Council is working hard to voice the priorities of ACT public school parents to as many candidates as possible before the election, so that parties can shape their education policies to meet the needs of our schools, students and parents.
What we were asking for
We are constantly discussing the needs of our schools with our members. We have taken issues identified to us in surveys, by our members and in our meetings to create our list of election priorities.
We were asking candidates to commit to:
- Modern infrastructure. Our schools need upgrades to ensure they are safe and sound, accessible, comfortable and inspiring places to learn, complete with purpose-built facilities for specialised subjects. More schools are needed in areas of population growth including the inner north, central Woden and central Belconnen. See media release - Think big on school infrastructure.
- Great libraries, professionally staffed. Every ACT public school must have a permanent, dedicated library space and qualified teacher librarian and library assistant to help recover learning lost during COVID closures, grow literacy, support teachers and help students navigate modern information challenges. See media release - Prioritise school libraries.
- Nurtured students. More mental health and wellbeing services for young people are needed, both within and outside of schools. Meeting students’ individual learning needs requires a more targeted approach. See media release calling for wellbeing focus.
- Safe and responsive schools. To reduce the incidence of violence in schools and better respond when it happens, we need a new family-centred reporting and complaints-handling process and the full implementation of recommendations of the ACT Government inquiry into the management and minimisation of bullying and violence in ACT schools. Programs such as Smiling Minds and No Labels need to be funded and implemented in all schools. See our related media release.
- Strong communities. New controls are needed so that developments near schools do not detract from their role as safe, convenient, community hubs. To further strengthen community involvement, we need a targeted strategy for parent engagement in the early years, funding to support P&C volunteer recruitment, and Family Engagement Officers at specific schools.
For more background, detail, and specific wish list see our Election Priorities.
Helping parents decide
We have put our priorities to ACT election candidates and meet with them to discuss the needs of our schools. All parties have responded witha range of commitments, many of which answer our priorities above. Read more on what has been promised and Council's reaction here.
We have also asked the education spokespeople for the major parties to send us a 3 minute video outlining their plans for schools that we will share on Facebook so that those who wish can assess the parties' education platforms to inform their vote.