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Whole-school approaches for supporting young people and their families

(This article was written for us by Andrew Jones from Smiling Mind)

“Children will grow into the intellectual life of those around them”.

Lev Vygotsky

Powerful Learning Communities

Parents and families are the first and most significant teacher in a child’s life. Learning does not begin when a child commences school, nor does it stop when the child is in the family home. Au contraire.

When considering student performance, research has demonstrated conclusively that the greatest influence on achievement is not the teacher. It’s not the principal - nor is it the school itself. It is in fact, the parent and home-based influences.

The idea that children best succeed when schools, leaders and education systems promote and encourage positive family-school relationships, is not a new one. It is widely acknowledged in education research, policy and practice, that when families and school-based professionals unite and collaborate on the program of support and development for the child; that children are more likely to thrive.



Congratulations on the official opening of Yarra Me School (formerly Baltara) School on 29 May.

PV Executive Officer, Gail McHardy was delighted to be invited to such an important milestone now all the students are based on the same site and to see so many parents and supporters present for this important milestone in the school's history. PV felt it was important to share the School Council President, Nicholas Abbey’s speech at this event as it speaks to the fundamental things all our state schools strive to do:

The launch of the Yarra Me School is being held on the traditional lands of the Wurundjeri people and I also wish to acknowledge them as Traditional Owners.

I also would like to pay my respects to all Elders, past and present.


Our resources suite includes information on:

  • Parent Learning Opportunities
  • Set the tone
  • Create the space
  • Know  your families
  • Cultural Relevance
  • Celebrate the engagement
  • Shift the mindset
  • Effective Communication










The Joan Kirner Award is an annual award, given to a Member  Club, Parent or Individual Member* who has demonstrated, encouraged or facilitated parent or family participation or engagement in their school. 
The award is given every year at the Parents Victoria Annual Conference. 


Nominations are now open.

Closing date1 October 2019

Nominations should be This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

*If nominating a Parents Victoria Individual Member, the nominee must be a parent at the nominated school and their contribution must be in the capacity of a volunteer.


Parents Victoria's Executive Officer, Gail McHardy is quoted (in part) in this article.  

The Age, May 27, 2018  


Parents Victoria's full quote was:

Parents Victoria (PV) strongly advocates local residing students to their neighbourhood public school as a priority.
Wonderful that parents are choosing our great state schools.
It's incumbent on Governments to make sure every public school is funded to deliver the same fabulous curriculum programs as these sought after public schools.
PV does question why some school leaders are choosing out of zone families over their local families, is there some unknown pressure to do this which the Government needs to address?
Governments have to own their policy decisions and support our school leaders how to enforce them to be fair and equitable. 





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