Parents Victoria's Executive Officer, Gail McHardy was recently invited by the Australian Council of Educational Leaders (ACEL) to be a panel member for a Q&A Forum held at Melbourne University Graduate School of Education, to discuss - "Is there more to education than high impact teaching strategies?"
Panel Members were:
Professor John Hattie - Prof of Education, University of Melbourne (The researcher perspective)
Gail McHardy - Executive Officer, Parents Victoria (The parent perspective)
Lisa Rodgers - CEO, AITSL (The system perspective)
Elida Brereton - Ex Principal, Actress, School councillor (The school perspective)
are supplied courtesy of the Victorian Catholic Schools Parent Body (VCSPB) whose Executive Officer attended the Forum. Parents Victoria thanks the VCSPB for permission to share their article content.
Parents Victoria says: "Parents Victoria applauds the introduction of the Independent Office as a long awaited systemic improvement for school complaint resolution."
"Independence in resolving our toughest cases is vital to finding a solution all parties will be happy with. After fighting for this for over ten years, Parents Victoria is pleased that we finally have an independent avenue for school disputes".
Parents Victoria is increasingly concerned about the growing number of contacts we have had from parents re directives from their school/principal in regards to the operation of parent clubs. Parent clubs are not part of the School Council. The relevant DET Schools Policy and Advisory Guide information re Parent Club "Formation" and "Dissolution" can be found here on the DET website.
It is worth highlighting that as per DET policy and in it's most basic form, a group of parents is allowed to form a Parent Club by presenting a list of six signatures to the Principal. If you are an existing Parent Club, there is no requirement for you to change that structure. Certainly schools and parent clubs can and should, collaboratively discuss the function of a parent club and what might work best for the community. A parent club cannot simply be disbanded as directed by a Principal - there is a proper dissolution process. There is also no policy direction as to what activities a parent club MUST undertake. It is not contained within DET policy or the Education Regulations that a Parent Club must be a part of the School Council - in fact they are explicitly not a part of the School Council.
Please contact Parents Victoria if you have been asked/told to make changes about the operation of your parent group e.g finances, autonomy from School Council......