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Parents Victoria / Australian Principals Federation launch new Resource
Following Parents Victoria's 2016 Annual Conference (October 12 & 13), Parents Victoria Team members attended the Australian Principal Federation's 2016 AGM where PV Conference Keynote Speaker, Professor Bill Lucas launched a new resource "Lets Work Together".  Parents Victoria is very proud of the resource which is the result of a collaboration between Parents Victoria and the Australian Principals Federation.  We thank Julie Podbury, President of the APF for her work and enthusiasm for the project.

Check out the Lets Work Together resource via the link on the Parents Victoria website.  We hope school communities will use the resource to improve or enhance the home-school partnership.

PV Annual Conference report coming in the next Parents Voice newsletter.
Parents Voice

Volume 43

Newsletter # 4 2016

Content ....

* Independent Umpire for complaints
* School Governance Network
* Child safe standards
* Ombudsman "own motion" inquiry into expulsions
Parents Victoria - working hard for families in our Victorian Government Schools.  Term 3 and the beginning of Term 4 have been very hectic but persistence pays!  It is difficult to keep our members and friends abreast of all the information, representation and action achieved each and every day.  We regularly post to our PV facebook and website pages so keep an eye on these mediums.

We  have seen policy and process issues being raised and progressed in regards to:- Transfer of student data between schools; Enrolling a Year 7 into a designated neighbourhood school; Parent to school and school governance complaints; Student expulsions; school reviews; doctors in schools; head lice; initial teacher education; and digital technology in schools.

In a major breakthrough, Parents Victoria achieved its 12th solution from our 2004 Dispute Resolution Project - an Independent Umpire for Complaints!  
(See next article below) 
Parliamentary Secretary for Education and MLA of Narre Warren South for the Andrews Government, Judith Graley MP (pictured middle right) with Parents Victoria's President, Sharron Healy (right), Executive Officer, Gail McHardy (left) and Executive Support, Leanne McCurdy at the State Government launch of an Independent Panel for School Dispute Resolution held at the Bastow Institute.

Parents Victoria is a member of the Complaints Management Stakeholder Consultation Group working with DET and State Government.

Read more about the Independent Panel on the Department of Education website.
Presented by: The
Schools Plus team
You will Learn:  Easy step-by-step approach to fundraising for a project;  Tips to help your project run smoothly;  How to pitch your project to potential donors - and where to find them; Practical tips to make your fundraising drive a success; How to retain donors

Who Should Attend:  Principals, Teachers, Parent Clubs, School Business Managers, School Administrators, Community Liaison Officers

If your school would like to participate in and/or host a workshop in 2017, please contact : or call 02 8880 0296

Read more 

Always busy ....  Parents Victoria working hard for families

Here is a snapshot of some meetings we've attended in Term 3 and early Term 4:

Meeting with Minister for Education, James Merlino MP
Launch of Aboriginal Education Plan
Parents and School Council organisation Meeting
Deputy Secretary DET, Katy Haire
Meeting with Bastow Institute
Principals Victorian Reference Group
School Funding (SRP)
Special Needs Stakeholder Group
Organisations / AEU meeting
Consultation re Trade Training Centres
DET meeting re Education Regulations 2007
DET Stakeholder Roundtable
Victorian Registration and Qualifications Authority re Child Safety Standards Teleconference
DET School Reform and Transitions Meeting
Ombudsman Victoria
Education and Training Regulations 2007 (sunset June 2017)
ACSSO Board Meeting and AGM
Initial Teacher Education

...... and some media topics we've discussed:
Headlice (The Project)
Discipline of Primary School Students
School Crossing Supervisor
Student Relationships in Primary Schools
GPs in Schools
School / Parent Club fundraising
Custodial Orders re Schools
Smoking Bans around Schools
School Expulsions
School Governance Network

A new development for school councils in Victoria – the School Governance Network. This new organisation, wholly owned by member school councils, will provide new services, support and tools for the 17,500 council members in government schools.
 An information brochure (read more) outlines the services and support and includes an interactive membership form and tax invoice. For more information, contact Nicholas Abbey on 0402 152 634 or Graeme Lane on 0418 554 973.
The NEW Victorian Child Safe Standards are compulsory minimum standards for all Victorian early childhood services and schools, to ensure they are well prepared to protect children from abuse and neglect.  The standards have now been implemented in every school.

Parents Victoria, as the peak public school parent organisation, and as an Education Stakeholder was invited by the VRQA to add our voice via video along with the various sector Employers and other organisations.  View video message from Gail McHardy, Executive Officer, Parents Victoria.

As an individual parent/carer, parent association or school council member if you have any questions in relation to the NEW Ministerial Order 870 that requires schools to comply with the new standards we urge you to visit the VRQA website.  Also read more on the DET website.

Is your School Council discussing the child safe standards?

The following free 2016 workshops ( are for those who are on a board or committee of a community organisation that is focused on children:

Wangaratta December 7    6.00-8.00pm Wangaratta Children's Services Centre
Warragul     December 8    6.00-8.00pm  Federation Training Warragul Campus

Read more on the website

Release of the revised anaphylaxis management guidelines for Victorian Schools.
The guidelines have been updated to assist schools in their transition to an online training strategy and with best practice advice on how to meet the requirements of Ministerial Order 706.

Independent Panel for School Dispute Resolution
The Department is establishing an Independent Panel to help schools, parents and students manage disputes.  As part of an expanded complaints resolution system, the new Panel will receive complex comlaints that cannot be resolved at a school or regional level.
Read more

Uniform support for Camps, Sports and Excursions Fund recipients commencing Year 7 in 2017
State Schools' Relief (SSR) is continuing to support students who are recipients of the Camps, Sports and Excursions Fund (CSEF) by providing a subsidised Uniform Pack to students starting Year 7 in 2017.  Read more

Video: Gill Callister and Bruce Armstrong talk Education State
As we approach the end of 2016, Secretary Gill Callister sat down for a video interview with Regional Services Group Deputy Secretary Bruce Armstrong to talk about the high profile of education and the opportunities that lie ahead.  Watch Video


Victoria raises bar for teacher training standards

The Victorian Government has announced a series of reforms aimed at raising teacher standards across the state.  Parents Victoria was consulted and provided input / feedback to the consultation.  Read more on the DET website.
Parenting Support Program for grandparents, fathers and rural families

Positive Parenting Telephone Service - Program Launch.  More support for grandparents caring for grandchildren, fathers and rural families.  Read more
Ombudsman investigates expulsions at Victorian Government schools

Parents Victoria welcomes the announcement from the Victorian Ombudsman, Deborah Glass that she has called an Own Motion Inquiry into Student Expulsion in Government Schools.

"The investigation will include examining:  Whether the department is complying with the Ministerial Order and policies regarding Government school expulsions; whether vulnerable or at-risk students are over-represented in expulsion numbers and whether the department is effectively addressing any such issues; whether the data collected by the department regarding expulsions is sufficient to inform departmental policy-making and programs; whether the department is monitoring and preventing instances of informal expulsions, which occur outside a formal expulsion process.

School expulsions are made according to Ministerial Order 625 - the Procedures for Suspension and Expulsion which has been in effect since March 2014."  Submissions can be made.   Read more
Tech Schools - Update

The Tech Schools initiative is part of the Victorian Government's commitment to creating the Education State by ensuring every Victorian has access to an excellent education.  This exciting initiative will invest $128 million to construct and establish 10 Tech Schools across the state with further ongoing funding to support operation.  Read More    View Powerpoint slides from the Bendigo Tech School presentation.
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