Position Papers

Victorian Principals Association (VPA) supports its members in concerns relating to school leadership and education. The VPA advocates on behalf of members making recommendations to guide the way forward for Victorian education. These come in the form of Position Papers.
The VPA recognises the complexity of the state wide system, and the role of the school leader which exists across the Victorian education system.
Concerns raised by VPA members moves the Association forward to guide good practice and develop initiatives to assist school leaders in their role within Victorian and national forums.

 

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | JKL | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | 


T | U | V | W | XYZ
 

 

Latest Position Papers

Speak Up Process

Teaching Principals Issues

Response to Emergency Situations in Schools

Travel Restrictions

Grounds Allowance

 

 

 

 A.

Alternative Settings
The Victorian Principals Association (VPA) aspires for the most suitable learning environment for each student in a Victorian school.

 

Asbestos Labelling 
The Victorian Principals Association (VPA) is concerned that the recently introduced requirement for government schools to post asbestos warnings notices in all areas where there is asbestos present, is excessive inconsistently applied and having a prejudicial effect on the community's perception of individual schools. 

 

Autism Spectrum Disorder
The Victorian Principals Association (VPA) is concerned about the increase in the number of students who exhibit autistic tendencies in government primary schools and the lack of appropriate support for these students to assist in their learning.


B.                                                               

Building Maintenance Funding

The Victorian Principals Association (VPA) calls for an increase in school maintenance funding and clear timelines outlining when this funding will be received.

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C.

Cleaning Provision in Schools
The Victorian Principals Association (VPA) seeks to ensure that the cleaning funding component in School Resource Packages (SRP) adequately reflects the new learning spaces, the rising costs and the growing needs of schools.

 

Complexity of PSD Applications (Revised)

The Victorian Principals Association (VPA) is concerned that due to the current complexity of PSD (Program for Students with Disability) applications, schools are being unreasonably and artificially thwarted in accessing adequate resources to support students who genuinely deserve to benefit from additional resource availability.

 

Consultation Process (Joint VPA/VASSP)

The Victorian Principals Association (VPA) and the Victorian Association of State Secondary Principals (VASSP), in representing the interests of PCOs, seeks timely, thorough and transparent consultation processes with representatives of the DEECD.

 

Cuts to Frontline Services
The Victorian Principals Association (VPA) is calling for the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development (DEECD) to review its funding of frontline services for Victorian schools in line with the 2010 election promise that no front line service would be cut.

 

D.

Data Use and Misuse (Joint VPA/VASSP)
The Victorian Association of State Secondary Principals (VASSP) and the Victorian Principals Association (VPA) note the Federal Government is mandating the publication of a variety of school performance data under its “transparency” agenda. This position paper addresses the balance between the community’s right to be informed about school performance and the presentation of school data in a meaningful and constructive way.

 

DEECD Staff Survey Instrument (Joint VPA/VASSP)
The DEECD staff survey over the years and in particular in 2011 raised a range of issues once again.VASSP/VPA have worked with, and will continue to work with the Data, Evaluations & Outcomes section of the DEECD. We have raised concerns over the questions that are now significantly outdated and even over the relevance of a yearly survey across the whole state, particularly given the current outmoded questions and especially when schools are given little support in the interpretation of the material and no time to use it in a meaningful way with staff.

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E.

Early Years Literacy Approach
The Victorian Principals Association (VPA) is concerned with the range of early years' literacy models utilised in government schools, creating inconsistencies in pedagogy and learning outcomes.

 

Education Maintenance Allowance

The Victorian Principals Association (VPA) calls on the State Government to reverse its decision to cease Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA) funding.

 

EduSTAR Enterprise Wireless Network

The Victorian Principals Association (VPA) wishes to ensure that the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development (DEECD) equip the remaining 30% of Victorian government schools with the eduSTAR.net Enterprise Wireless Network.

  

Emergency Management Plans
The Victorian Principals Association (VPA) strongly recommends that the process is streamlined to ensure accurate and readily accessible information with less time requirements required by schools.

 

Emergency Management

The Victorian Principals Association (VPA) is calling for the implementation of clearer, better supported and better communicated Emergency Management processes across Victorian Government Schools.

 

Emergency Procedures Including SMS
The Victorian Principals Association (VPA) is concerned that there is consistency in the communication strategy particularly SMS availability across Victorian government schools in emergency situations.

 

F.

Facilities and Maintenance Provision
The VPA seeks greater clarity with the provision of facilities in Victorian schools, following the BER program. Maintenance issues for other building stock need to be addressed in a more timely manner.

 

Free Internet Access for all Schools
The Victorian Principals Association (VPA) is calling for the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development (DEECD) to provide ongoing free internet access for all government schools.

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G. 

Grounds Allowance

The Victorian Principals Association (VPA) is concerned that schools are receiving insufficient Grounds Allowance funding to maintain their grounds in fit for purpose condition. This includes covering the cost of annual upkeep of playground and tree safety.

 

Gonski

The Victorian Principals Association (VPA) calls on the State Government to ensure the promised Gonski funding is transparent and passed onto Victorian schools as a matter of urgency.

 

H.

 

I.

IT Support in Schools

The Victorian Principals Association (VPA) seeks to ensure that information technologies (IT) support for all government schools is consistent with expectations associated with growing IT infrastructure and 21st century learning.

 

JKL.


M.

Management of SSS Networks (Revised)

The Victorian Principals Association (VPA) is calling for the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development (DEECD) to acknowledge the complexity, time and skills required to manage a SSS (Student Support Services) network.


Managing Performance and Development Process
The Victorian Principals Association (VPA) advocates for the creation of consistent, well-planned and effective Performance and Development framework. 

 

N.

NAPLAN
The Victorian Principals Association (VPA) is concerned that Federal Government funding based on the number of highly performing students in NAPLAN tests is creating an unhealthy competitive environment between schools that is not benefiting students or the system.

 

Network Continuous Improvement Strategy (Joint VPA/VASSP)

The Victorian Principals Association (VPA) note that principal class officers (PCOs) are expected to make an increased contribution to school networks under direction of the regional network leader (RNL). This position paper addresses the balance of responsibilities between PCOs’ schools and the school network.

 

Notebook Leasing
The Notebooks for Teachers and Principals Program is an established and important component of the Victorian government’s education program. The Victorian Principals Association (VPA) is concerned about the inferior specification of the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development (DEECD) issued notebooks, the cost of leasing, particularly for Macs, and the impact of repair costs to individual teachers and Principal Class Officers (PCO) in recent notebook rollouts.

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O.

Occupational Health and Safety Requirements
The Victorian Principals Association (VPA) seeks to address this new system management requirement imposed by DEECD. It seeks to outline how the system needs to provide additional and specialised staff to implement this new initiative.

 

Out of School Hours Care
The Victorian Principals Association (VPA) strongly recommends that the state and federal governments provide resourcing support for smaller schools to retain the viability of OSHC programs.

 

P.

Performance Pay for Teachers
The Victorian Principals Association (VPA) is concerned that the proposed Federal Government Performance Pay concept has the potential to create an unhealthy competitive environment, which actively works against teamwork and collaboration in our schools.

 

Pre-service Teacher Placements

The VPA believes that with some improved coordination and process the implementation of school-experience programs can be improved.

 

Principal Selection

The Victorian Principals Association (VPA) calls for increased transparency and standardised procedures that encourage participation by experienced and practising principals in all panels formed to select principals to fill substantive, school-based positions.

 

Principal Support
The Victorian Principals Association (VPA) is concerned about the level of ongoing support for, and professional recognition of, Victorian Government Principal Class Officers.

 

Principal Wellbeing
The Victorian Principals Association (VPA) is concerned about the impact of work and the lack of adequate support on the mental and physical wellbeing of Victorian Government Principal Class Officers.

 

Q.

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R.

Raising the Quality of Pre-service Training for Entry into the Teaching Profession
The Victorian Principals Association (VPA) is keen to see a more rigorous and consistent approach to teacher training in Victoria.

 

Reducing Red Tape in Victorian Schools
The Victorian Principals Association (VPA) advocates for self-managed, autonomous schools as an organizational strategy to best deliver world-class, personalized learning for the 21st Century in Victorian Government Schools. The VPA rejects the consequent workload increases that seems to emanate from a “silo mentality” where various non-school-based stakeholders may attempt to “command and control” through ensuring that everything that principals do as part of their leadership role is captured and enshrined in some sort of documented plan.

 

Regional Networks (Joint VPA/VASSP)
Regional networks as currently conceived were developed and imposed during the period of the Labor state government. Following the change of government in November, 2010, it is opportune to reconsider their purpose and composition to better meet the needs of primary and secondary school principals.

 

Regional Network Leaders
The Victorian Principals Association (VPA) acknowledges the key role which is being developed by the regional network leaders. The VPA agrees that one of the key elements of this position is to create a culture of collaboration and cooperation within each network of schools.

 

Regional Office Support

The VPA is concerned that there needs to be clearer protocols and definition of the role of regions in supporting the work of principals, schools and networks. There is a decrease in resources and ongoing, timely and knowledgeable support from regional offices. The VPA calls on the State government to provide regional support to principals in a differentiated, timely and contextual manner.

 

Relocatable Provision in School (Revised)
The Victorian Principals Association (VPA) Members are seeking higher levels of service from the DEECD relocatable program across Victoria.

 

Response to Emergency Situations in Schools
Following the recent spate of threatening hoax phone calls to Victorian schools, the Victorian Principals Association calls for consistent guidelines and support to be established by the Department of Education and Training to assist schools to manage emergency situations such as evacuations and lockdowns.


Rewarding Teacher Excellence
The Victorian Principals Association (VPA) supports research into the concept of rewarding teacher excellence with performance based pay. This paper provides the conditions that should be applied to the development of the concept.

 (Top)

S.

School Coaches
The Victorian Principals Association (VPA) encourages continual professional growth of school personnel to support the curriculum needs of the school. Principal class officers (PCOs) are best placed to determine the nature of professional development programs in each school.

 

School Governance

The view of the VPA is that the present system of School Councils of varying compositions, agreed at a local level, is working well. The majority of School Councils are working efficiently and provide an excellent communication and policy development conduit between parents, communities and schools; however there are potential benefits from improved support and development.

 

School Improvement Intervention (Joint VPA/VASSP)
The Victorian Association of State Secondary Principals (VASSP) and the Victorian Principals Association (VPA) note that the Government through the Blueprint has indicated that the DEECD will be implementing programs to support and develop identified underperforming schools. This position paper addresses the balance between the needs of the system to improve systemic performance and the context of the individual school.

 

School Nursing Program- Full Prep Screening
The Victorian Principals Association (VPA) recognises the importance for each child being able to start school life happy and healthy.

 

School Reviews (revised March 2014)

The Victorian Principals Association (VPA) wants a credible, consistent and properly resourced process that can be effectively facilitated by the inclusion of peer reviewers.

 

Social Media Guidelines
The Victorian Principals Association (VPA) acknowledges the growing range of social media tools which people utilize to build communication links in their everyday lives. It is vital that these communication links remain positive and constructive in order to enhance the work and tone of government schools.


Speak Up Process
The Victorian Principals Association (VPA) seeks clarification around the ‘Speak Up’ process. Principals who have been investigated as a result of calls to the ‘Speak Up’ line have reported feeling uninformed, confused and disrespected. There are real issues around the investigation phase and where it fits in with current DET guidelines for managing complaints, misconduct and unsatisfactory performance. There is a real confusion between the complaints process of DET and the wider whistleblowing process.

 

Student Engagement Guidelines

The Victorian Principals Association (VPA) was approached to comment on the Draft Student Engagement Guidelines distributed for comment by the Department of Education and Early Childhood Department in December 2008.

 

SRP 

The Victorian Principals Association (VPA) seeks to ensure that adequate funding is apportioned to the Student Resource Packages (SRP) to deliver high quality education throughout Victorian government schools. In reference to the Auditor General’s Report, the VPA calls on the government to recognise and address the funding shortfall in Victorian government schools.

 

Student Support Services
The Victorian Principals Association (VPA) considers the role of SSS as essential, therefore increased hours and consistent support according to individual student need is vital for positive student learning outcomes.

 

Succession Planning
The Victorian Principals Association (VPA) wants to support the development of the next generation of quality principals by encouraging succession-planning and increasing support for new principals. 

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T.

Teaching Principals' Issues

The Victorian Principals Association (VPA) is concerned that 46% of Victorian government primary schools have fewer than 200 students. Many principals at these smaller schools need to take on a teaching component due to funding constraints. This means that as teaching principals they face real issues in managing the competing demands of their work as school leaders.


Travel Restrictions

The Victorian Principals Association (VPA) ia concerned that the current and any future travel restrictions put in place by the Education Department will negatively impact on both Victoria's reputation and the opportunities for school leaders to develop expertise through overseas and interstate experiences.


U.


V. 

Vexatious Complainants

The Victorian Principals Association (VPA) seeks to provide increased support for Principals/Schools in conflict situations involving community members.

 

Victorian Institute of Teaching (VIT)

The Victorian Principals Association (VPA) seeks to ensure that the Victorian Institute of Teaching (VIT) is a functioning regularity body registering teachers in a way that enhances the development of the teaching profession. 

 

VRQA Requirements

Schools have found that VRQA compliance processes have been communicated in a belated and confusing manner. This has placed added pressure and at times unrealistic timelines to complete compliance tasks. The red tape for schools has increased measurably over two years. The VPA calls for DEECD to provide clarity on VRQA compliance requirements in a timely and sensible manner and to reduce the burden on individual schools.

 

 

W.


XYZ.

 

 

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