THE peak body of Catholic school parents in Queensland is proposing a radical shift in parental involvement in Church schools.
The plan, raised by the executive officer of the Federation of Parents and Friends Association of Catholic Schools in Queensland, Paul Dickie, would involve the abolition of Parents and Friends’ Associations and school boards in favour of community councils.
Mr Dickie denied a media report on August 6 that the organisation was pushing for community councils to replace priests in running parish schools.
‘This is not about running schools at all,’ he said. ‘It’s about supporting principals and staff. Parents would be the last ones wanting to run schools.’
Mr Dickie has floated the idea in a paper he has written on Parent Leadership in the Catholic School of the 21st Century.
Queensland Catholic Education Commission (QCEC) executive director Joe McCorley said the proposal was premature because the commission was yet to look at it.
He said Catholic education was about the partnership of Church, parents and students, and staff.
‘Unless we’ve got those three elements working in partnership looking after the Catholicity of a school, we’ve not got a Catholic school in effect,’ Mr McCorley said.
Mr Dickie said the councils would encompass the role of the Parents and Friends’ Association, which in many cases was restricted simply to fundraising.
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