Citipointe Christian College Enrolment Contract Highlights Discrimination and Lack of Recourse for Parents In Independent Schools

The Australian Parents Council (APC) welcomes today’s decision by Citipointe Christian College to retract the discriminatory enrolment contract it sought to impose on its students and their parents.

Earlier this week APC President, Jenni Rickard shared the APC Board’s concerns that the safety and wellbeing of students was not the primary consideration of the College in the drafting of the contract.

“A core principle of the National Principles of Child Safe Organisations is that families should have a say in the development and review of an organisation’s policies and practices, and that parents, caregivers and the community are informed about the organisation’s operations and governance”, Jenni Rickard said.

“This is not the first time APC has become aware of a school making significant changes to enrolment contracts without sufficiently consulting with parents on intended changes.”

Where unilateral changes are implemented in non-government schools there is often little recourse available to parents other than to withdraw their child from the school, resulting in instability and uncertainty for all.

Unlike in public schools, where parents can escalate issues with the state or territory education departments, parents with children in non-government schools do not have a standard pathway for resolution.

APC is calling for a mandate that as part of school registration schools must have a policy for how they will consult with their school community. This will meet the requirements of National Principles of Child Safe Organisations – principles each state and territory signed up to.

“Parents want to know their child’s wellbeing is the primary consideration in each and every decision a school makes,” Jenni Rickard said.

“The only way we can be reassured this is the case is by having a transparent policy for how a school will engage with its community. Until then, situations like this one will reoccur and students will be the ones who suffer”.

3 February 2022

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