THREE dedicated locals have formed a committee to lobby for the opening of a new school in Maleny.
Kylie Warner, Cecilie Schiotz and Dr Bob Jacobs formed the committee about 18 months ago with the aim of opening a learning centre for home schooled students early next year.
Long term, they hope to open a primary and high school that has a focus on child centred learning.
Dr Jacobs has more than 25 years' experience working with children and parents as a teacher, coach, psychologist, mediator and lawyer and is an expert in parenting philosophies and theories.
"Learning is as natural as breathing, and it is naturally a joyful and exciting activity," he said.
"Unfortunately, this is often compromised by our education system, where priorities are based on rote learning, assessment, conformity and compliance.
"At the Maleny New School Learning Centre, the joy of learning that is so natural will be nurtured rather than inhibited."
The principle of the school would be based on his book, Perfect Parents, Perfect Children: Changing the World by Celebrating our Perfection.
Kylie said the new school would represent a non-traditional approach to education.
"Maleny New School uses a child-centred and child-initiated approach to learning," she said.
"Children will be celebrated for who they are and what they do, and staff will work to nurture and support children's natural love of learning.
"It's basically the premise of respecting the child and the child's desire for learning and allowing the child to create their own learning path."
They have not acquired government funding and are unsure if they want it.
"If we go down the path of government funding we need to follow a curriculum closely aligned with the Australian curriculum," Kylie said.
The school would be a not-for-profit entity but, without government funding, some fees would be required.
"Fees will be as low as possible consistent with operating the Learning Centre," Kylie said.
The new school would provide an alternative for students who learn better in a non-traditional environment.
"Different schools suit different children, and different children learn in varying environments," Kylie said.
"Just because a child is not excelling doesn't mean they're not smart.
"The school would provide an alternative way to reach a child's potential, gain confidence and learn."
To express interest in the home school learning centre next year, or if you know of a site location, call Kylie Warner on 0421 385 532.
Ready to learn
The committee aims to open the learning centre early next year
The centre would cater for home schooled children aged between four and 18 to learn together
Fees will range from $50-$80 a week and children can attend as often or as seldom as parents wish