VPC Parent, School, Community Engagement Day ...continued...

Our Engagement day was a unique, rich cross-sectoral experience, with plenty of opportunity for round table conversation.

We were thrilled to have Professor Debbie Pushor with us to facilitate our thinking around using Parent Knowledge in Teaching and Learning including home visits

Our discussion focused on Parent knowledge as a critical attribute of authentic and meaningful parent engagement, how parents hold and use their knowledge, and how that knowledge can be used in schools alongside teacher knowledge to enrich teaching and learning opportunities, and to enhance educational outcomes, for students.

Ms Caz Batson (Bosch) MAPS presented on the work of the Australian Parents Council and Parents Australia. Successful Learning and the Indigenous Parent Factor were featured as practical ways the Australian Parents Council is working with parents and communities in the early years of schooling to promote parents engagement, partnership and establishing supportive learning environments for children in the early years of schooling. The feedback from schools and communities where Successful Learning and the Indigenous Parent Factor have been in operation was very encouraging. Another exciting development is the development of the Certificate IV in Parent, Family Community Engagement.  This is a nationally recognised qualification and the first ever formal training qualification in parent, family and community engagement in Australia. It fills a clear gap in training provision. Parents, family and community engagement is well recognised as helping children achieve their potential in education, but often receives minor attention in initial teacher education, and until now there has been no specific training in this challenging area.

Caz also presented  on Parent Engagement in Australia, the current environment and the emerging issues. It was encouraging to hear from all of those present, across all sectors affirming the challenges and resolving that a collaborative approach works well in parent engagement. It was terrific having Catherine Meynell-James was with us too. Catherine is Stakeholder Manager |Group Strategy and Performance | Strategy & Integration Division | Early Childhood & School Education Group Department of Education & Training

Ms Jacqui Van de Velde, presented on a practical and thought provoking approach to Parent Engagement, Communication and Home-School Conflict. She challenged participants to consider another pathway to deal with in the Home-School conflict. A pathway that honours parents as parents and teachers as teachers; accepting they bring different, but complementary skill and knowledge sets to the enterprise of school education. A pathway that builds on strengths, nurtures relationships and finds a solution.

Ms Aynur Simsirel the Principal Advisor for Independent Schools Victoria, presented on Engagement/partnership approaches to learning and wellbeing in the independent school sector from ISV’s perspective. It was interesting  to hear about the work the ISV is doing with school leadership on parent engagement.

Our day concluded with a panel discussion.  Rachel Saliba, Executive Officer for Catholic School Parents Victoria joined out presenters joined our presenters in a “Q and A”.