School Funding – Gonski 2.0
As I write this newsletter article I have been very mindful of the current debate underway in Canberra concerning amendments to school funding, commonly referred to as Gonski 2.0. It seems that the fine details being discussed currently will be become known more clearly in the days to come but the general changes will be to the benefit of the students who are in greatest need. This must remain the focus of the discussion and avoid the danger that it become a partisan battleground.
It has actually been very encouraging to read the responses from a number of the school associations supporting the proposed changes. Representative bodies such as the Association of Independent Schools and Australian Association of Christian Schools have both supported the proposed changes despite a number of their members being likely to receive reduced funding under the new model. I would like to commend these groups in putting self-interest aside and identifying the core issue. That is, supporting the learning of all students and the support of students with greater need. As the week draws to its end, it appears as though these changes will be realised. The certainty of funding this will bring to the school will be a great blessing. Something for which we definitely give thanks to God.
Being a Respectful Community
Recently I have been discussing with the executive leadership team, the need for maintaining a positive learning environment by providing clear expectations of conduct to students and being consistent in upholding these expectations. As part of this discussion, ‘showing respect for others’ was identified as a core expectation of members of our school community.
Sadly, it seems there are a number of students who are not displaying this characteristic. Some students have not been responding to teachers respectfully nor treating other students with respect. God created all people, in His image, and as a result each of us have the same intrinsic value. Respect for one another is an acknowledgement of this value in others. Regardless of how we see other people, God’s will is for us to respect others. As a school, we hold firmly to the importance of responding respectfully to others. Should a member of our school community choose to act disrespectfully to others, the school will respond to restore this matter.
On a much more positive note, our extracurricular programs have been in full swing at this time of term. Our Science and Engineering Challenge team have gained an excellent result by placing first in the Macarthur district competition. Their teamwork and ingenuity outclassed all other schools in our area, including local selective schools. I wish the team and their teachers well as they compete at the state level.
I had the pleasure of attending the Little Night Music evening last weekend. This event has run for a number of years and it has been most encouraging to hear the improvement in students who started playing in Primary School and are now at a most impressive standard in High School. I would like to thank Mrs Geeves for coordinating this event and the Creative Arts staff who helped run the evening.
School Building Fund
I would also like to remind and encourage you to contribute to our school building fund. Information with regard to this fund has been posted to you as well as being sent by email. Donations to this fund are tax deductable and will benefit the school greatly in developing improved resources for our students. We have already received a number of generous donations and I would ask that you seriously consider contributing before the financial year ends.
“I give you a new command: Love one another. Just as I have loved you, you must also love one another. By this all people will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13:34-35 (HCSB)