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Austen, SR 2007, 'The policies and procedures for governance and administration that non-government schools in Queensland could use to achieve and maintain accreditation under the Education (Accreditation of Non-State Schools) Act 2001', DBA thesis, Southern Cross University, Lismore, NSW.

Copyright SR Austen 2007


Non-government schools in Queensland must be accredited by the Non-State Schools Accreditation Board established by the Queensland Government under the Education(Accreditation of Non-State Schools) Act 2001 in order to operate the school.

In 2005, there were 457 non-government schools registered in Queensland with the Non-State Schools Accreditation Board (Non-State Schools Accreditation Board 2005). The enrolment of 207,859 students constituted approximately 30 per cent of student enrolments in the State. Government funding to non-government schools is substantial (general recurrent funding of $303 million was provided by the Queensland government in 2002) (Non-State Schools Accreditation Board 2005).

The accreditation criteria set out in the Act are: the school’s administration and governance arrangements; the school’s financial viability; the school’s educational program and student welfare processes; the school’s resources; and the school’s improvement processes. The Education (Accreditation of Non-State Schools) Regulation 2001 provides further details on the requirements of the accreditation for all criteria, except for governance and administration criterion. This is the major gap addressed by this research.

The methodology for doing so was:

• a theoretical framework for effective corporate governance developed from the relevant literature

• case studies of six non-government schools with a range of ownership/governance models to identify their current governance policies and practices and to compare them with the theoretical framework to assess their effectiveness

• a suite of policies and procedures based on the theoretical framework and “standout” practice from the six case study schools that would provide an effective corporate governance practice for non-government schools.

The potential clients of this research are:

• The Office of Non-State Education

• Independent Schools Queensland (“ISQ”)

• Auspicing denomination or other ownership group of schools, their governing bodies and the auditors of non-government schools; including, but not only, the case study schools

• Newly accredited schools wishing to start well. Of particular interest to the researcher is Warwick Christian College Limited, a newly accredited school of which the researcher is a Board member. The Board of the school has agreed to embark on a policy development process which is consistent with the findings of this research.

A suite of recommended policies and procedures that non-government schools could adopt in order to comply with the administration and governance criteria of the Education (Accreditation of Non-State Schools) Act 2001 was developed from the theoretical framework and the “standout” practices, policies and procedures from the case study schools.

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