Thank you all for the terrific group hug of the school on Friday. The hearts with children’s messages were all gathered and presented to the Honourable Minister of Education, Martin Dixon today when four school councillors: Tim Sharkey (President), Andrew Johnson (aka Snowy, Vice-President), Fleur Hammet, and Anna Ritman, met with the Hon Minister Dixon and his advisors this morning (21/11/2011).
The Minister’s office acknowledged the FCPS school community’s submissions and dealings with their office as “reasonable and constructive”, and were appreciative of the way the Council and community have conducted themselves.
The Minister’s office has requested an independent review of the facts, regarding the cessation of the Steiner stream and proposal to terminate the term of school council, as presented in submissions by DEECD and school council.
The school councillors welcome the review and the Minister’s interest in our school and its Dual Stream program. We expect to hear from the Minister’s office late this week with regard to outcomes from the review and next steps.
We believe the Minister appreciates the incredibly difficult position families have been placed in so close to the end of the school year.
FCPS Parent School Councillors
On Tuesday 15th November, the Minister for Education’s office, advised that the Minister, Martin Dixon has agreed to meet with FCPS Paren School Councilors in the next week to look at solutions for FCPS. Parent School Councilors look forward to this opportunity. A futher update will be provided after the meeting.
Last week, Bernie Finn MP tabled and Marsha Thompson MP tabled out petitions in the Legislative Council and the Legislative Assembly respectively
Last Tuesday , School Council officially met and parent councilors submitted their second response to the Western Region (on Wednesday). Our focus for both was:-
i) making sure that all the right support, advice and services where available for the whole school until the end of this year
ii) ensuring quality programs remained at the school next year, for those who will stay
iii) signaling the need for proper support in the transition for those kids who are leaving or transferring
iv) highlighting the need for ongoing parent involvement in the governance of the school next year
On Sat night, parent councilors met to review the community’s progress thus far and determine next steps. Our objective remains to meet with the Minister to solve this situation. We remain convinced that he is able to because
- He has publically endorsed dual stream education for the west
- His government wants more independence for schools
- This process has lacked transparency and accountability.
As a community, our focus now shifts to the following
- Progressing our FOI, Ombudsman, Child Commissioner, VCAT and other official and legal avenues to institute accountability and transparency. eMail SaveFCPS if you would like to help.
- Encouraging all parents to access the counseling that has been reinstated by the DEECD due to demand by the community. This is a great opportunity to explain how you are feeling and what you would like for the children before the year is out. Ring the school to make an appointment.
- Asking everyone to write to the Minister asking that he meet with representatives of the current council to resolve this urgently for our children. See suggested point to include below.
As a council, we are humbled by the level of support and energy you are all throwing into this. As we have been put here to protect the interests of the children at this school, we remain steadfast in our determination to get a solution. We will keep you updated on any developments.
FCPS Parent Council
Suggested Points to raise with the minister
Dear Minister Dixon,
Process has lacked transparency and accountability
Is having an adverse effect on the children
Meet to ensure that is an ongoing parent voice in the governance of the school
Find a solution for a dual stream school in the west