Representation

 

SAASSO is a voice for South Australia’s parents and Governing Councillors; providing input into state and federal education policy and legislation.

 

Covid: Keeping Schools Open

 

Premier Malinauskas recently rejected a call from the teacher’s union to close schools before the end of Term 1, 2022 – due to Covid. The premier stated that schools must stay open and that he would draft public servants into schools as temporary chalkies, before he would close public schools. SAASSO wrote to Premier Malinauskas, thanking him and proposing that suitably vaccinated parents (with appropriate background checks) could also provide in-school support to teachers, to keep our public schools open.

 

Early Childhood Education & Care Covid Stakeholder

 

SAASSO is part of a group that meets to discuss policies relating to the management of Covid in schools and early childhood settings. Read the current guidelines.

FAQs

In the March 2022 meeting, SAASSO raised the issue of confusion in some schools regarding whether unvaccinated parents could continue to volunteer on Governing Councils. Guidelines released in late 2021 banned unvaccinated volunteers from ‘education settings’ and some parents were being told this meant they could no longer serve on their Governing Council. SAASSO was, however, able to get a commitment from the Education Department that unvaccinated volunteers could continue to serve on Governing Councils, provided they could attend meetings remotely. At the March meeting, SAASSO secured a commitment that this information would be published on a public-facing website.

“If a governing council member is unvaccinated and does not have an approved medical exemption, they may participate in governing council business where this can be done remotely and they are not required to attend a school or preschool.”

 

Parent Engagement in Learning Strategy

 

Over the last couple of years, SAASSO has worked with the education department in the development of its new strategy to support parent engagement in learning. The strategy will be implemented over the next 3 years. You can learn more at the Our Learning SA website.

“We would like to thank you again for SAASSO’s involvement in the development of the strategy. Hearing about your experiences and understanding your needs has ensured that the strategy reflects, and is helpful for, the diverse range of people – parents, leaders, teachers and others – who contribute to parent engagement across our system every day.”

 

 

Child Indoctrination Bill

 

In January 2021, SAASSO was asked by the Australian Senate to provide feedback on proposed amendments to the Australian Education Act. The bill dealt with whether children need protection from indoctrination in our public schools. As SAASSO (going back at least 15 years) had not received any complaint from any parent concerning this issue, we conducted a survey of members, which fed into SAASSO’s submission – which was one of 16 submissions accepted by the Australian Senate‘s Education and Employment Legislation Committee on March 23, 2021. Read the story in The Advertiser.

 

 

Harmful Sexual Behaviours Report

 

In 2020, SAASSO was asked by the education department to provide feedback on the guidelines for harmful child on child sexual behaviours. In partnership with the department’s Policy and Planning Implementation unit, SAASSO conducted a phone survey of parents from 53 of SA’s public schools – to ascertain their awareness of and opinions on the existing policy. SAASSO’s resulting report was prepared to assist the department review the policy.

“So grateful for SAASSO’s support of this work and the effort you have put into it. I’m really impressed at the degree of nuance demonstrated in the responses, and the recognition of complexity and implications for children.”