From the President's Desk

February 2024

I trust this message finds you well and energized. As we step into the new year, I extend a heartfelt welcome back to each of you after what I hope was a rejuvenating holiday season.

I want to express my gratitude for your commitment to the cause of quality public education and family engagement. Your dedication has been instrumental in shaping the positive impact we've achieved together at the local, state, and national levels, and I am eager to continue our collective efforts in the coming months.

It's crucial to underscore the pressing issues facing students, families, and our public education system.The need for full funding of state schools at the minimum School Resource Standard (SRS**) remains a top priority. Adequate resources are necessary for effective public education, and currently only 1.3% of public schools are funded to the SRS. We believe it is a moral imperative to ensure that every child has access to education, which will enable them to identify and build on their strengths and become the best version of themselves. This will allow upward mobility throughout our community and support future economic growth.

ACSSO will persist in our advocacy to ensure that every student has access to a well-funded and high-quality education. I encourage P&Cs, communities and their state school organisations to keep informed about the SRS negotiations between the federal and state governments. To that end, ACSSO is working with state school organisations and has supported the Australian Education Union's campaign 'For Every Child, Fully Funded Public Schools', arguing for full funding for public schools.

Additionally, the related ongoing challenge of teacher shortages demands our attention. The shortage not only affects the quality of education but places undue stress on our educators, students, and families. Together, let us advocate for comprehensive solutions that address this critical issue and ensure our schools are staffed with qualified and dedicated professionals.

Equally important is the role of family engagement in the educational journey. Research consistently shows that engaged families contribute significantly to a child's academic success. This year, we aim to amplify our efforts to foster strong partnerships between schools and families, recognising the pivotal role they play in a student's educational experience. To this end, ACSSO has received additional funds from the Federal Government to develop and run a Family Engagement professional learning short course, seeking to embed community engagement practices in schools and their communities.

This is an important time to engage with federal and state governments, as the negotiations underway now will lock in agreements and funding arrangements for 5 years. ACSSO and state school organisations have an essential role in advocating for better public education outcomes.

I am excited to share that ACSSO has ambitious plans for 2024. We will be actively gathering views and perspectives from our community on these crucial school reforms and other matters of high relevance to our community. Our goal is to represent your interests and concerns effectively at the federal level, providing submissions to inquiries and advocating for policies that support our vision of a well-funded, inclusive, and thriving public education system.

We encourage people to join our contact list to get informed, learn about our work, contribute your views to our surveys and amplify our messages in your communities and to your political representatives.

You can join our contact lists and follow us on social media at the following links:

Thank you for being an indispensable part of ACSSO. Together, let us face the challenges of the year with resilience and determination, working towards a future where every student receives the education they deserve.

Here's to a year of meaningful progress and positive change!

Damien Ellwood
President ACSSO

**The SRS is an agreed estimate by the Federal and state governments of how much total public funding a school needs to meet the educational needs of its students so that at least 80% of students are achieving above the national minimum standard in the National Assessment Program—Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) reading and numeracy assessments across 3 consecutive years.





PO BOX 8221,
Werrington County,
NSW, Australia, 2747


0497 042 026 (Monday, Tuesday & Thursday)
0418 470 604 (Monday through to Friday)