Issue No. 3
March 2018

Professional Advocacy

Services and Support

Professional Learning

Become a Member

President's Message

In this month’s e-letter, I provide you with an update on the additional funding for swimming, the new School Attendance Policy, the cleaning reform and confirmed SRPs. 

As term 1 comes to a close, I thank-you for all the work you do daily and the contribution you make to children's lives and Government education.

Have a wonderful and restful term 1 break.

Anne-Maree Kliman

VPA President


  Professional Advocacy

What's Hot

Topic Details Action
More Support for Swimming Lessons Schools across the state will receive more support for swimming lessons as announced today by the Andrews Labor Government. Schools will share in an additional $9.8 million to help cover the cost of swimming lessons over the next two years. The additional funding will be based on Year 6 enrolments but again it will be a school decision on how to best use the funding.  

The VPA has worked closely on this issue with DET and Government based on feedback provided by members and views this announcement as a positive step forward for all. 

It is important to remember that you need to be familiar with the Parent Payment Policy and ensure that you are adhering to its requirements at all times. Until further notice a school can charge for entry and transport as part of a swimming program. 
Further details regarding the implementation of this initiative will be communicated to members at the beginning of Term 2.

Same Day Notification for Student Absences 

The new School Attendance Guidelines will be effective from the end of term 2. These will require schools to make contact with parents as soon as practicable on the day of an unexplained absence. DET will support schools to meet this new requirement using available IT solutions and promoting notification as a shared responsibility between parents and schools. They are aware that many schools use one of three different mechanisms to make contact; third party providers; eCASES and; Manual contact.

DET will be undertaking a further analysis to identify schools who are not using an automated IT platform and will provide support where needed. They will also be rolling out the Eduhub Project in Term 2 that will enable attendance data from third party providers to be automatically uploaded into CASES21 on a daily basis. Schools will be provided with communication products for parents and cares highlighting the importance of absence notifications. 


During Term 2, between April and June, the new service providers will meet with every school/principal in the allocated area to tour the facilities and discuss the cleaning needs and unique requirements of the school.

Service providers will develop a cleaning services plan and will include details of weekly staff rosters for schools. Principals will need to review the plan and confirm that it meets their schools needs.

Service Providers commence on 1 July and will be responsible for the holiday clean. Schools are responsible for the personal consumables (toilet paper, soap etc) out of their Cash grant. Briefings will support schools in confirming their needs and the website will be updated to support schools. 

Schools will continue to monitor and supervise the cleaning at the local level. Service providers must meet with each school every term to discuss service delivery and any performance issues. There is also a requirement to have an annual service review meeting to discuss any issues and prepare a cleaning services plan for the following year. 


The confirmed budgets will be released in the last week of Term. The SRP planner will be down during that week, so that it can be updated. The confirmed budgets coincide with the pay period this year, so updated reports should be available on the Thursday. 

50% of schools have completed their Reconciliations. Schools should remember that the Principal needs to tick off both boxes to complete the reconciliation.

Those schools that have not completed their reconciliation will receive a reminder shortly.

School Council post election requirements

As you complete your school council elections and possibly ballots, we remind principals of the post-election requirements asked of you by the DET.
  • Update the details of the current school council membership on the online Schedule 7 form. The school login number and password must be used to complete this form. 
  • As well as members names and further details please include any parent, DET or community (if applicable) vacancies 
  • When completed, the Schedule 7 must be declared using the submit declaration button at the bottom of the screen. By completing and declaring this form you are fulling your requirement to inform the Secretary of the Department of the names and details of all council members.
  • For 2018, schools with a student cohort of year 7 and above are required to undertake and complete student member elections in May. Student details are to be added to schedule 7. Please complete and re-declare the schedule.
The on-line Schedule 7 form must be completed and declared by 30 April for parents, DET and community members. 

This year it must be re-submitted and re-declared following the student election process. If membership details change during the year, the form can be updated by following the steps above.

School council presidents are required to have and use an eduMail account. This enables them to receive important updates and endorse key documents such as the Strategic and Annual Implementation Plan and Annual Report to the school community, in the Strategic Planning Online Tool (SPOT). 

Following the election of office bearers, principals are reminded to set up or update the eduMail account for the president, ensure the president’s details are recorded against the School Council President edumail account. 

For further information on how to update or create the School Council President eduMail account, go to eduMail knowledgebase 

For further information:

What's in the News 

Schools’ plan to scrap swimming lessons sparks government lifeline 
Herald Sun (Licensed by Copyright Agency) - 26/03/2018 
A plan by struggling schools to scrap vital swimming lessons amid gaping funding shortfalls has pushed the government to make a $10 million announcement.
Headspace to run mental health programs at schools 
The Examiner (Licensed by Copyright Agency) - 23/03/2018 
The national organisation will partner with the state government to deliver new school programs.
Overhaul of teaching watchdog to keep kids safe 
The Age (Licensed by Copyright Agency) - 23/03/2018 
Teachers who pose a risk to children's safety will be barred from working in Victorian schools under a state government overhaul of the teaching watchdog.
State Government has pledged $6.3 million to Bonbeach Primary School and Preschool for new classrooms 
Herald Sun (Licensed by Copyright Agency) - 20/03/2018 
Parent power has won crumbling Bonbeach Primary School and Preschool a $6.3 million rebuild.

  Services and Support

Health and Wellbeing 

It's important to stop and focus on your personal health and wellbeing every now and then. The following articles offer insight into looking after yourself holistically - body, mind and spirit. 
‘Smooth moves’ detox smoothie recipe. A cleansing delight, bright with citrus fruits, ginger and beetroot.
Foam rolling 101: Here's everything you need to know In the past couple of years, the use of foam rollers has skyrocketed in the wellness world for its tension-relieving and stress-reducing abilities for both the mind and body.
Feeling Burned out? You're not alone. Heads Up has some great resources and tips if you find yourself becoming overwhelmed or burned out at any time.
Snacking Can Make You Age Faster — And Gain More Weight. A Celebrity Nutritionist Explains Why

Meet the VPA - Claire McInerney, Principal at Plenty Parklands Primary School

Fortunately for me, I have enjoyed working within the Principal class for 18 years; five as an Assistant Principal and the rest as a Principal; firstly Eltham East PS and for the past ten years, Plenty Parklands PS in Mill Park. I am currently in my eighteenth year of membership of the VPA and proud of it. 

The VPA is truly the only professional body that exists to meet the needs of principal class officers. I have benefited from the collegiality, the sharing of best practice and ‘tips’ for dealing with a whole range of issues as well as the professional learning programs offered.  I enjoy the opportunities to hear first hand from experts and DET personnel, giving me the chance to deepen my understanding of our system as a whole.
About Plenty Parklands
Plenty Parklands is proudly a Quality school which operates according to the Quality Framework based on having a systems view, strong relationships founded on values and agreed processes.  Our focus is on students; their development and achievements and is the basis for our decision making. Our values are integral to the smooth, successful and productive operation of our school community.  Each of our 770 students, 62 staff and 550 families is expected to live by and model the values of a fair go for all, honesty, respect, trust, care, and personal achievement at all times.

Issues for Government in 2018
Equity of access and opportunity. We cannot allow the current ‘divide’ to separate us any further. Education, or lack of access to it, will have a profound impact on our future; as individuals, as a state and as a nation.

Three Leadership Tips from Claire

1. Take a breath. 'It isn't always about you'. Try not to take everything personally and remember to have a laugh. 

2. Listen and attempt to understand before speaking or responding, whether this is to a student, staff, community member, colleague or representative of DET. (Stolen shamelessly from Stephen Covey “Listen with the intent to understand, not the intent to reply.”) 

3. Remember it is ‘our’ school, not ‘my’ school. 

VPA Regional Meetings

Please join your local VPA meetings! Great company, refreshments, collegiality and learning - all welcome! Please contact Jemma at the VPA for further information.

Please note these dates are subject to change, we advise you check the list often for updates.
Email the VPA for more info

  Professional Learning

Join a VPA Professional Learning Workshop

Tough Conversations   

We are excited to present once again the professional learning program, Tough Conversations which will be facilitated by Michael Hawton at North Melbourne and Ballarat.

Michael has been a psychologist since 1988 and a former teacher. He has worked as a mediator in the Family Court of Australia. Michael has written two books: Talk Less Listen More and Engaging Adolescents.

Most of Michael’s career has involved working with parents and teachers regarding behaviour management. He is the course developer of Tough Conversations, Engaging Adolescents and 1-2-3 Magic and Emotion Coaching. 

North Melbourne
Monday 23 April at VPA Office, North Melbourne. Register here.

Tuesday 24 April at Golden City Hotel, 427 Sturt Street Ballarat. Register here. 

2018 Wellbeing Empowering Leaders (WEL) Program - NEW Dates

Wellbeing Empowering Leaders
This three day professional learning pilot program for principals, with five hours of individual coaching over four months, will help you to establish strategies and mechanisms to care for yourself as a leader.

This program is created and facilitated by Gabrielle Leigh, past president of VPA & AGPPA. She has significant experience in supporting and consulting with leaders around the state, understanding their context and in researching ways, including an international perspective, to enhance their leadership.
Cost: $1300 (VPA Member), $1750 (Non-Member), Small school (150) group discount if 3 principals sign up together $1000 per member or $1300 per non-member. 

Register here

Save the Date - 2018 VPA Annual State Conference

Put a note in your diary for the 2018 VPA Annual State Conference. More details to follow.

Dates: Thursday 16th - Friday 17th August 2018
Venue: Pullman Albert Park

Australian Schools Women's Leadership Summit 

As part of 2018 being the Year of Women in School Leadership, an Australian Schools Women's Leadership Summit is taking place in Sydney on April 18th.   
The aim of the summit is to contribute to the development of resolute and effective women leaders through skills development, expert advice and strategic sector-based networking. The event will provide a unique opportunity to learn from an unparalleled group of women, from teachers and principals to executive decision makers and inspirational leaders.

Keynote speakers include:
  • Ita Buttrose AO OBE - Media trailblazer, businesswoman, best-selling author, and 2013 Australian of the Year
  • Susan Pascoe AM – Independent Chair, Australian Principal Certification Advisory Board
  • Lisa Rodgers – CEO, Australian Institute for Teaching and Schools Leadership (AITSL).
Tickets are available for $395 per person or $295 per person for bookings of three or more.
More information and to book:

Save the Date - 2018 APPA National Conference (Perth)

The Australian Primary Principals Association (APPA) National Conference travels to Perth in September 2018 to explore the theme of Visionary Leadership and to showcase the best the profession has to offer.

This is the premier event for primary school leaders who want to hear national and international presenters representing the global education profession. Delegates will experience visionary keynote sessions on the latest cutting edge research, plus a number of concurrent sessions aimed to take a deeper dive to address common challenges and provide knowledge sharing opportunities. This national event will extend engaging professional networking and provide direct access to key service providers and innovative educational resources.

Confirmed Speakers:
  • Ewan McIntosh
  • Lee Watanabe-Crockett
  • Professor Donna Cross
  • Matt Church
For more information, click here

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VPA Membership Brochure
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