Development of the Walpiri College
199. Development of the Walpiri College
Ms Purick to MINISTER for Education
In regard to the Walpiri college proposal: Please advise me on the following items.
1. When did planning commence for the development of the Walpiri College to be located in the western desert area of the Northern Territory;
2. Who was involved in the development of the plans of the proposed college;
3. What governance structure is proposed for the college;
4. Where will the college be located and in what is the proposed form;
5. How many classes are planned to be included in the college;
6. How many students will the college accommodate for learning purposes;
7. Is it planned to have any boarding facility associated with the proposed college and if so where;
8. How many teachers are proposed to operate the school and at what levels of teaching; and
9. Where will the senior principal be located and what is the proposed salary level for this position.
10. What is the proposed capital cost of the proposed college and what will be the annual operating costs.
Answered on 17/01/2011
Discussions with representatives from all four of the Warlpiri communities stem back to the Remote Learning Partnerships and the concept of developing a Warlpiri Education Board which was an element of the Transforming Indigenous Education agenda in 2008.
The advent of the Australian Government’s Remote Service Delivery National Partnership Agreement and the NT Government’s Working Future initiative presented an opportunity to further the Warlpiri community’s desire to align education service delivery in the four communities under the Warlpiri Triangle umbrella.
The Strong Start, Bright Future service delivery model is designed to build capacity through improved governance, augmented leadership, integrated service delivery in the early years and vocational education and training focused on getting real jobs for school leavers to improve outcomes for Indigenous students in the 20 Territory Growth Towns and their respective hinterlands. The model is place-based and its final iteration in each site will be guided by local community involvement in decision making.
The Warlpiri Triangle College will be a Strong Start, Bright Future college. It is a ‘virtual’ college structure to be put in place to cover the four Warlpiri schools; Lajamanu, Yuendumu, Willowra and Nyirrpi. As such, planning for the Warlpiri Triangle College started when the Strong Start, Bright Future work started.
The Guiding Principles for the Strong Start, Bright Future colleges, of which the Warlpiri Triangle College will be one, are:
1. A child’s future life prospects are shaped markedly in their early years even before commencing school.
2. Strong local education governance, representative of all community stakeholders, is crucial to success.
3. Students learn best when they are amongst their peers and their needs, cultural background, perspectives and interests are reflected in the learning program.
4. Place-based variations to the model, negotiated between community and DET, are expected.
5. Real job pathways must be available for students.
The key features of the Strong Start, Bright Future colleges are:
An overarching leadership position closely aligned with the regionalised service delivery model and focused on engaging with community, building capacity and championing the model working collaboratively with a senior cultural advisor and supported by an advisory board/council.
Strong educational leadership focused on the stages of schooling including an Integrated Family Services Leader coordinating services to families and children from birth to eight years old.
Improved business management model.
Engagement programs focused on secondary students.
Strong focus on vocational education and training.
A beyond school guarantee including jobs.
A first language guarantee.
Formalised use of DET facilities for after school, evening and weekend programs.
2. Who was involved in the development of the plans of the proposed college?
The four Warlpiri school communities and the wider community have been, and continue to be, involved.
3. What governance structure is proposed for the college?
The governance structure for the Warlpiri Triangle College will be negotiated through consultation with the Warlpiri communities and Warlpiri schools. Each school will maintain its own school council.
4. Where will the college be located and in what is the proposed form?
As above. The college is a ‘virtual’ college. It is not a building.
5. How many classes are planned to be included in the college?
The classes are what are currently being provided in the four Warlpiri schools.
6. How many students will the college accommodate for learning purposes?
Whatever is available in the four Warlpiri schools.
7. Is it planned to have boarding facilities associated with the proposed college and, if so, where?
No, DET does not have plans for a boarding facility. However, the Australian Government has been in discussions about the building of a boarding facility in Central Australia.
8. How many teachers are proposed to operate the school and what level of teaching?
What is currently being employed in the four Warlpiri Schools as well as additional staff for specialist programs.
9. Where will the senior principal be located and what is the proposed salary level for this position?
The Executive Principal will be located at Yuendumu initially, but once again that will be part of negotiations with the four schools and communities. This is currently an Executive Contract 2 level position which is $159 084.
10. What is the proposed capital cost of the proposed college and what will be the annual operating costs?
At this stage there will be no capital costs. It is too early to accurately state the annual operating costs. It will be what is currently the costs for the four Warlpiri schools, plus some additional funds.