One Voice Many Choices

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This excellent Bell curve is based on the 2021 data gathered by the government for every school in Australia, all 9606 of them. A clever bloke called Peter Hutton knows how to make the data talk and created this Bell Curve.

Take a moment to study it carefully. Make it bigger, look at the average, the number and add up percentiles.

It is instantly clear that 84% of schools in Australia are smaller than 772 students. Half of all schools, 4804 schools are smaller than 316 students. 

Why does this matter?

Because that is 4804 a lot of very soft voices.

To be asked to be on boards of influence, you need to be big enough to afford having someone from your school spend time on them. And you need to be seen as important before you are asked. Schools in remote areas are rarely on Boards of e.g., the independent schools. Canberra is very far away and taking time out to attend, is time lost and your school closed. Even taking time to write a response for an inquiry is complex when you have many jobs and no backfill for you. You desperately want to make your voice felt, but you need the (head) space. Death by a thousand papercuts! In many states, the independent boards have a rule that you need to have a good number of students, e.g. over 800, before you can be on those boards.

Not necessarily on purpose, the final effect is that small schools’ needs, and point of view are underrepresented in government inquiries, newspaper articles, on boards and in peoples’ minds.

TEA, Transforming Education Australia, is very clearly made up of small schools. Almost per definition, per philosophy, child centred schools stay smallish. It is important that the small schools get a voice. TEA is one way to unite that voice. In the last half year, TEA has submitted papers to the government inquiries that were current. We very much want YOU to join YOUR voices and unite in ONE VOICE to represent the needs of schools like ours.

Peter Hutton has co-created a marvellous cooperation in for the purpose of sharing innovation and having a voice. To make it sustainable it has a price tag that not all small schools can afford. Hence the TEA. Peter supports the TEA and we support Future Schools.

Many choices, One voice, is a very important advocacy goal. Do join!

United we can have our small voices amplified!

Article written by Gabrielle Austerberry