Catholic and independent schools in South Australia would be forced to reveal how often they suspend students, how many serious incidents occur on school grounds and how many complaints they receive, under proposed new laws. Source: The Advertiser.
Greens MLC Robert Simms will introduce legislation to the SA Parliament that would also require non-government schools to publish more detail in their annual reports about how they spend taxpayer funding.
Mr Simms said they would impose a similar level of public reporting requirements as faced by public schools, including consistent reporting on serious incidents on school grounds, attendance rates and suspensions and exclusions of students and audited financial statements which show “expenditure on all purposes”.
Public schools are required to report extensive data to the Education Department, which is either published on government websites or subject to Freedom of Information requests.
For example, data released last year revealed the number of students suspended or excluded from each government school over the past decade.
However, that information did not paint the full picture of suspensions statewide as independent and Catholic schools are not required to publicly disclose the same information.
Catholic Education SA executive director Neil McGoran said the Commonwealth Government’s My School website already listed “a significant amount of data including financial and enrolment data for every government and non-government school in the country”.
Dr McGoran said Catholic schools would “welcome a conversation with Mr Simms to discuss the high levels of transparency that currently exist … and to understand what additional information could be provided, and for what purpose”.
Education Minister Blair Boyer said the Government would consider Mr Simms’ draft Bill once it was put to Parliament.
Greens MLC Robert Simms wants SA private schools to report more detail on how they spend taxpayer money (By Lauren Novak, The Advertiser)