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The Victorian Parliament, Education and Training Committee has called for public input into it's inquiry into approaches to homework in Victorian schools, focusing on the impact on student learning.  To read more and for opportunity to make a submission.  The closing date for submissions is February 14, 2014.

Secretary, Department of Education and Training

jenny attaI am fortunate to take up the role of Secretary of the Department of Education and Training at a time when there is so much positive focus, investment and effort on school education in Victoria.

Much has been achieved in recent years. We have opened new schools and delivered a raft of school capital modernisation and upgrade projects to our Government Schools. This will provide us with high quality education facilities to meet the needs of a growing population.

School equity funding has been boosted to ensure there is greater support for students who need it most and a wide range of innovative policies and practices focused on school improvement have been introduced, as we strive for the best possible outcomes for Victorian students.

Notwithstanding the progress made, there is still more opportunity ahead of us as we work toward delivering on Government’s objectives for Victoria as the ‘Education State’.

The Education State is about building a world class education system that parents can be proud of, and that provides every student with the knowledge, capabilities and attributes that will see them thrive throughout their lives. It means building excellence and equity in equal measure so that all students will have access to the same quality education, regardless of their background or circumstance.

Some important achievements but more opportunities ahead

I am proud to say that, over the past four years, the value of the changes we are implementing across the school system has really started to show.

We have seen encouraging shifts in outcomes in early childhood, school education and higher education and skills, and collectively we are building on these strong foundations.

The main message from me is that we need to stay the course – the direction we are heading is the right one and parents should be proud to send their children to their local Government school. As we look to the period ahead, the Department is focused on redoubling our efforts to work with teachers and school leaders to embed and maximise the changes already introduced. This includes a continued focus on key fundamentals such as:

Ensuring teachers have best practice tools and resources to support their work to improve student outcomes; and
Continuing to deliver our ambitious school capital program and ensure that new and upgraded schools are fit for purpose, contemporary facilities to support high quality teaching and learning.
There are also some important challenges that mean we need to intensify our focus and effort – and where, significantly, we need to work with key stakeholders and partners including parents. For example, two key challenges include:

  • A strong focus on the whole student – including the health and wellbeing of students across our school system;
  • Ensuring our schools are working together and with other partners to best manage student transitions – from early childhood education into prep classes, from year 6 to year 7 and developing better pathways from secondary school to higher education, skills and training and employment.

Working collaboratively

The Education State objectives will not be achieved without the Department and our school system working in partnership with key stakeholders. It is particularly important that we look to how we can build partnerships with parents – at both the school and system level.

Parents Victoria is an active and valued member of the Education State Guiding Coalition – a coalition that the Department has brought together to support collaboration with key partners with a deep and shared interest in progressing the Education State reforms.

At a system level, I look to Parents Victoria as a key source of advice to ensure the Department’s work on policy development and implementation is informed by the critical perspective of parents and families.

Active collaboration is critical to our success and I look forward to continuing to work with you in making our education system the best it can be.

Jenny Atta


Department of Education and Training


The Fathering Project creates self-supporting Dads Groups in schools to inspire, encourage and support fathers and father figures to engage with their children and be a positive influence in their child’s life.  As research demonstrates, when a father has a positive relationship with their child it will benefit the child’s health, academic results and social and emotional outcomes.
While the program is for the benefit of the children, it also has a profound impact on Dads and their partners, on the school and the community. Hundreds of schools are involved in WA and NSW. Now the Fathering Project has commenced in 20 primary schools in Victoria and it is hoped this number will increase to over 100 by early 2020.  It only takes one Dad to suggest that a group be formed and create an enjoyable, informal and social environment for fathers and father-figures that builds interaction, knowledge and skills.
For more information visit The Fathering Project website.

Recent Activities at Primary Schools

Ashburton Primary School – “Dasher Dads”
In early February over 100 dads from Ashburton Primary School made time to be with their kids and picked them up from school. They all took part in the “Dasher Dads” (Dads of Ashburton) “Icy Pole Pick up” activity. Dads, kids, mums and family members enjoyed their treat and heard all about the Dads’ group program to introduce new school families to the program.
Croydon Hills Primary School – “MOTHS”
A dads and kids movie night was a big success for the Croydon Hills Primary School Dads’ Group, The “MOTHS” (Men of the Hills).  Over 200 people attended the night at the school, enjoying hot chocolate, coffee and plenty to eat while enjoying a family movie.
Sunbury Primary School – Dads and Kids Camp
Sunbury Primary School Dads hosted a Dads and kids camp out on the school oval during the year. A tremendous success with many Dads and children sharing activities, preparing and enjoying dinner and breakfast and a night camping. Following the successful event more Dads have become involved with the school community.

No charge to attend

icon Bundoora Communication is the Key forum (Bundoora Secondary College) November 14th 7.00pm - 9.00pm

icon Bayswater South Communication is the Key forum (Bayswater South Primary School) November 19th 10.00am - 12.00 noon

Contact the Parents Victoria to make a booking

A motivational session relevant to parents, school councillors &school mgt/staff – ‘to sustain and engage school communities’
DATE: Thursday, November 19, 2009
TIME: 10.00am – 12.00noon
PLACE: Berwick Fields Primary School
LOCATION: 35 Gwendoline Drive, Berwick (Cnr Centre Road)
(Parking is in the Berwick Church of Christ carpark, opposite school)
Gail McHardy (Parents Victoria, Executive Officer) will present and discuss the following information and will be available to answer your questions.
• The PV CD Toolkit for Parent Clubs
( Tip Sheets & Pro Formas designed specifically to assist PCs)
• Families as partners in learning
• Strategies to build Parent Participation
• Inclusive school communities
• Communicate more effectively
• Fundraising partnerships
• Other relevant & current educational issues of interest

ALL PARENTS are warmly invited to take part in the fourth annual online conference to be held by Parents Victoria.

The conference will be held non-stop on the internet during Education Week (Sunday 16th May to Saturday 22nd May). No special software is needed just an internet-connected computer and a browser. The online discussions are very easy to join in, and guidelines about how to participate will be provided.

The conference is proudly sponsored by the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development. Join in for all days, just some days, or even a few hours, depending on your lifestyle and other commitments.


AUGUST 18 & 19




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