ACT Election: School volunteers need boost

Representatives of public school parent organisations are asking ACT election candidates to offer help to P&Cs (Parent and Citizen Associations).

“School P&Cs are under siege and help is needed. Volunteer numbers are desperately low in some schools and yet the workload to comply with government regulations is ever increasing,” said Amanda Bichard, Council Vice-President.

P&Cs are a feature of almost all ACT public schools and they are an important way for parents and carers to engage with the school and their children’s schooling. Decades of research evidence shows that when parents are engaged, their children do better at school – academically, behaviourally and socially – so a strong P&Cs is important for achieving good education outcomes.

“The area of greatest need is administrative and accounting assistance. It is very hard to find skilled volunteers with time to give. This is especially so for P&Cs running canteen services in their schools,” said Ms Bichard.

“In the case of canteens, P&Cs have to arrange payroll, workers compensation insurance, keep track of changes to employee awards, comply with food safety requirements and qualifications, be registered as a food business, have a workplace health and safety policy, risk assessments and so on,” she said. “This is an immense undertaking for volunteers!”

“We are asking ACT election candidates to commit to boosting volunteer skills and numbers in schools and to providing administrative assistance to school parent organisations that need it.”


Released Monday September 19, 2016.