President's Message

President's Update June 21

I would like to thank Brett Youd for acting as TPA President while I was on leave. Many thanks for all the extra work and the benefit of your knowledge and experience, Brett, and TPA’s best wishes as you enjoy some leave, too.

I would like to thank those members who have assisted by providing information on Year 11 and 12 retention, completion and addition to high schools. We will put together some more information and provide an update by mid term 3.  VET in schools, principal certification, initial teacher education, Gonski funding and approaches to the Australian Curriculum, including STEM, are also issues being addressed by the Australian Secondary Principals Association (ASPA) Board.

TPA in the media. I was interviewed on ABC Breakfast by Ryk Goddard this morning following the release of the Australian Local Government Association State of the Regions Report for 2016/17. The report highlighted Tasmania’s year 3 NAPLAN results which, adjusted for ICSEA, show our students doing as well as, or better than, students around the country (see also “Tassie school kids beating learning odds” by Anne Mather in the Sunday Tasmanian, p. 10). This was a great opportunity to refute criticism of our public schools, put the case strongly that you are succeeding, and yet again explain that any non-ICSEA-adjusted state by state comparisons give a distorted view of reality. Late last week I was interviewed by Leon Compton on ABC Statewide Mornings regarding schools, the forthcoming federal election, and studies of democracy in the curriculum.

A small contingent of Tasmanian principals attended the Trans-Tasman APPA/NZPF conference held in Auckland in late May and early June. The theme “knowledge in our hands” was explored through the narratives of school leaders and other educators across a range of contexts. Australian Dr. Chris Sarra gave an inspirational presentation based on his life, work and learning and the Stronger, Smarter approaches he has developed with others working in indigenous education. I was quite moved and inspired by the work being done by principals and everyone else whether in NZ or Australia. I recommend to you the latest APPA newsletter http://app.streamsend.com/private/41tycwgmqt/AbR/{tracking_hash_merged_here}/browse/26913389 (copy and paste link into browser). It includes further information from the conference as well as a number of thought provoking articles from overseas. APPA President, Dennis Yarrington and Australian Secondary Principals Association Executive Director, Rob Nairn will be our guest presenters at the TPA Statewide day to be held on October 28th. Please put that date in your calendars!

The Trans-Tasman Conference incorporated the Australian Government Primary Principals Association Annual General Meeting. The AGPPA national executive presented the strategic agenda: primary school resourcing including primary/secondary imbalance; leadership induction; principal health and wellbeing; and supporting public education.  AGPPA has been on the front foot in the promotion of public education by commissioning Alan Reid’s paper Building Our Nation Through Public Education and running a “road show” in all states  Your hard copy of the paper will be available to you at next week’s Learning Service forums.

I would like to thank Kate Wilson (Southern Support School) for representing TPA at the most recent Inclusion Advisory Panel meeting. This group is chaired by Cheryl Larcombe and has oversight of the implementation of the recommendations arising from the Ministerial Taskforce On Students With Disability. The first communique from this group will be forwarded shortly.

The TPA State Executive meets in Campbell Town on Friday. As well as most of the above amongst our work will be discussions with DOE representatives on the new Education Act;  LGBTI Strategic Issues in Education; and staffing.

With kindest regards in collegiality,

Malcolm Elliott



Tasmanian Principals Association
PO Box 607, New Norfolk TAS 7140
0457 526 372
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