Hillcrest - Independent Public School


There is an opportunity for up to 50 schools to gain IPS status for 2017 and Hillcrest Primary School is currently undertaking the process toward gaining IPS status.


Dan Bralich, Principal and Nadia Wittkowsky, School Chair will make a formal presentation to the IPS review committee on Monday 22 August 2016 in a bid to gain IPS status from 2017. Notification of selection outcomes will be advised on Friday 9 September 2016.


“IPS accreditation will be a validation of our demonstrated capacity to willingly accept responsibilities and accountabilities associated with IPS autonomy.”


An important part of the process toward attaining IPS status has been community involvement. The IPS information session for parents and community members in early August was informative and enabled the Hillcrest community to provide invaluable feedback and opinions that will be incorporated in to the final presentation.

The Hillcrest Community Survey from July also provided invaluable feedback from a broad cross section of the Hillcrest Community.

Engaging with the parent community is a vital key to Hillcrest Primary School and this engagement and involvement will help ensure Hillcrest continues to thrive and improve.


Taken from the Community, Staff & Parent Questions re: Independent Public School Status and IPS Parent Forum.

General Comments:

“I strongly support Hillcrest becoming an Independent Public School”

 “Great news. You guys are doing an amazing job. Look forward to hearing more about it”

“I think in the future Hillcrest will become a role model for many other public schools”

 “Certainly the best decision in the interests of the school and its students”

“I fully support all efforts for Hillcrest to become an Independent Public School”

-          Thank you for the positive comments and vote of confidence. We foresee significant outcomes for our students through greater community engagement, input and ownership of the school’s initiatives.

I really don’t have a lot of information about the school being Independent and what it means”

-          Our IPS Parent Forum was well attended. We will continue to update the school community regarding IPS and other important items through messages from the Principal and School Board via website, newsletters and regular communication forums. Minutes from decision making committees can also be found on our website.

The annual parent survey provided the following percentile responses:

63% of parents did not realise that over seventy percent of public school students currently attended an Independent Public School.

82% of respondents were aware research states a key factor in student success is parent involvement in their school.

The following percentage of respondents were aware of these IPS benefits:

49% increased capacity for parent and community input

53% more dynamic and transparent relationships

68% of the increased flexibility to appoint the best staff for our students

42% exclusive access to IPS support and resources


Hillcrest Primary School has already been undergoing a transformation over the past few years - see some of the programs and improvements here.


What is IPS

Over the last six years, Independent Public School staff and community members have chosen to bring a spirit of empowerment to shape their schools to better meet the distinctive needs of their students.


They are creating innovative solutions, testing new concepts and generating practical ideas – not just for the benefit of students in their schools but for students in all our schools.


These school communities understand that attaining greater autonomy does not in itself make a difference to the learning of students in classrooms; that always depends on how each school puts that autonomy to use.


It comes down to the decisions they make, the ways they use their resources, the programs they introduce and, most of all, the extent to which they value, resource and support high quality teaching.


This new opportunity for schools to become Independent Public Schools draws on these dimensions and, as in previous years, the same rigour will be applied to the selection process.


Sharyn O’Neill

Director General, Department of Education


Pathway to IPS

There are four mandatory key stages schools need to undertake toward being considered for IPS status. In brief, these stages are:


Stage 1: Briefing

One day briefing that captures the philosophy, nature and requirements of autonomy for IPS schools.

March 2016


Stage 2: Development

Workshops complemented by contextualised on the job learning activities to provide structured professional support

April - June 2016


Stage 3: Selection

30 minute presentation to a panel of specially chosen and training IPS principals

Monday 22 August 2016


Selection outcomes will be advised on Friday 9 September


Stage 4: Transition

Comprehensive transition training to prepare the school community to function effectively as an IPS

Bigger Picture


Full details of the IPS Prospectus for schools: Opportunity to become and Independent Public School in 2017


Department of Education Strategic Plan 2016 - 2019: High Performance - High Care


Hillcrest values