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The latest education news for you.

  • President's message - support for parents and a statement on the Safe Schools Coalition
  • Generation Next launches new resources
  • Sustainability in schools - are you ready? 
  • World Environment Day celebrations
  • Save the date! Walk Safely to School Day 2016
  • New fundraising website for parent groups 

Please enjoy our February ACSSO News.


Read our President's message

ACSSO fully supports the [Safe Schools] program and its wider benefits in defining public education as a champion of inclusivity, acceptance, welcome and safety for all as an indisputable part of our authentic Australian values... 


President's message

As we get used to the familiar routine of the school year and the memory of the summer holidays starts to fade it’s sometimes good to look at our own school activities and the reason why our children are there, and what they are learning, and how we as parents can support this at home.

Support for parents and teachers

The Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) has produced a parent friendly version of the Australian Curriculum in a handy downloadable PDF format. It’s presented in a straightforward and visual way that aids easy understanding – it will be a useful tool if you would like to know what your children are learning and a great conversation starter with your child’s teacher. They are here in the various year bandings and can easily be incorporated into your school’s communication app or website so as to make it readily available to your school community.

Parental engagement in appreciating the value of learning is one of the crucial advantages that we can give to our children, as is developing their interest in a range of extra-curricular activities. Occasionally there are programmes that cover this with a welcome overlap into formal classroom activities.

Club Kidpreneur, with its CK Challenge, is one of these with a practical and theoretical entrepreneurial skills based programme that was embraced in over 500 Australian primary schools last year. It also has the advantage of actively engaging students, parents and school staff, together with the wider community, in an activity that can improve student’s sense of self-reliance, wellbeing and to develop a confident what-if perspective on their future lives. More information is in our January newsletter or on

Thinking of the future leads into considering sustainability. ACSSO is a member of the Australian Education for Sustainability Alliance (AESA). The key part of AESA’s work has been looking into pathways for making education for sustainability more accessible for teachers and students. The result is a newly completed website called ‘Getting Started with Sustainability in Schools’

It’s a portal of easily accessible resources and case study examples linking sustainability with everyday teaching practice. Please feel free to explore the website (there's more information in an article below) and encourage your child’s teacher to use it.  

Safe Schools Coalition under attack

Once again the Safe Schools Coalition Australia (SSCA) appears to be under organised and vitriolic attack from those that should be said to define the values of tolerance and acceptance – an irony that is not lost on ACSSO.

The Prime Minister has now initiated a review of the programme that will give the opportunity for an objective appraisal of its efficacy – an opportunity that can be welcomed. Australian Government schools are the backstop of open and inclusive educational opportunities for all – regardless of culture, history, gender orientation, expectations and level of income.

At a school level the Government funded SSCA programme is an entirely voluntary program in the absolute control of the Principal and their staff team to decide what level of delivery is appropriate for their school and its students.

ACSSO fully supports the programme and its wider benefits in defining public education as a champion of inclusivity, acceptance, welcome and safety for all as an indisputable part of our authentic Australian values.

It would be good to think that the findings of the review can also allow the Government to expand the scope and delivery of the SSCA initiative as a vital programme for the benefit of the wellbeing of our children and the wider community - children that have an absolute right to feel safe and valued in their schools and wider communities. For more information please visit the Safe Schools Coalition website:

Have your say 

With growing talk around election issues and political machinations can I ask you to consider your family’s education priorities. Whilst they are fresh in your mind please go to our new look website and send them in to us on the ‘Have a say’ link.

Wishing you all the very best for the start of autumn and the necessarily cooler nights to come.

Phillip Spratt


Generation Next seminars and resources for youth mental health

Generation Next is a not-for-profit organisation tackling the social, cultural and economic factors impacting on young people. Working with mental health professionals, teachers, youth/social workers, parents and organisations, we raise awareness about issues affecting the mental health of children and young people and provide practically relevant information and strategies.

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, cybersafety and much more!

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.


World Environment Day Awards

World Environment Day Awards

Each year on United Nations World Environment Day (June 5) the United Nations Association of Australia seeks to focus world attention on the environment, particularly on innovative programs that protect and restore our world’s natural heritage, through its World Environment Day Awards.

The Awards recognise the environmental achievements of individuals, community groups, local councils, schools, businesses and the media.

Entries are now open for the following awards:

  • Wetland and Wildlife Creations P/L Biodiversity Award
  • Clean Energy Award (sponsored by the Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources)
  • *NEW* Infrastructure Innovation Award
  • Business Award
  • Community Award
  • Environmental School Award
  • Environmental Education Award
  • Excellence in Water Management Award
  • Individual Award
  • Local Government Award
  • Media Award for Environmental Reporting
  • Organisation Leadership Award

For all enquiries please contact the United Nations Association of Australia
Phone: (03) 9670 7878 Email:



Teachers' guide to sustainability

Sustainability in Schools

The Australian Education for Sustainability Alliance (AESA) is an alliance of organisations in the education, union, youth and environment sectors that want all Australians to have access to the skills, practices and values of sustainability.

In 2015, AESA surveyed more than 5,000 teachers, curriculum coordinators and principals from government and non-government schools across the country, to find out how best to help.

More than 90 per cent agreed that sustainability is important, of value to students, and should be integrated into the curriculum. A further 60 per cent said they were interested in including sustainability into their teaching – but asked for assistance to kick start sustainability teaching at their school. Essentially, teachers asked for a getting started guide.

AESA created the Getting Started with Sustainability in Schools website in response to these needs. It is a portal to direct teachers to high quality education resources, contains case studies focused on how to create change, and information on how to link it all back to the curriculum – in an accessible, direct way.

A review from Scootle notes:

The resource is also of considerable value for the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers, in particular Standard 6 Professional engagement, at all career stages.

For more information email


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

The objectives of WSTSD are:

  • To encourage parents and carers to walk to school with primary school age children and reinforce safe pedestrian behaviour.
  • To promote the health benefits of walking and help create regular walking habits at an early age.
  • To ensure that children up to 10 years old hold an adult's hand when crossing the road.
  • To help children develop the vital road-crossing skills they will need as they become mature pedestrians.
  • To reduce the car dependency habits that are being created at an early age and which will be difficult to change as children become adults.
  • To promote the use of Public Transport.
  • To reduce the level of air pollution created by motor vehicles.
  • To reduce the level of traffic congestion.
Fundraising parents website

Fundraising ideas for parent groups

Perth writer, mother and Jolimont P&C member, Shannon Meyerkort, has started a new national website aimed at helping parents who are looking for fundraising ideas:

This is not a commercial website but a source of free advice and inspiration for parent organisations looking for ways to raise money for their children's schools. 


My top three education issues for Australia are...


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.


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