PRIORITY 4: CONNECTING WITH FAMILIES AND THE COMMUNITY

Photo of a group of parents, teachers and students at the Community Sleepout

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OUR MAJOR ACHIEVEMENTS

Our education community, including parents, carers and children and young people, educators, the broader community and others, represent a vital source of support for our vision for our children and young people. The Directorate’s 2015 and 2016 Action Plans articulated a number of strategies to focus effort to effectively engage with families and the broader community, including industry.

FAMILIES AS PARTNERS

  • Led the Progressing Parental Engagement in the ACT project enabling connections between home and school, and enhancing positive learning outcomes for ACT children.
  • Parents and carers are encouraged to attend our schools and to have their children lead them through their Learning journey.
  • The Directorate met regularly with the ACT Council of Parents and Citizens Associations (P&Cs) to share information in support of our students.
  • In each of our ACT Public Schools, Parents and Citizens Associations play an active role in supporting and enriching the school experience for our ACT Public School students and provide a strong community voice for public education.

COMMUNITY AND INDUSTRY ENGAGEMENT

  • The Directorate has a range of specific partnerships with business and community groups that support education and celebrate excellence in ACT Public Schools.
  • ACT Public School education facilities are regularly accessed by the community for use after school hours, providing a valuable connection between our community and our schools.
  • The Directorate worked with the ACT community through its links to the Community Services Directorate’s Child and Family Centres. ACT Public Schools make referrals to Child and Family Centres to access specific services for children. In addition, Child and Family Centres conduct programs within some ACT Public Schools. In 2015-16 these programs included Circle of Security, Cool Little Kids and Food for Thought.
  • The Directorate worked in conjunction with a number of not-for-profit community sector agencies delivering programs within ACT Public Schools aimed at supporting pro-social behaviours among young people.
  • Provided funding to key arts organisations through Deeds of Grant, to deliver professional learning opportunities for teachers in delivery of the Australian Curriculum: Arts.
  • The Directorate facilitated access to the Royal Life Saving Society ACT, Aqua Safe Water Safety and Awareness Program for all year two students.
  • The Directorate’s third Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) was launched in May 2016. The purpose of this RAP is to engage all employees in the creation of an organisational culture, enriched by the diversity and knowledge of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, their strengths and cultures through our common values.
  • Enhanced opportunities for regular communication and collaboration between vocational education and training stakeholders and industry, to share and gather evidence to inform skills and training policy.
  • Expanded the complement of field officers to support and promote the vocational education and training system in the ACT. During the reporting period there were visits to 600 employers and 700 Australian Apprentices.
  • Established agreements with the new Australian Apprenticeships Support Network providers to ensure seamless support for Australian Apprentices in the ACT.

Photo of a group of five college students in their national costume, performing a traditional dance on United Nations Day

REGULATORY SERVICES

  • Signed a new National Partnership Agreement with the Australian Government on the National Quality Agenda for Early Childhood Education and Care.
  • As at December 2015, all childcare services registered prior to March 2014 had received their first assessment under the National Quality Framework.
  • At the end of June 2016, 128 services (42%) had achieved a working towards rating; 63 services (20%) had achieved a meeting rating; 106 services (35%) had achieved an exceeding rating; and 5 services (1.7%) had achieved an excellent rating under the National Quality Framework.

Photo of the Education Minister, students, parents and teachers, riding their bikes to school.

OUR CHALLENGES

  • Work with education providers in other jurisdictions to strengthen the capacity of the ACT to interpret and share data to support improved school performance.
  • Work with the early childhood sector to build and enhance capabilities for achieving the outcomes set in the National Quality Framework.
  • Work with the non-government school sector and other ACT Government agencies on the provision of suitable sites for the establishment of non-government schools in the ACT.
  • To work effectively with the Chief Minister, Treasury and Economic Development Directorate to implement new laws concerning an improved reportable conduct scheme in response to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.
  • Strengthen community partnerships with schools and families.
  • Reduce red tape and administrative burdens that impact parents engaging with schools.

OUR PLANS FOR THE NEXT 12 MONTHS

  • In conjunction with other ACT Government agencies, complete the administrative arrangements necessary to ensure that suitable sites for the establishment of non-government schools are available.
  • Continue partnership with the Australian Research Alliance for Children and Youth to develop resources that support effective parental engagement with families of students with complex needs and challenging behaviour.
  • Strengthen out of hours access for the community to education facilities.
  • Commence development of phase one of the new School Administration System.
  • Strengthen use of social media to promote the work of ACT Public Schools.

FAST FACTS

 2014-152015-16Change % Change
Number of online enrolments received 18,183 20,178 1,995 11.0%
Number of Facebook followers 1,603 3,313 1,693 106.7%
Number of Twitter followers 2,036 2,702 666 32.7%
Number of parents and carers completing the School Satisfaction Survey 7,444 8,262 818 11.0%

DEVELOPING STRONG COMMUNITY PARTNERSHIPS

Monash Primary School is committed to building a supportive, engaging and innovative environment for all students, staff and community members. Implementing the KidsMatter framework and Friendly Schools Plus program is making a positive difference to the lives of the Monash community, particularly in nurturing happy, balanced kids.

The Hub space is community-driven and provides a range of programs to support and engage students, parents and families. The Hub is a place where families can meet socially throughout the day.

A wide range of activities to engage the school community are available, including Breakfast Club, Playgroup, and Parenting Programs provided in collaboration with the Tuggeranong Child and Family Centre. Outreach with Goodwin Village provides children with the opportunity to connect with senior members of their community, both at school and in their residence. This includes reciprocal reading, concerts and movement exercises.

Other activities to engage the community include book fairs, family and community nights, numeracy education nights and multicultural dinners.

Photo of five preschool children, seated around a table, doing craft activities

Photo of the signs painted on the wall of the Monash Community Hub at Monash Primary SchoolPhoto of an elderly gentleman, who is a volunteer at the Community Hub, listening to a child read

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