improve student learning.

“School principals are the leaders who can make change happen in our education system,” Ms Lahey said. “They know what it takes to get the best out of their schools.”

“As we have highlighted in our paper Restoring Our Edge in Education, allowing school principals to hire their own teachers will contribute to better teaching and learning.

“This is because the head of a school is in the best position to know the needs of his or her school and to match those needs to the skills of potential recruits. The Western Australian Government is to be congratulated for leading on this issue,” Ms Lahey said.

Ms Lahey said principals had a greater incentive to make the best possible recruitment decisions because they were directly engaged with their local communities, unlike a centralised department which did not have the same connection.

The BCA continues to advocate the importance of providing greater financial rewards for the very best teachers in our schools.

It has also welcomed the introduction of greater transparency in the reporting of school performance, especially the results of national literacy and numeracy testing.

Ms Lahey said it was vital that increased accountability was accompanied by reforms that gave school leaders and teachers the flexibility to achieve better learning outcomes for students. 

“Principals and school leaders need to be able to make meaningful changes to improve the performance of their schools where and when it is necessary to do so.

“We continue to urge other states and territories, where centralised arrangements remain in place, to also move to provide greater autonomy to school principals,” she said.