Every blessing for these final days of term 3. I hope that you are all able to find some time to rest and recuperate in preparation for the final term of the year.
GCC / BLEA Working Group Proposals for General Synod : On the 28th of August three documents were sent to all learning community leaders. These were the recommendations from the BLEA / GCC Working Group that will be presented to Synod as well as their final report. In response to that our Executive Director and myself wrote to you also outlining what we have been doing in relation to this and our recommendations for a course of action that learning communities might want to take. In that letter we outlined that we have had several face to face meetings with Church leaders regarding our concerns and we have worked with them to try and establish a process moving forward that follows the values we espouse.
Subsequently you were encouraged to share your concerns with our Principal representatives at Synod (Rachel Boyce and Mark Rathjen)
or indeed your local congregational representatives. Our encouragement is to seek greater clarity around recommendation 4 especially (…that Lutheran Education Australia (LEA) becomes the system authority for Commonwealth government funding, as the authorised body for the distribution of Commonwealth funds in collaboration with the three regions, within the Synodical period ending 2021).
The LESNW, through its council, has now developed a clear and transparent funding redistribution model that has been agreed upon by our membership. Certainly we would hold concerns around any changes that might occur to this model without stakeholder input and agreeance. I believe that we need to see much greater clarity around the detail of this before this recommendation could be accepted as the impact could be quite significant at a local site level. While the statement ‘in collaboration with the three regions,’ has been added to the original proposal there can still reasonably be a sense of concern around the ambiguity of this proposal.
In the letter we wrote to you on the 28th August it was stated,‘while many of the proposals can and should be considered positively, there is an ambiguity around some that could have significant impacts on our system practices and structures.’It is in that ambiguity and through some challenging processes, communications and consultations that concerns have arisen.
As a LESNW Council we will be liaising with our principal delegates prior to Synod sharing the concerns that we hold so that they might be able to respond appropriately to the discussion and decision making process that will take place. Personally, I will also be speaking to my own Synod representative to share these same concerns so that they are appropriately informed.
We have been informed and trust that Synod has the processes in place to accept or amend/modify recommendations or seek clarification. Therefore that could apply to any one (or all) of the eleven recommendations that will be presented.
As has been stated before, should you wish to speak about any of this, please don’t hesitate to call/email etc.
LESNW Strategic Planning: over the past couple of weeks I have been able to meet with three of our Clusters – BARLE, LEAH and Connected Schools. Early next term I will meet with the LEAF group. A challenge remains to liaise and consult with the schools who are in the ‘Rural and Remote’ category. I would welcome any suggestions. Following this we will distribute the survey to seek input from those who have not been able to give it personally at a cluster forum.
LESNW Council Chair