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PV Executive Officer Gail McHardy is quoted in this article from yesterday's Age. The article, titled "Parents count the cost as classrooms dump textbooks for MacBooks", covers the issue of costs to parents as schools increasingly require them purchase digital devices for their children's education. From the article:

Gail McHardy, Parents Victoria's executive officer, said the cost varied significantly between schools and that school councils had to remain mindful of what families could afford.

Many families, particularly in regional and rural Victoria, struggled to cover the cost of a device or multiple devices for their children.

“Most secondary schools now expect all students to purchase a laptop,” Ms McHardy said.

“These laptops generally only last a couple of years before they start to slow or not even work and therefore there’s a requirement to purchase another in a couple of years.”

Ms McHardy criticised schools that lock parents into buying from one supplier, potentially denying them an opportunity to get a cheaper device elsewhere.

Read the full article

 

PV Exec Officer Gail McHardy is quoted in this article from yesteray's Age.

According to the article, "... school shoes are far and away the most Googled topic for families with children going back to school."

Gail's comment: "School shoes can range in price from $15 to $140. For families with more than one child to kit out for the school year this can be expensive."

The article has lots of useful information for parents about choosing school shoes.

What the article doesn't mention is that you can buy school shoes from State Schools Relief. You can purchase online or at 17 retail outlets across Victoria.

 

The issue of sleep deprivation among young people is in the news again. One solution that has been advanced is for secondary schools to start later, to better match the 'body clocks' of teenagers. This issue is covered in today's article in The Age and Sydney Morning Herald. PV's Executive Office Gail McHardy is quoted in the article. Gail said any change to school starting times would be a big ask. "Any change in school hours would have a huge domino effect on teachers' hours, traffic and employment, and would need to worked out among schools, families and government," she said.

The article also quotes adolescent-health researchers and Australian Principals Federation president Julie Podbury.

Read the full article online.

 

The Herald-Sun reports today that schools are gearing up for the statewide ban on mobile phones, due to be implemented next year. PV has voiced concerns about the ban, and our Executive Officer Gail McHardy is quoted in this article.

The government has allocated a $12.4 million budget for the implementation of the ban, and many schools have accessed a share of that funding to upgrade or buy lockers to store students’ phones. Some schools have already implemented the ban and others are developing their own policies for 2020.

 

The Herald-Sun published an article today headed "Helicopter parents told to stop interfering in class allocations for 2020".

The article by Claire Heaney begins,"Helicopter parents throwing tantrums over their kids not being put in the same class as their friends or demanding they be taught by a certain teacher are being told to buzz off by fed-up schools."

Speaker presentations

Conference notes

We took detailed notes of all the Conference proceedings.

Download the Conference notes. 

Photos

 conf 2019 raelene speaking

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Panel discussions

These panel discussions, representing the views of educators, parents and students, were held at our Annual Conference in 2019. They attempt to answer the question: How do we kindly and constructively deal with difference and conflict in schools?

The discussions focus on two conflict scenarios and how to deal with them.

The Way Forward: Scenario 1.

The Way Forward: Scenario 2

 

The Department of Education and Training is excited to announce that the 2019 finalists for the Victorian Education Excellence Awards (VEEA) have been released by the Acting Minister for Education Gayle Tierney.

The finalists include a primary school teacher passionate about raising literacy standards, a school supporting and promoting Koorie culture and a principal who has advocated for strong student voice and leadership

 

 

 

The Herald-Sun recently reported on the installation of gender-neutral toilets at Brunswick East Primary School. (The article 000newtab is behind a paywall, you can read it if you're a Herald-Sun subscriber.)

The article reports,

"Brunswick East Primary School says smelly urinals and safety and privacy fears have pushed it to choose gender neutral toilets. They are just one of the Melbourne schools embracing all gender restrooms. In a just completed maintenance upgrade, Brunswick East Primary School decided to embrace unisex toilets for a range of reasons including safety, privacy and hygiene. The Brunswick East school is among a number of schools choosing gender neutral toilets, often as part of an upgrade of existing facilities. Princes Hill Secondary College has committed to install the toilets. Carey Grammar has gender neutral toilets and uniforms... the lobby group Parents Victoria welcomed the toilets. “Some schools are realistic and sensible. We all have gender neutral bathrooms in our homes why not schools?” president Gail McHardy said."

(Note: Gail is actually PV's Executive Officer; our President is Sharron Healy).

 

Parents Victoria 2019 Conference: Everyone's health and wellbeing matters

 

18 & 19 November, 2019

Pullman Melbourne on the Park
Keynote speaker: Andrew Fuller
Brochure and program available soon - keep an eye on the website


Interesting article on the ABC website from Pasi Sahlberg, a Finnish education expert who now lives in Australia. He explains why equity is so important in an education system, why competition between schools delivers bad outcomes, and why his kids go to their local public school.

Australia must fix school inequity to create a top education system

About a year ago my life turned upside down, literally.

My wife and I, with our two school-aged children, moved to Sydney from Helsinki.

We soon realised that Australians do not walk upside down. But there were some things that we were not prepared for.

Ever since we arrived in our new hometown, people were curious to know how we chose a school for our sons.

For us it was no-brainer — the neighbourhood public school.

Read more on the ABC website. 


 

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