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28 July, 2021
Just the essentials...

COVID reminder

We are deep into cold and flu season, and with COVID still around, it is important to remind everyone not to send kids to school if they are sick. Even if it is just a runny nose - stay home.
By doing the right thing, we can all help stop the spread and keep our communities safe.
This graphic has been provided by the Education Directorate if you'd like to share it in your networks.

Your Council membership fees

All ACT public school P&C associations are members of Council, giving you access to a range of member benefits. Annual fees for your membership are now payable - invoices were sent recently to treasurers. Many thanks to those who have already paid - the fees allow Council to provide our services and advocate for parents. They are due by the end of August.

Does your P&C have an Early Learning Rep?

We've been talking up the benefits of including an Early Learning Parent Representative on your P&C committee. Take a look at the draft position description or download the graphic to help you find your P&C's Early Learning Parent Representative.
The graphic is one of Council's suite of customisable promotional materials for our members.

Grants - children's week activities

The ACT Children’s Week Committee offers small seeding grants to help you organise an activity during Children’s Week (October 23-31) which promotes the needs, interest, rights and achievements of children, or creates community involvement and cooperation. Apply by September 3.

Share your story - parent engagement grants

When the ACT Government offered grants for parent engagement, our P&Cs sure responded! And the list of projects you are undertaking with the grants is impressive. We'd love to hear how your project went (or is going!) and share your successes with other P&Cs so that we can all learn together. If you are pleased with how your project is going, please drop us a line - we'd love to come out and take a look. Contact Janelle, our communications officer

If you employ staff

Please be aware that there have been recent changes to the minimum wage. Check the Fair Work Ombudsman's calculator for current pay rates.
Council happenings...

School planning in case COVID re-appears in the ACT

The Education Directorate have shared with our Council Executive some of the planning they have done on how schools will respond if there is an outbreak of COVID-19 within an individual school or the broader community. We are grateful to have seen the plans, and know that parents will be pleased to see the 'hub school' model employed during COVD lockdowns last year will not be used - as reported in the media. Instead, local school sites will stay open for students unable to stay at home if a lockdown were to occur.

We are currently urging the Directorate to share further details of the planning with parents to build understanding in the community, and so that families can be prepared.

Upcoming events

  • Early Learning Committee meeting, Thursday 29 July (Week 3), online from 7.30pm. Register here
  • General Meeting, Tuesday 24 August (Week 7), 7pm online via Zoom 
In case you missed it...

Relationship, consent & sex education

Amid renewed calls for changes to school-based sex education to include consent, Council's Policy Officer, Veronica Elliott, recaps our work in this area in the past few years in this article from our Term 2 magazine.
Things to consider...

Transition toolkit - parent info sessions (please share)

The Education Directorate are running parent sessions and providing a Transitions Toolkit full of information and practical suggestions to assist parents and carers as they support their child through a transition - from home and school, class to class, year to year, and school to school. While the workshop will focus on the transitions from preschool to kindergarten and year 6 to year 7, for students with developmental delay and disability, they will provide ideas to assist at any transition time. You will leave the workshop with a toolkit of practical ways to support your child. Book into a free session on either the morning of Friday 13 August or evening of Monday August 16.

Recognise local champions 

There are a couple of opportunities at the moment to recognise amazing people and teams:

ABC Community Spirit Awards
Do you know a school that goes the extra mile to make a difference in our community? ABC Canberra wants to celebrate and recognise schools and individuals that go above and beyond to build school pride and student engagement within the ACT, with their Community Spirit Awards. Nominate an individual or group in a school (including P&Cs!) in the School Community Champion category by August 12 to recognise their amazing work.

ACT Children's Week Awards
A short nomination could mean a big pat on the back for an extraordinary individual or organisation who makes a difference to children and young people, or a young person who is an inspiration for others. Nominations close September 11.

Plastic-free picnic!

Yassine Andrews, Year 6 student at Aranda Primary SchooI, has a request for P&Cs:
I am the primary school ambassador for Picnics Unwrapped -- a campaign asking people to host a single-use plastic free-picnic in the month of September to raise funds for the Plastic Oceans education program so they can help schools like mine to be more sustainable.
There's a video inviting people to host picnics and a video about how the Plastic Oceans education program helped my school

Fancy a change of scenery for your next meeting?

Get recycling right and book you next P&C meeting at the Recycling Discovery Hub where you can:
  • get a behind-the-scenes look at the Materials Recovery Facility via CCTV
  • learn about Canberra’s recycling story
  • experience the educational resources and consider the impact and benefits of recycling
  • And use our space for your meeting with a difference (up to 25 people atm)!
Alternatively, you can book an online webinar to educate, inspire and motivate budding recyclers in the comfort of their armchairs.  For more information, options and bookings, contact the No Waste Education team at

Family survey on COVID schooling - results

ACSSO (The Australian Council of School State Organisations, Council's federal counterpart) conducted a survey of families on learning during the COVID pandemic, and the preliminary results are now available. ACSSO concluded:
It was clear from the survey that many families struggled both financially and with wellbeing.  Resourcing around Australia and within states and school systems was inequitable and many young people had difficulty keeping up with their learning.

When schools returned to some form of 'normalcy' earlier this year, we confirmed that unfortunately many schools remain hesitant to return to their prior family engagement practices.  This remains a significant concern for ACSSO, as we are seeing families denied access to schools even when all official restrictions are lifted in their location. 

It was evident from our previous survey that the schools that had established greater engagement already with their families moved to home learning much more successfully. To further restrict contact with families when there are no health reasons to do so is a deeply worrying step.
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Comment authorised by Terry L Sanders for the ACT Council of Parents & Citizens Associations

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