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Parent power behind new independent school in Townsville

Parents and the community have powered the development of one of Queensland’s newest independent schools – Enkindle Village School.

Located on the Townsville campus of James Cook University, the new primary school celebrated its official opening with its 15 Prep-Year 3 foundation students, their parents, staff, dedicated supporters and volunteers on 19 February.

According to Mark Thomas – President of the school’s governing body, the Townsville Independent School Association – the school was the result of the passion, drive and determination of local parents and educators who identified the need for more educational choice in the region.

The new primary school is based on a democratic model that engages students in decisions about the school and their own learning.

Mr Thomas said getting the school up and running had been a long, but highly rewarding journey.

He said the school was happy to share its learnings with any other parent or community groups considering embarking on such a process.

“It takes a long breath to work on a project like this and you must be prepared to have that. However, rest assured there will be lots of refreshing breaths that come along the way and if you have the perseverance and passion you will get there,” Mr Thomas said.

“Enkindle’s Business Development Managers are happy to provide assistance and offer advice to new start up schools – as they know just how important this information and encouragement from other like-minded groups can be.”

Queensland Independent Schools Parents Network Executive Officer Sue Kloeden said “parent power” had been instrumental in the development of many of the sector’s newest schools.

“Some parents, particularly in the early primary years, are seeking alternative education options that align with their beliefs and aspirations for their children’s learning,” Ms Kloeden said.

“The QIS Parents Network extends a warm welcome to parents who have enrolled their children in our newest independent schools,” she said.

“I encourage all parents to develop strong relationships with their schools and to remain positive and engaged partners in their children’s learning journey.”

All new non-state schools must meet an extensive list of accreditation criteria before they are approved to operate by the Non-State Schools Accreditation Board.

Learn more about Enkindle Village School and its education approach.