SO many exciting things are happening in our schools and there’s lots to celebrate. I ask you to stop and take a breath and reflect on EXCACTLY what you have already accomplished since returning to school on Wednesday 27 January…. Be proud – YOU are leading your school with heart, commitment, integrity and passion – YOU are the difference in your school.
THANK YOU for the incredible work you have done with your teams setting up the start of the 2021 school year. There has been some fabulous feedback on the value of the two School Development Days. Great value in investing time in clearing compliance and focusing on the work we do with our teachers, administrators and support staff.
Australia Day saw the recognition of Geoff Scott OA Paul Wood PSM and Sue French PSM. In your own Primary Principal Councils you have AMAZING colleagues who deserve recognition and acknowledgement.
We are a humble group and I often hear ‘I am just doing my job’ ‘ I do it for the kids and the community’ ‘I have a great team around me’ be that as it may I do believe there is something rather special about being recognised by our peers for contributing to our schools and community.
At your PPC meetings each term, I encourage you to put forward colleagues for the NSWPPA Meritorious Service Award or the Distinguished Service Award. It is important we acknowledge our colleagues and recognise those who have significantly contributed to your PPC for service and impact over a sustained period of time.
The NSWPPA Executive met Thursday and Friday last week to discuss emerging matters and action next steps. We had the opportunity to meet with the two new Deputy Secretaries - Leanne Nixon Deputy Secretary | School Performance – North and Ruth Owen Deputy Secretary | Learning Improvement.
Their role descriptions and areas of focus shared with the Executive compliment and build on delivery in our schools, accessible support services, prioritising and sharpening our focus. Spending time in schools is invaluable as we know for our colleagues. Their visits and interactions have already commenced. The Executive look forward to continuing the conversation and developing collaborative practices.
Marnie O’Brien Executive Director | Health and Safety Directorate also joined us with a particular focus on Principal Wellbeing and the systems resources available currently. New resources are on their way. With the 2020 Principal and Leader Wellbeing report due for release in March, we discussed the findings would be similar to those found in the longitudinal study over 10 years.
We will continue our conversations with our Department colleagues – the lift in the system is reliant on the Department and its employees working in authentic collaboration. Principals are the leverage point and the cognitive load we carry is critical to nurture as the Department delivers the policies and practices we are required to implement and embed in school practice.
Planning forward, Term 1 NSWPPA State Council, Chairpersons Meeting, Reference Group, Standing Committee and Working Party Meetings will all take place via ZOOM. With the reduction in restrictions we are moving toward being able to meet face to face hopefully in Term 2.
Schools have clear guidelines for the use of social media. Please take the time to review with your Technology team the conditions for posting school events and student photographs. It is a priority to ensure appropriate permissions are reviewed and documents regularly updated as circumstances change for families. Please remind your staff the importance of uploading the photos they take at events and in classrooms of students to your school system and delete the photographs from their mobile devices.
The Australian Federal Police offered these tips for parents and carers – particularly timely when returning to school, first days, carnivals events and our scheduled school photo days.
Last week I was asked to write an article for The Educator – our return to school and our wellbeing. As an Association our number one priority is Principal Wellbeing. A number of years ago we collaborated with Dr Adam Fraser who has been facilitating Professional Learning. This PL focuses on strategies for Principals to maximise their personal energies and expertise to leverage the performance of teachers, support staff and administrators. Principals who complete this Professional Learning can then lead Flourish for Schools PL which has the same Wellbeing focus for our staff – teaching, support and administrative.
Equally as important, the focus we must individually pay in prioritising our social capital – connecting with colleagues both professionally and socially. In order for us all to fulfil our key roles and sharpen our focus all principals must prioritise themselves.
Take the time to refer to our suite of Professional Learning because our wellbeing is nurtured in many ways. We offer a range of high-quality Professional Learning that grows our capacity and ensures we reflect on our collective efficacy.
I encourage you to contact our Professional Learning Officer Margaret.Charlton@det.nsw.edu.au to discuss this PL be it for your PPC or individually where Margaret can connect you with groups for 2021.
Voluntary contributions have always been of a voluntary nature. We have been advised to review our current voluntary contributions and school fee structures. Following the events of last year including drought, bushfire and COVID 19, we recognise even more families have been under financial pressure. Please ensure you make it clear to your school community that any requests for financial contributions are entirely voluntary.
Last week we received an email from Deputy Secretaries Murat Dizdar and Leanne Nixon with details.
At the beginning of each year the Department provides advice on assessed state-wide averages and maximum escalation factors for the school year. The advice for 2021 can be found on the Schools Finance website. The Department’s FISH (Finance in Schools Handbook), Section 5.3 School generated revenue, covers expectations regarding voluntary school contributions and elective subject contributions.
The policy on voluntary contributions includes:
all students must have access to the total school curriculum
no student can be denied the opportunity to meet syllabus requirements because of the non-payment of voluntary school contributions
no parent should feel overstretched in any way to contribute to additional resourcing
Principals and staff must ensure that no student or family suffers discrimination or embarrassment regarding voluntary school contributions and maintain confidentiality in dealing with these matters.
ACHPER is a membership based non-profit organisation, governed by a Volunteer Board comprising professionals from educational and community sectors. It has a strong network of state and territory branches that serve members through a range of professional activities.
ACHPER NSW is committed to implementing professional learning programs and resource development projects that support quality delivery of PDHPE in primary, secondary and tertiary settings. Funds generated from our activities are used to fund further programs and projects and ongoing member services.
Take a look at our upcoming professional development events on our website:
Treasurer Gregory Grinham and Executive Assistant Lisa Beare are currently updating our system for the 2021 school year. I ask you extend the membership to Relieving and Acting Principals as they can access the wealth of experience and opportunity at the PPC level as well as at an Association level.
Prior to the Term 1 State Council Meeting, Deputy President Rob Walker will be calling on PPC Presidents to discuss with their Regional PPC CONTACT colleagues if they are willing to be considered for any vacancies on the Reference Groups.
Standing Committee and Working Party membership is filled via Expressions of Interest. Look out for emails from Rob Walker regarding these vacancies for 2021.
Please note: to ensure we have voice, context and representation from across NSW we ask that Principals are members of ONE group only. If a member from one group wishes to be considered/ apply to be a member of another then the first needs to be relinquished. This ensures equity for all. From time to time Reference Groups, Standing Committees and Working Parties can co – opt a member to bring in expertise for the completion of a particular initiative.
This term, due to restrictions and venue availability we will host all meetings VIA zoom. We hope Term 2 looks different and we can resume face to face meetings – as we know this hope is determined by the current COVID 19 restriction advice at the time.
I am very keen to connect with you at your PPC Meetings and Conferences and present the latest updates, hear your concerns and opinions and of course answer your questions. Each of the Executive are allocated a Region and are also available to attend with me. Please email me firstname.lastname@example.org and cc Lisa Beare email@example.com and I will lock in a time to join you for your planned meetings.
Thank you too for the emails and calls I have received to date – your questions are very much appreciated as there are things that impact on us all that I can take forward and there are also individual matters that I can support you on and seek further support for you.
Paul Wood | A/Executive Director | Literacy and Numeracy | COVID Intensive Learning Support Taskforce Lead:
The COVID intensive learning support team is continuing to add resources to the website to support school planning. Schools should now have received their semester one allocation.
Schools should plan to spend their full year’s allocation in 2021 to provide small group tuition for students. Programs can commence immediately but schools are expected to have their programs up and running by term 1 week 6.
The following step-by-step guide will assist schools.
STEP 1: Confirm funding. Check your school email inbox to confirm your funding from 2020. Tracking of funds against allocated WBS Element RSP66 is required. The allocation and use of funds section on the website contains further information for schools including a podcast answering some common questions about how to manage your funding allocation for the program. Listen to the podcast on Soundcloud
STEP 2: Bookmark and familiarise yourself with the COVID intensive learning support program webpage. Click on the getting started section which suggests principals undertake a situational analysis. Information on the program will be frequently added to the site.
STEP 3: View the introductory presentation to gain an overview of the program. We also spoke to principals across NSW about their early thinking around implementing the program. Watch the interviews with principals to support your early thinking and planning.
You will see on SchoolBiz a notice asking you to fill out a quick survey as part of schools needing to comply with the Australia’s Foreign Relations (State and Territory Arrangements) Act 2020 (the Act).
Schools are able to offer international arrangements to better enrich the experiences of students and teachers in our schools. The Commonwealth government has passed a new law that requires government to inform them of ‘foreign arrangements’ in place.
Legal Services is asking for schools to respond by 19 February 2021 to confirm if they have a foreign arrangement and if you do, answer some quick questions about the arrangement. The information and link to the survey is on SchoolBiz.
Please note that you do not have discretion in the process and you are required to comply with this request. If you do not provide this information, there is a risk that any arrangement your school has may become invalid and unenforceable.
Our accreditation means peace of mind for you. Sentral Achieves ISO 27001 Certification for Information Security
Safety and security are critical aspects of our lives today. With that in mind, Sentral and QuickCliq are incredibly proud to share the news that we’ve been recognised with ISO 27001 certification.
The certification is the international gold standard for information security management systems and notably, we’re one of the first student management platform providers in Australia to achieve it.
For Sentral customers, this is a significant step forward in how their school data are kept secure and compliant. Our survey last year confirmed that data security is the top concern of the 3000 schools that responded. The ISO certification demonstrates our absolute and ongoing commitment to protect sensitive company and customer information.
The ISO recognition is high praise indeed. Our team has worked tirelessly and consistently to achieve it. The standard defines requirements for people, processes and IT systems, and is earned through a demonstrable, systematic approach across all aspects of our operations. Independent auditors ensure safety and compliance is fulfilled every step of the way.
It’s a positive and reassuring way to start 2021 and another example of how we affirm that our customer data security is our #1 priority.
Wakakirri is a not-for-profit organisation (since 2004) that uses storytelling, the oldest form of learning, as its focus for providing innovative educational programs to schools in a manner that resonates with contemporary youth culture. Founded in 1992, Wakakirri develops student engagement and wellbeing through the sharing of stories and participation in the performing arts. The Aboriginal word Wakakirri means ‘to dance a story’ according to Wangaaypuwan people of Cobar, NSW.
Wakakirri is Australia’s largest performing arts event for schools. In our last regular season, 2019, we welcomed 15,000 students from 290 schools performing in 52 shows at 14 venues nationally. That year, more NSW students participated in the Wakakirri Challenge than in the NSW Department of Education’s School Spectacular.
Each year, Wakakirri presents the Wakakirri Challenge which is open to all Primary, Secondary and Dance schools and students in Australia. The performance that schools are invited to share is called a Story-Dance and must theatrically present a narrative using a combination of dancing, creative movement and acting within a three to seven-minute timeframe. At a Secondary-level, students are required to create at least 60% of their performance. This format is inclusive and reduces the need for technical skill or expensive sets, props and costumes. We communicate to schools that the emphasis is always on storytelling and every school with a great story has an equal shot of taking home an award, no matter how large or small their production is.
On behalf of the NSWPPA State Executive - Rob Walker, Bob Willetts, Michael Burgess, Jude Hayman, Trish Peters, Norma Petrocco, Michael Trist, Stuart Wylie, Greg McLaren, Gregory Grinham, Mark Pritchard and Lisa Beare I wish you all a productive and successful Term 1. I am happy to hear from you via email or call the NSWPPA phone on 0429 547 619.