WACSSO Conference Agenda items set the direction for the year ahead
14 August 2023 Annual Conference
WACSSO proudly represents the voices of public school parents across WA. We believe all children in Western Australia should have access to a world-class education.
WACSSO Conference, to run this coming weekend from August 19-20 at Crown Perth, will see close to 400 delegates from P&Cs across WA come together to learn how they can continue to positively impact their communities.
One of the key elements of the annual WACSSO Conference is the agenda session and AGM. In this session, delegates vote on agenda items raised by their peers which help to set the WACSSO agenda for the year ahead. This year, two agenda items have come from regional P&Cs. The first item, from Albany Senior High School, is calling for assessment equality for students. Albany Senior High School P&C acknowledges that the School Curriculum and Standards Authority requires a robust procedure to administer special provisions during examinations but asserts that the re-evaluation for some diagnoses seems reductive and contraindicated in light of current medical and scientific knowledge. They have identified several inequality factors faced by students with learning disabilities from a low socio-economic background or a remote or regional area that require more investigation. Albany Senior High School P&C are calling for WACSSO to write to the Minister for Education to request a re-examination of the “Currency of Evidence” for Equitable Access Adjustments for ATAR Course Examinations. The second item comes from Norseman District High School P&C and is on the topic of CCTV in schools. The provision of Closed-Circuit Television (CCTV) cameras is currently the responsibility of each individual school, resulting in an inconsistent approach and, in many cases, no CCTV being installed due to budget constraints. Norseman District High School P&C is calling for WACSSO to write to the Minister for Education to request funding for CCTV in public schools across Western Australia.
“We are pleased these P&Cs have taken the opportunity to raise such important topics of discussion for the AGM session this year,” says WACSSO President Pania Turner. “These aspects of the school experience represent the diverse needs of students and families in our network. I am very much looking forward to hearing the discussion for and against these items at the weekend,” she added.
The Agenda Items at WACSSO Conference have a long history of delivering impact for students and parents. Last year saw a discussion on the topic of the National School Chaplaincy Programme, which triggered discussions with both Federal and State education leaders, allowing WACSSO to advocate for action in this area. Other examples of historical agenda items include larger land allocations for children's playgrounds (1921), improving children’s nutrition through free milk to schools program (1926), an extension of the school leaving age to 15 (first raised in 1926, achieved in 1944), protesting overcrowding at schools (1931), the issue of government funding of private schools at the expense of public schools (1969), and raising the Pre-Primary starting age to 5-years-old by 30 June, instead of the existing 5-years by 31 December (1993).