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9 April, 2019
P&Cs need to know...

Getting started

Greetings to all 2019 committee members!  Please make filling in our Office Bearers form your first port of call so that we can connect with (and help!) your new committee. If you are retiring from the committee (thanks and farewell!), please implore the new crowd to let us know who they are via this important form. And thanks to the 30 or so parent associations who have already completed the form. 
Council is here to help ACT parent associations and each fortnight we compile important reminders and information in this bulletin.

For new members, our To Do list or post-AGM checklist are the perfect place to start, and our Information Sheets have a wealth of information, answers to your questions and point to our useful resources and templates. Help is also available in our free workshops - see below.

Free training for your P&C role!

We've been in the P&C game for a while and have learnt a few tricks. Come along to our workshops to answer all your P&C-related questions... and some you've not yet asked!

Effective P&C Workshop: the perfect workshop for all office bearers - especially presidents - to find out more about running your parent association well. From 'what is our P&C all about' to employing staff; from promoting what you do to running meetings well; the session is a chance to hear from P&C veterans and meet others in the same position as yourself. Sign up here.
Thursday 2 May, 6:30-9:00pm, repeated Tuesday 21 May (6:30-9:00pm) in Stirling. 

Treasurer and Insurance Workshop: all treasurers should attend to find out more about the insurance package Council coordinates for our members, as well as important considerations and details for performing the job of treasurer successfully and as easily as possible. A guest accountant will also come along to describe the Single Touch Payroll system (more about that below). Sign up here
Tuesday 7 May,  7-9:30pm in Stirling.

Constitution Workshop: if your constitution is out of date, this hands-on workshop is for you. Bring your own constitution and we'll go through the content and wording required, plus how to pass an amended document at your association.
Thursday 23 May,  7-9:30pm in Stirling. Sign up here

Reporting to government

Your association is required by law to report to government on your financial situation and committee member details. The actual mechanism ('AR form' or online 'Annual Information Statement') depends on whether your parent association is a registered charity or not (some of our P&Cs are), but needs to be completed by the end of June to avoid fees. We have collated all the details of what you need to report to whom and how, along with how to work out if your P&C is a registered charity, 

Attention employers!

If your association employs staff, the ATO will require you to use Single Touch Payroll from July 1. We will cover this as a topic in our Treasurer workshop this year (see above) and would encourage all treasurers involved with payroll to attend. For those unable to come, we'll have more information soon.

Bus problems?

Our friends at APFACTS have arranged a forum for parents to let Transport Canberra know of difficulties with getting kids to school on the new bus network, which starts April 29. All parents and carers are welcome - Daramalan College, Thursday 11 April at 7pm. We would be grateful if all high school and college P&Cs would share this with their parent communities.

School notification for both parents?

Following questions from parents, we asked the Directorate whether school notifications (eg absences) can be sent to more than one parent. The good news is that it can! Apparently the default for the Administration System is for only one “first” contact, but schools can manually add a second contact to a student’s file for absence notifications, and they have been provided with instructions for doing so in the system (called 'SAS').

More details from the Directorate: Teachers are also able to manually create mailing lists within 'Sentral' to contact multiple parents or carers around student successes and areas for improvement. However, it is a school-based decision to utilise this functionality. The future state of the SAS will allow schools to assign multiple “first” contacts to a student, and also create rules that align with families’ preferred financial arrangements and communication lines. The Directorate is committed to working closely with schools, families, and the community to ensure that communication remains open, safe and effective.
Council happenings...

Invitation: Building Safe and Strong Communities for Learning

The Education Directorate and Council are working to understand how, together, parents, students, principals and teachers can reduce and better respond to violence and bullying in schools. On 9 May the second in a series of workshops will take place, exploring “How might we reduce and respond to violence in schools and co-create strong and safe communities for learning?” If you would like to be involved, please let us know or contact Ms Leanne Ballard (6205 2912). All P&C presidents were sent an invitation last week and if you can't attend, we would encourage you to pass on the invitation to someone else in your school community.

It's a complex topic so the workshop runs all day (8:30am – 4:30pm). The Directorate will describe measures currently taken and Council President will describe what we have heard. Since violence is a community problem, not just a school problem, the workshop will be asking how the community can get involved and help, so we would love to hear from you.

If you can't make it, we would still value any feedback you have on how violence is managed in your school.

Early Learning Committee meeting

Last month's Early Learning Committee discussed the Preschool curriculum, heard a summary of the ACT's Early Childhood Strategy, an update on the 3-year-old preschool initiative... and more! Find the meeting summary here.

Leaving twitter

Council's tweeting days are numbered. We will be closing down our twitter account at the end of term. With our part-time office team, engaging properly with such a fast-moving platform has become impossible. We invite you to follow us on Facebook, where quite a number of our members hang out. Hope to see you there!

Holiday closure

As usual, our office will officially close for the school holidays but we will check your messages several times during the break and answer any queries that have come up! Office reopens Monday April 29. 

Upcoming events

  • Workshop: Building Safe and Strong Communities for Learning, Thursday 9 May, 8:30am-4:30pm (see above).
  • Effective P&C workshop (see above) Thursday 2 May, 6:30-9:00pm, 51 Fremantle Drive, Stirling.
  • Treasurer and Insurance workshop (see above) Tuesday 7 May, 7-9:30pm  51 Fremantle Drive, Stirling.
  • Executive Meeting, Tuesday 14 May, 7pm.
  • Repeat of Effective P&C workshop (see above) Tuesday 21 May, 6:30-9:00pm, 51 Fremantle Drive, Stirling. 
  • Constitution workshop (see above) Thursday 23 May, 7-9:30pm, 51 Fremantle Drive, Stirling
You might be interested...

Safety in numbers

Have you noticed blue pavement stencils near your school? Did you know they are part of the Active Streets for Schools program, which aims to create safe and healthy school communities?

There is an information sheet available for each participating school on the Active Travel section of Transport Canberra's website (choose the 'Active Streets' tab and scroll down). By encouraging children to use similar routes, it will create a hive of activity around the school which increases safety (studies show drivers slow down more when there is more pedestrian activity) as well as activity levels!

Family podcasts

The ABC have just released some podcasts that may be of interest.
  • The Parenting Spectrum is about autism and family life, exploring issues including safety, lack of sleep, finding the right school and how to help your child embrace their identity and prepare for adulthood.
  • Animal Sound Safari is aimed at children 5-9 (and their parents) and explores the weird and wacky histories humans have with animals.


The Office of the eSafety Commissioner has some excellent resources for parents from how to start the cybersafety discussion with your preschooler or teen to reporting cyberbullying.
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