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Deputy Premier and Minister for Education, James Merlino MP with Parents Victoria's President, Sharron Healy (right) and Executive Officer, Gail McHardy at the Government State Budget Briefing earlier this Term.
Parents Voice

Volume 43

Newsletter # 3 2016

Content ....

* Parents Victoria Conference
October 12 & 13
* Phase out of Schoolkids bonus
* Schools Transfer Policy
* Parent Club Constitutions
* Work experience placements
.... and more

.... and a busy Term 2 ......

As reported in Term 1 Parents Victoria has continued to be busy representing the views of our members and other parents and families at every opportunity.  Here is a snapshot of some meetings we've attended since April.

Complaints Management
Transition to School
Victorian Registration and Curriculum Authority re Child Safety Standards
Bracks Government Schools Funding Review
Program for Students with Disabilities Advisory Panel
DET Secretary, Gill Callister
Deputy Premier and Minister for Education, James Merlino MP
School Funding (SRP)
Tech Schools Summit 
State Budget Briefing
VCE Achievers Awards
Parent Payments Workshop
Education Stakeholder Roundtable - parent engagement
Tech Schools Policy Meeting
School partnerships forum (PV presented)
Assistant Ombudsman Meeting
The ACSSO (Australian Council of State School Organisations) Board of Directors met early in June, in Melbourne.  Guest speakers Dr Stanley Rabinowitz and Professor John Hattie provided useful insights and food for thought.  (Parents Victoria President, Sharron Healy front row.)
OCTOBER 12 & 13 (Melbourne)

Please mark the dates in your diary.  We are working up a great program.  
Details coming soon.
Parents Victoria Joan Kirner Award 

NOMINATIONS have been EXTENDED and will CLOSE: August 31, 2016
(Nominations must be received in writing to the Parents Victoria Office by the closing date and must provide detail in consideration of the criteria below.)

Criteria:  A Parents Victoria member Parent Club or Individual Member who has demonstrated, encouraged or facilitated parent participation or engagement in their school.  (A nominated Individual Member must be a parent at the nominated school and their contribution must be in the capacity of a volunteer.)

Schoolkids Bonus phased out

The Australian Government Schoolkids Bonus is being phased out with the final instalment being paid in July 2016.  Read more.
Survey feedback (read more) is even more worrisome when school costs are impacting on families.  More reason why we must get School Cost policies to be more consistent and fairer on families.

Parents Victoria is compiling an information sheet re the background to parent payments in schools and will also be providing an opportunity for you to give feedback on this important matter, via  a survey monkey - coming soon.  
Schools Transfer Policy
Enquiries by a family about a potential transfer between Victorian government schools

Victorian government schools may not share a student's personal or health information with another Victorian government school before that student has been accepted at that next school, unless consent is given.  Read more on the DET website - Schools Policy and Advisory Guide
VET FEE-HELP Discussion Paper

The Coalition Government is calling for comment on its Redesigning VET Fee-Help Discussion Paper.  The Discussion Paper is open for public comment until June 30, 2016.  Submissions for consideration can be emailed.  
Parent Club Constitutions

1.  All Parent Clubs must ensure that they have a ministerially approved constitution which is consistent with the current Education Regulations.
2.  A constitution documents the aims and objectives of the club, who can be members, when the AGM is held, how many members are needed for a quorum, how the finances will be managed, which office bearers need to be elected etc.
3.  To find out if you have a ministerially approved constitution, you can email the DET School Operations and Governance Unit ( ).
4.  If your club does not have a ministerially approved constitution, you need to start working on it now.  To prepare a constitution, it is a good idea to set up a sub committee to prepare a draft.  All financial members should then have the opportunity to make comments.  A model constitution can be found on the Parents Victoria website.  
5.  Once you are happy with your draft, we recommend you forward it to the School Operations and Governance Unit (per point 3 above).
6.  You will then be advised if there are any areas of your constitution that may not be approved and alternatives will be suggested.
7.  Parents Victoria suggests that the final draft is adopted at a general meeting of the Parent Club, subject to Ministerial approval.
8.  Make sure that your constitution is kept up to date and complies with the relevant regulations.  Parents Victoria recommends reviewing your constitution at least every three years.   Changes to an approved constitution:
a.  May only be made at the club's AGM and should be the first item of business.
b.  Must be circulated to all financial members at least one month prior to the AGM.
c.  Must be submitted to the Department of Education for ministerial approval.
d.  Come into effect once ministerial approval has been received.
NB.  At the AGM changes to the constitution must be voted on and accepted or rejected as written - no amendments are permitted.
National Excellence in Teaching Awards (NEiTA) 2016

For more than 22 years, the ASG National Excellence in Teaching Awards (NEiTA) has given communities the opportunity to formally recognise and thank outstanding teachers.
Nominated teachers, principals and centre directors have the chance of becoming the state and territory award recipients, with the national award recipients announced in March 2017.
Nominations close on July 31, 2016.  Read more about the awards and how to nominate.
Aims to provide real life work experience placements for students studying VET and VCAL certificates in certain industries, which in turn creates better links between young people and employment/business.  The Department of Education has designed a portal to allow teachers, students and parents to browse the placements available to them in their area.  Read more and visit the SWL site.
DET Circulars - to note

Tech Schools Summit
More than 300 people from Victoria's TAFEs, schools, universities and industry gathered at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre for the first ever Tech Schools Summit.  The Tech Schools will be shared learning environments, managed and operated by a partnership of local schools, local government, TAFE, university and industry partners.  Read more about Tech Schools.

* Navigator: Outstanding learning takes time and a good compass
Building engagement and a positive school experience is a key part of making Victoria the Education State. The aim of Navigator is to engage students who are at risk of becoming disengaged in their schooling and provide them community-based support so they can achieve their educational goals. Read more about the Navigator Pilot program.

* Victorian Young Leaders to China Program 2017.  A world-class, six-week in-country immersion program for Year 9 students, designed to prepare them to live and work as citizens and future leaders in an interconnected global community.  Read more about the program.

For further details check with your school Principal.

Parent perspectives on education and learning environments in Australia

Parents Victoria brings to your attention the opportunity to be involved in this exploratory study by Monash University.  To read more.
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