The Illawarra Association for Christian Parent-Controlled Education operates an independent, private school in the Wollongong region and an independent, private school in the Shellharbour region of the Illawarra.
ICS schools are based on the concept that the education of children is primarily a parental responsibility and not simply the responsibility of the State (Deuteronomy 6:4-7). Our school is an extension of the Christian home, with home and school working in partnership in the education of the child. Please read our Vision and Mission Statements and Educational Creed
Illawarra Christian School’s aims may be summarised as follows:
• To provide a Christ-centred Bible-based Education
• To teach children to think Christianly
• To assist children to make the best possible use of their God-given gifts and abilities
• To involve parents, actively, in the education of their children, by their participation in the day to day activities of the school and in its general operation
• To maintain consistency in training and teaching between home and school, while preparing the children to be Christ’s disciples in the world
Illawarra Christian School seeks to train the whole person, for the purpose of fulfilling his or her God-given destiny, to know and love God, and to serve Him in the context of family, church and society.
At Illawarra Christian School, the way we seek to organise our school is not something prescribed by Scripture but is our response to Scripture.
Biblical Basis for Christian Schooling
1. All things are to be done for the glory of God
Christians are called to do all things to the glory of God.
1 Corinthians 10:31 So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.
This takes the form of complete dedication and service to God.
Deuteronomy 6:4-5 Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. 5 Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.
2. Education should be Christ-Centred
A Knowledge apart from God is false knowledge.
Romans 1:28 Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done.
Potential for the renewal of the mind is part of the gospel grace.
Romans 12:2 Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will.
B True knowledge begins and ends with Christ
2 Corinthians 10:5. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.
Colossians 1:16-17 For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.
Ephesians 1:10 .... to bring all things in heaven and on earth together under one head, even Christ.
Romans 11:36 For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be the glory for ever! Amen.
3. Education is a parental responsibility – not a state or teacher responsibility
The Bible lays down distinct areas of responsibility to various institutions:
A The church is to preach and teach the Word of God and to administer the sacraments, for the edification of believers.
Ephesians 4:11-12 It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up.
It is also to evangelise.
Matthew 28:19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.
B The State has been given authority by God to govern and, in particular, to maintain law and order in a fallen world.
Romans 13:1-7 Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities...............
C Parents are responsible for the education of their children.
Parents are to be diligent in teaching their children.
Deuteronomy 6:6-9 These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.............
Proverbs 22:6 Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.
Ephesians 6:4 Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.
The fifth commandment assumes the parents’ authority over their children.
Exodus 20:12 “Honour your father and your mother,...................
Children are to heed their parents.
Proverbs 1:8 Listen, my son, to your father’s instruction and do not forsake your mother’s teaching.
D The teacher functions as an extension of the parents’ authority. The Bible gives no mandate to the teacher in his/her own right. However, in the Parent Control model, parents and teachers function in partnership, for the godly education and upbringing of each child.
Operating within our structure
We believe that parents as individuals will be required to answer before God with regard to the training of their children. Our model of education provides for this responsibility to be shared with the teaching staff which has been delegated authority through the Association, composed of Christian parents. Parents and teachers work in partnership as they provide for the spiritual, emotional, social, intellectual and physical well being of the child.
Our model provides parents (through membership of the Association) with the capacity to directly influence their children’s education.
Our structures should seek to protect the rights of parents in discharging their individual responsibilities and, at the same time, clearly lay down the basis for maintaining the relationships that bind us together
In order for the Association to function, members must be prepared to submit their individualism to the considered will of the group as a whole. It would indeed be idealistic to expect that as a community we could come to one mind in all matters. The potential for disagreement must be recognised and some individuals may need to make the choice between accepting a corporate decision or perhaps forfeiting membership for the Association.
Roles Within the Structure
The Association is a group of like minded Christian people who have joined together to ensure that their goals of providing Christian Education are met. When the Association meets together, it is the prime decision making body of the school. As an incorporated body it is bound by relevant State and Federal laws and is also bound by any internal rules it imposes upon itself. The Constitution,
particularly the Educational Creed, provides the framework for the operation of the Association and its members.
The Association, which elects the Board, may:
• Develop and approve policy
• Take recommendations to the Board
• Seek explanations of Board directions
• Direct the Board
Decisions are arrived at by a majority vote of financial members.
Members of the Association have a responsibility to act in Christ-like manner towards one another. They should give due consideration to the well being of the whole community. Members ought always to pursue right relationships with one another. The framework for dealing with any issue of concern is set out in the Resolution of Issues Policy.
Christian families wishing to join the Association can do so by completing this form
and returning it to the school Business Centre.
Individual Members and Parents
Parents can exercise their God-given responsibility by becoming members of the Association and thereby contributing to policy, school management and the development of Biblically based curriculum.
Individually, members/parents can and should communicate with the teaching staff and/or the principal on a wide range of matters. This may include issues concerning the welfare and progress of the children, the day to day running of the school and the content and method of teaching. Parents are encouraged to value and utilise the professional expertise of staff members.
A member/parent does not have individual authority to affect change but may bring matters of concern to the attention of the attention of the relevant people.
Association members should exercise responsibility by:
• Attending Association meetings, voting on matters raised in a reasoned way, and bringing before the Association matters of concern
• Nominating and electing Board members
• Being available for election as Board members, task force members and/or subcommittee members
• Promptly paying Association membership fees and completing the recommitment document.
Parents and Association members should exercise responsibility by:
• Adhering to the Creed and Constitution
• Being actively involved in the life of the school – participating in school functions, attending working bees, assisting teachers etc.
• Bringing matters of interest and concern to the attention of Board members
• Positively embracing Association and Board decisions
• Upholding the authority of the teacher and actively developing a supportive relationship between parent and teacher
• Making prompt payment of all school fees a priority and notifying the school at the earliest opportunity if difficulties are encountered in meeting fee responsibilities
Members of the Board
The Board is charged with the responsibility of managing the Association’s affairs.
The Board represents the Association. It is responsible for:
• The election of the Board Chairperson
• The practical outworking of our model of education in the school
• The appointment of all employees
• The oversight of curriculum and courses of study
• The financial and overall day to day management of the Association and school
• The development of policy
• The establishment of subcommittees to share the task of management
• Membership of the Association
Board members must ensure that their stewardship responsibility is first and foremost to the Association and they ought not act as individuals in Association matters. Board members ought to be careful when expressing their personal opinions that they are not misunderstood to be expressing a decision of the Association/Board.
Principal - The principal is an employee of the Association. The principal is an authority in all school matters and as such is an advisor to the Board. The principal is the main link between the Board and the teaching staff, facilitating the free flow of information, advice and policy decisions.
It is the principal’s responsibility to implements Association/Board policies. Where no policy exists the principal should act in a way which is consistent with the Constitution.
In consultation with the teaching staff the principal is responsible for the preparation of suitable Bible-based and Christ-centred curriculums and courses of study.
Teaching and Administration Staff - All permanent employees are required to be Association members. They are responsible for the implementation of relevant Association/Board policies.
Teachers are responsible for the implementation of the school’s curriculum. They are encouraged to work in partnership with parents so that they may more effectively assist parents in the Christian education of their children. This would include communicating with parents in regard to the welfare and progress of their children. Teachers should value and utilise the insight and knowledge that parents have concerning their own children. The school community should uphold the authority of the teachers.
Matters of Dispute
All matters of dispute within the school community should be addressed speedily, with a view to reconciliation. They should not become matters for idle talk or rumour. In specific issues that are not able to be readily resolved the procedure outlined in the Resolution of Issues Policy should be followed carefully.
It is most unlikely that we would all agree on all matters all the time. However, if we act toward one another in an attitude of loving concern, and follow the principles laid down for us in the Bible, the life of the community will be enhanced. The Constitution and the Creed leave no room for broken fellowship between members.
Partnership based on trust and communication is the principle which defines relationships within our school. Each sector of the school community needs to trust the other, and to communicate concerns and encouragement as they share, in partnership, the God-given task of bringing up children in the fear and nurture of our Lord.
At Illawarra Christian School we humbly recognise God’s continual and plentiful provision. We praise Him for the many blessings that we have received and give thanks for the faithful people who have contributed to the working out of the vision for Christian Education in the Illawarra. We seek always to maintain our focus on Christ as we work together in harmony to continue His work in our school.