Did you know that parents of students at the Queensland Academy of Science, Mathematics and Technology recently voted to dissolve the QASMT Parents & Citizens committee?
On Thursday evening, 23 March 2023, QASMT parents passed a resolution to dissolve the P&C Association in a 34-4 vote. At least 75 per cent of the members present at the meeting, which was held via Zoom, were needed to dissolve the committee.
They also voted to have the $150,000 funds, including parents’ funds, transferred to the school.
There were a total of 72 community members who attended the meeting that evening. After a 15-minute heated Q&A, 34 non-member attendees were booted out of the meeting and were not allowed to witness the voting.
In 2022, the school P&C met only four times out of the minimum of six meetings required due to the intense infighting among its members.
President Winand D-Souza said that the committee executive was seeking to dissolve the P&C model in order to streamline the parents and school connection. He added that the changes will lead to better communication between the stakeholders and ultimately a better QASMT.
Opponents, meanwhile, said that the meeting did not offer opportunity for a transparent, open discussion. Chat was also disabled whilst presentations were being conducted.
Prior to the dissolution, Friends of QASMT P&C Association launched an online petition asking the Qld Department of Education Minister Grace Grace to save the Association.
It said that when P&C members received an email invitation to a ‘Special Meeting’ indicating the Executive’s plan to dissolve the Association, there were no reasons provided and the wider school community has not been notified or consulted.
“Since 2019 this association has funded tens of thousands of dollars worth of musical instruments, VR equipment, laser cutters and printers, outdoor furniture, sports courts, sports and science equipment,” the petition said.
“It currently is the steward of over $100k of parent raised funds. This fundraising cannot continue upon the initiative of parents and citizens if the Association is dissolved.
“Current leaders may be dissatisfied with how the Association has evolved. If this is the case, they need to step aside and allow others to take the lead to move this Association towards a more positive future.
“Dissolution reduces opportunities for parents to work in partnership with the school and each other. Dissolution removes transparency and accountability of the expenditure of parent fees. Our P&C Association provides vital support and ensures there is equity for all – everyone deserves to be heard.
“In short, it is not in the best interest of students or the school for the QASMT P&C Association to be dissolved.”
Queensland Academy of Science, Mathematics and Technology has for years been a top-performing state high school in Queensland, consistently showing exceptional NAPLAN and ATAR results.
In 2020, the QASMT expansion was completed which included the new STEM Precinct and the new Languages Precinct.