The TASSO Management Committee met Saturday 30th July 2016. Some topics of note on the Agenda for the day:
TASSO Operating Grant
We are very pleased to announce our recurrent triennial grant has now been approved. This, together with our fantastic new office space in Hobart, ensures we are able to continue our valuable work to promote and protect the interests of parents and students in Tasmanian state schools and colleges. Thank you to all those who attended our official office opening event, and we again express our gratitude to the Minister and the Department for facilitating such a wonderful office space, a real testament to the value of the parent voice in education.
Proposed changes to the minimum school starting age
This is a very hot topic at the moment, which will be debated at our up-coming annual conference at Burnie High School on Saturday 27th August.
TASSO’s current policy states;
EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION
1. All children attending state schools in Tasmania should have the opportunity to attend Prep or Kindergarten before entering Grade 1.
2. TASSO supports the following school entry ages:
- entry age for Kindergarten be 4 years
- entry age for Prep be 5 years
- entry age for 1st Grade Primary be 6 years
Furthermore these ages be attained by the 1st January.
A motion to The TASSO 2016 Conference and AGM (Saturday 27th August, Burnie High School) has been lodged and will be debated by our members on the day –
That this Conference writes to the Minister for Education and Training reiterating Section J, paragraph 2 of TASSO current policy and raising the Conference’s concerns with the changes to the minimum school starting age contained in the Draft Education Bill 2016, including that the changes will:
- have a significant negative impact on our schools, the staff, our children and our families;
- put significant additional strain on both school infrastructure and staff; and
- in many cases radically reduce valuable parent-child time during a key developmental period.
Prior to this motion being voted upon, there will be a discussion panel to talk through the issues related to the starting age. We are currently inviting participants and will advise participants once confirmed. This is an opportunity for members and the general public to air their views and to make sense of this difficult topic. The outcome of this discussion panel is expected to influence the voting on the motion above.
Years 11 and 12
We would like to take this opportunity to share with you our current policy:
5. Retention in Years 11 and 12
5.1 TASSO believe the government should make available accommodation, transport and allowances to ensure rural and remote students have equal access to secondary colleges.
5.2 TASSO believe that both district schools and high schools in country areas should be funded to enable those schools to offer a full range of year 11 and 12 subjects to allow students to remain within their own communities.
5.3 TASSO believe all students should be encouraged to complete years 11 and 12 or a recognised educational pathway
We see no reason to change this policy at this time.
Working with Vulnerable People Registration CLICK HERE for crucial information regarding the Working with Vulnerable People Registration (WWVP).
ALL School Association Committee members must have a WWVP Card by September 1st 2016. Here is the link to the application form: http://www.justice.tas.gov.au/working_with_children/application, applications may take as long as 8 weeks to process.
DoE will be funding the cost of the first registration for all current DoE employees and current volunteers.
There are also implications for parents volunteering in schools, specific information is contained in the attached document.
Who must apply for a Working with Vulnerable People Registration?
Child Education Service (Government Schools) requires registration for school-based employees, volunteers and others, such as contractors and external providers who work or operate in government schools, LINC’s, Child and Family Centres, Trade Training Centres and/or provide a service to students.
Examples of roles or services where registration is mandatory:
- Teaching (includes holders of a current notice of limited authority (to teach))
- Volunteer members of the school association and associated committees
- All office employees at a school
- School Nursing employees
- Employees and volunteers that assist with the canteen, uniform shop, library, school administration or parent help
- Instructors or leaders of after-school activity programs organised in conjunction with the school for its students and that take place at the school or its premises
- Gardeners, cleaners, cooks and Education Facility Attendants
- Mentors and tutors
- School bus drivers
Examples of people who should NOT apply:
- Children under 16 years of age
- People dropping off or picking up children
- Relatives attending school events such as assembly, sports carnivals, concerts etc. where they are not directly participating
In addition, it is an offence to engage someone or to undertake a child related regulated activity if not registered. The Registrar can issue an infringement notice of up to $1400 to employers who engage unregistered people, and a person undertaking such an activity.
Both the responsible officer and the individual can be issued an on the spot fine if an individual is unregistered.
For further clarification around specific roles within the Department of Education please contact the Conduct and Investigations Unit at email@example.com
Click HERE for a PDF version of this Communique