Monday, 23 November 2009

ACSSO National Education Conference

The recent ACSSO National Education Conference in Hobart presented a fascinating 'mix' of educational issues and discussions.

The two-day event, organised by the two national peak parent organisations ACSSO (Australian Council for State Schools Organisations) and the APC (the Australian Parents Council), provided the opportunity for parent representatives, academics, researchers, international and guest speakers to discuss issues concerning the education of our children. The range and scope of topics was amazing - from cybersafety and the teaching of languages in infants and primary school, to chaplaincy programs and values education. What stood tall above it all was the over-riding concern that we need to straddle the barriers between private and public education and work for the good of ALL children! Amen to that I say!!

It was a privilege to be given the opportunity to present a session on the work I have been doing with parents for the past three years - particularly in the area of transition to high school - a significant period, which has been largely undervalued and overlooked in terms of support for parents and students alike.

The response was extremely positive and very encouraging, and it seems the time is ripe for us to finally recognise that if we don't implement some very basic and practical strategies to ease this transition, then we will continue to add to the current statistics of disengaged learners and early school leavers. We need to be more proactive, as educators and parents, in providing our children with skills that will open the doors of 'choice' - and the longer they remain in either education or some form of work-based training, the more choices were are giving them!