Last week I saw an article in the CT about parents lying about their place of residence to get their kids into elite target public schools in the ACT. It generated a lot of discussion but got me thinking about the flip-side to this debate, principals who pick and choose kids from out of area. What influences their decision making, merit of need? For instance a family friend of ours told us a few years back their child got into an out-of-area and at-capacity elite target primary school because she told the principal her daughter had a reading several age years above the national average. Conversely I was also told by a teacher friend, and I concede it is only a rumour, she was in a staff meeting where the Principal of a substantially under capacity high school told his staff he was resisting accepting out of area kids with disabilities because he didn’t want his school to be seen as “that type of school”.
We place a lot of trust in school principals but should they be in charge of picking and choosing which students they top their schools up with, particularly in an age where NAPLAN and MySchool are being used as key markers of a school and it’s principal’s performance?