BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
In January 1981 I visited North West Tasmania and became an observer-participant in casual discussions concerning 'alternative' Christian schooling. Approximately mid 1981 friends in Tasmania wrote and told me that they and their local church were 'praying about' the possibility of starting their own school. At that time there was opposition to the idea from within and without the church. Neighbours lodged official objections with the local authorities and some older people in the congregation of mostly young families, felt uneasy about the idea. Over the next eighteen months I followed and participated in the debate. All objections were overcome and the school commenced operations in February, 1983, using the ACE program. At the same time, I was aware of a number of other churches which were contemplating a similar move. I felt I did not know enough about the ACE program to to give a thoughtful answer to those who were asking my opinion.
Since that time, I began collecting literature and information on alternative Christian schooling, visiting such schools where possible and conducting interviews, formal and informal, with a variety of people in Queensland, South Australia and Tasmania. Some of the people spoken to include Mr Val Bird, former Minister for Education in Queensland, senior officers of the Queensland Educa tion Department, School Inspectors, several lecturers at the Mount Gravatt Campus of the B.C.A.E. ; Pastors, teachers, monitors, parents and students of some Christian schools using the A.C. E. program. .............