Forging a new future
COMPASSION is the vital ingredient of everyone who works at Glendyne Education and Training Centre.
And it is that compassion that makes the school’s special recipe of closely supporting children from neglected homes work.
The school had its first full year of classes in 1998 and has not stopped growing since.
Twelve years later, it is stronger than ever and has turned a new page with principal Dale Hansen.
Mr Hansen has been at the school since 2005, working for a few months as a teacher before taking the deputy principal role and last year becoming acting principal following the departure of Ray Krueger.
His new role is a busy one, with the school growing every year.
But Mr Hansen believes it is now time for student numbers to come to a standstill so Glendyne’s goals can be effectively reached.
“When you’re dealing with these types of youths you don’t want to forget what your core business is,” he says, “And that’s being a caring, supporting environment which is built around building relationships with kids – small class sizes, addressing their individual needs ... so we don’t want to lose that.
“There’s a limit to the amount of students which you can work with before you start to lose that and I think we’re at that limit now.”
Mr Hansen’s plans this year revolve around consolidating how Glendyne is run: “... Evaluating what we’re doing, improving what we’re doing, especially in behaviour management and support structures, testing other areas and benchmarks.”
The school is also looking at how it can lobby the state and federal governments to improve the recurrent funding model under which it falls.
“We’ve got an evaluation happening this year which is going to focus on not only what Glendyne does but if Glendyne wasn’t here how that would affect the community now and in 10 years time, to try and draw the attention to the fact that these people are in our community and we have to care for them, we have to help them, we have to support them so that they can become a part of the community because if we don’t then they’re going to become the community’s liability and we don’t want that to happen.”
Mr Hansen says funding is the biggest obstacle the school faces because it is classified as a private school, despite parents of students not having the finances to top up the coffers.
“What we need to fix it is that the government recognise that there are a lot of these kids in every community but we have to address the need, we have to help the schools who are addressing that need by providing a recurrent funding model to resource the school.”
Thanks to the Rudd government’s stimulus dollars, a library and science block are currently being built at Glendyne. Funding for a drama block has also been received and all are expected to be ready for use by the end of June.
“That’s been a great thing but what we really need is more people on the ground,” Mr Hansen says. Those people include more youth workers, a counsellor and teachers.
“The Wide Bay region has only recently been labelled the lowest socio economic area with the highest unemployment. That’s a real concern for this community.
“To be involved in this school whether you’re a principal, or teacher or the canteen convenor, you have to be compassionate. Kids have challenging behaviours but adults often forget what they were like when they were kids. If they haven’t been loved or cared for then they’re going to be angry.
“So you’ve got to understand that often the faults that they come to school with are often not necessarily created by them but the environment they come out of.”
‘Kids have challenging behaviours but adults often forget what they were like when they were kids. If they haven’t been loved or cared for then they’re going to be angry’