Why we exist

A good school is essential to the well-being of the entire family of school-aged children and the community as a whole. We, the members of the alliance, have formed and been part of community campaigns when a good school was sorely missing. The reason we have come together is as simple as it is frustrating: We cannot leave it to the state, the market forces nor the various stakeholders and lobby groups to do what is best for our community. We have had to witness a decline in basic government school provision and attendance accompanied by lack of transparency, complaint mechanisms and due process across the education systems. Accountability is largely non-existent and part of the reason is that there is no defined or enforceable community or resource standard of educational access, finance and content. There is certainly no equitable or planned educational provision across all geographic regions and for all children. The extent to which existing expertise and resources are shared is appalling. If anything, even bare access to government schools has decreased. Government schools used to be something to opt out of, now many families cannot even opt in or get a place. This is even more extraordinary given our enshrined right to send our children to a neighbourhood school. From a family and community point of view, we have all experienced how critical a good neighbourhood school is, nearby and representative of the community. Now we have come together to express these communities’ needs and demand the equitable distribution of educational opportunities our communities desperately want and deserve: for all of our children, our schools.