We are starting to see a more parent-focused complaints process at the Education Directorate in response to our feedback.
We put pressure on the Government to create scholarships to train additional teacher-librarians.
Lead and asbestos
In 2020 we called for expert-led management of hazardous materials in schools, which is now happening, giving parents reassurance. We also assisted in getting more information to parents which was clear and honest. In addition, more funding has been promised by the ACT Government for removing these hazards.
Council brought parent views to Government, leading to small changes in schooling arrangements during the pandemic shutdown which better suited parents, and to much improved communications.
Parent Engagement grants
In response to requests to increase P&C capacity to engage and upskill parents, the Education Directorate announced grants worth $800,000 for P&Cs in 2020.
Over the summer of 2019-2020, we worked with the Education and Health Directorates on guidelines for managing bush fire smoke. We were successful in having the guidelines made public.
Access to school Psychologists
Council was instrumental in the government decision to employ 20 additional school psychologists in public schools, following complaints by school P&Cs.
Year 7 Health Checks
Council voiced parent opposition to the way Year 7 school health checks were to be conducted. This resulted in a change to the checks which satisfied parent concerns.
Addressing violence in schools
By taking parent concerns repeatedly to the Education Directorate, we were able to drive the creation of a joint project aimed at reducing and better managing violence in schools. This work is ongoing and we expect changes to be implemented in schools.
Better bus/tram services for schools
We secured improvements for school travel in the ACT's new (2019) Bus Network, compared to Transport Canberra's (TC) draft network, and have continued to gain improvements based on parent feedback, including TC now treating 3-4pm as a peak travel time, as requested by Council.
School security against vandalism and theft
Council has succeeded in having improved school security measures implemented at a number of schools and is continuing to push for security cameras in approved public areas around schools that request them.
High school Chromebooks
Our lobbying of ACT election candidates and voicing of parent frustration with the BYOD (bring Your Own Device) policy, then active in ACT schools, led to the promise of a school-issued chromebook for every secondary student - now a reality at our public schools.
Specific school issues
Council successfully helped parents push for the expansion of year levels at Franklin Early Childhood School; and more recently helped resolve parent concerns about classroom use (and capacity) at Majura school.
School Crossing supervisors
We, along with volunteers from one P&C, successfully pushed for supervisors to keep our kids safe around a growing number of schools
Ease school traffic chaos
Our survey of parents showed this was a huge issue. Our ongoing lobbying for traffic improvements around schools led to pilot programs being established, then the establishment of the Active Streets program which is working closely with a growing number of schools to reduce traffic problems. We also worked with government to advise P&Cs on fete parking. This was one of our 2016 ACT election priorities
Help for canteens
In response to ongoing concerns from delegates about canteen viability and workload, we initiated a major project to help school canteens. The result has been a greater focus from government on assistance to canteens, especially from ACT Health, and Nutrition Australia, better information and new resources to help school canteens thrive on healthier menus. We continue to meet to regularly discuss canteen difficulties with government representatives and are constantly voicing P&C concerns and seeing efforts to help canteens.
Disability awareness for bus drivers
We worked with the Education Directorate and bus companies to ensure drivers of special transport services receive disability awareness training
Improving school buildings
We successfully lobbied 2016 ACT election candidates to promise substantially increased funds for improving school buildings
Information for parents
Parent representatives on the ACT Taskforce on Students with Learning Difficulties pushed for parent information sessions to be part of the group's recommendations to Education. These free information sessions to assist parents with their child's learning difficulty proved popular with parents. We also responded to frustrations about the dispersed nature of information on disability services by collating a comprehensive booklet of ACT services (our work in this area won us this award).
We also represent parent views in formal submissions.
Learn more about how Council acts as a voice for parents.