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The latest education news for you.

  • President's message - Wellbeing Symposium, National Excellence in Teaching Awards, latest on Safe Schools
  • Closing 4 April - family survey for students with disabilities
  • Music education events across Australia
  • Reminders: youth mental health PD and Walk Safely to School Day

Please enjoy our March ACSSO News.


Read our President's message came as a surprise to learn that only 15% of school aged students engaged in sufficient physical activity to meet the guidelines. 


President's message

As the seasons inexorably click around to the shorter days of autumn and the temptation to curl up indoors with a good book it’s as well to remember the positive wellbeing factors from engaging in physical activity. At a recent Wellbeing Symposium hosted by the Australian Research Alliance for Children and Youth (ARACY) it came as a surprise to learn that only 15% of school aged students engaged in sufficient physical activity to meet the guidelines. There are a number of strategic initiatives underway to explore what could make a difference to this; initiatives that include tangible support from the sporting, health and education sectors – with additional discussions on how the role of parents in inclusive school based sporting activities can be supported and encouraged.

The Wellbeing Symposium saw the presentation of the report ‘Are the kids alright? Young Australians in their middle years’ from the Australian Child Wellbeing Project that gave a fascinating perspective and opportunity to learn more of the middle years of education - years that just happen to collide with adolescence and all that goes with that at such a crucial time in our children’s lives. A range of speakers and discussions helped to explore the pressure points, sensitivities and opportunities in this field. This is a growing area of interest and one that appears to offer considerable scope to improve the outcomes for our children’s development, and their future lives. A summary of its findings and the topical presentations from the day can be found here: 

Linking in to the topic of wellbeing is the ongoing discussion surrounding Safe Schools Coalition Australia (SSCA). Bill Louden’s report had been delivered, politicians briefed and the Minister has given the Government’s response, recommendations and required changes. As the President of ACSSO I am a member of the SSCA National Steering Committee and ACSSO is strongly supportive of the programme and its essential objectives. SSCA is currently working with the Department of Education and Training to clarify the recommendations and required changes with a focus on ensuring that the programme can continue to provide essential support and training for schools across Australia. For further information and detail please visit:

The 2015 ASG National Excellence In Teaching Awards (NEITA) were presented this month – to twelve of Australia’s very best Teachers covering the three sectors of early years, primary and secondary. What makes them even more special is that they were among over 1,100 initial nominations made by parents and communities across Australia. Having met some of them it is their deep commitment and passion for giving their very best for the benefit of our children that shines through. Nominations for the 2016 awards will open in April – very soon - so in the meantime please consider nominating a Teacher that works with your children and is worthy of greater recognition. The winner’s profiles can be found here:

Wishing you all the very best for the fast approaching end of term holiday break and for the rest of your vacation if you're in Queensland or Victoria!

Phillip Spratt


Closing soon! Important survey for students with disabilities

Children and Young People with Disability Australia (CYDA) is the national representative organisation for children and young people with disability aged 0 to 25 years. CYDA is again conducting a national survey to gain information about school experiences of students with disability and to learn more about what support is being provided. 

CYDA strongly urges young people with disability and families to participate. The responses provide important information about the direct experiences of students with disability. These are shared with government and other stakeholders to advocate for much needed reform.


Surveys should be completed by young people with disability or families of students currently attending school. If you have more than one child with disability at school please complete a separate survey for each child. 

Please share the survey with families in your school to enable CYDA to obtain a strong and informed response.

For further information or assistance with completing the survey please contact CYDA by phone on 03 9417 1025 or 1800 222 660 (regional or interstate callers) or via email at 


Kodaly Music events

Kodaly Music events for education

The Kodaly Music Education Institute of Australia has asked school communities to share booking details for events happening around Australia this year.

Please visit the KMEIA site for more information about teacher education from early childhood to secondary school, as well as scholarships and other music awards.


Generation Next seminars and online resources for youth mental health

Generation Next is a not-for-profit organisation tackling the social, cultural and economic factors impacting on young people. 

The Mental Health and Wellbeing of Young People Seminar gives teachers, parents and others knowledge, skills and tools to better support young people both professionally and personally. 

Seminars are open for bookings now in Brisbane (27 May), Perth (3 June), Canberra (10 June), Melbourne (15 July), Adelaide (29 July), Sydney (19 August).

Topics covered include respectful relationships, resilience skills, drug and alcohol trends, self-harm, radicalisation, racism and identity-based bullying and cybersafety.

A free online resource – the Generation Next Youtube Channel - makes the latest strategies and information in youth mental health available anywhere, anytime, providing useful tips to better support the young people in their life.

Content accessed on the channel can also count towards self-allocated PD points for teachers, counsellors and psychologists.


Reminder: Walk Safely to School Day

National Walk Safely to School Day (WSTSD) is an annual, national event when all Primary School children will be encouraged to walk and commute safely to school. It is a Community Event seeking to promote Road Safety, Health, Public Transport and the Environment.

More information and promotional tools for your school can found at: 

The event will be held throughout Australia on Friday 20 May 2016


There's going to be an election! What are youtop three education issues for Australia?


Help us to help you!

Head over to and share your top three education issues so we can present the widest possible views to each major party ahead of the next election and share their responses with you.