Exclusive: State school principals to get more powers

QUEENSLAND state school principals will be given increased powers after an independent panel handed down its second set of recommendations aimed at making the state's school system more streamlined and efficient.

The panel was established to look at ways to reduce unnecessary and at times burdensome administrative tasks within the state's education system.

Seventeen actions were adopted in November last year.

The panel, which consists of several principals from across the state, will today hand down a further two recommendations that will see changes to school excursion procedures and allow principals to dispose of low-cost assets more effectively.

The panel found that conducting school excursions required large amounts of paperwork that could in some cases involve up to 14 different steps and require multiple approvals.

It recommended a simpler four-step process that continues to take in the required check-and-balances as well as safety standards.

Education Minister John-Paul Langbroek, talking exclusively to APN Newsdesk, said the state schools red tape reduction booklet provided a list of actions the department was taking to reduce the administrative burden for school principals.

He said the booklet set out the 46 ongoing and completed actions.

"We have enlisted the help of an advisory council made up of experienced principals who have been working to identify practical options to reduce unnecessary administrative tasks," he said.

"This kind of grassroots knowledge and expertise has resulted in simple, common-sense solutions to tedious issues, such as reducing the number of forms to be filled out and minimising duplication.

"Examples of completed actions include less administration involved in the sale of low-cost assets and fewer paperwork approvals for school excursions."

The panel also recommended state school principals have a greater say in the best way to dispose of low-cost assets such as overhead projectors, furniture and outdated electronic equipment.

Principals raised concerns to the panel about the excessive and repetitive processes involved in disposing of low-cost assets which required them to individually approve each item.

Under the changes principals will now have access to a system that will allow them to off-load those assets in one single process.

Mr Langbroek said the department would continue to work towards addressing the remaining actions so educators can get on with the job of teaching young Queenslanders.