Victorian Parents Council eNews
Issue 1 - 2019

VPC is a registered charity dedicated to everyone who supports Parents in educating their children.

Dear VPC Community,

Hello to all our parents, teachers, educators, partners and sponsors!
It’s an amazing 2019 already and we are about to reach our 60th Year!
During 2018, VPC has grown with your involvement to become a significant “VPC Online Community”, via our Website, FacebookTwitter, Instagram and Linkedin. We are in fact now one of the largest online volunteer parent organisations in Australia.
Being online has expanded our service to accommodate parents in Victoria, Australia and even globally – an exciting change for 2019 and congratulations and thank you for enabling our expanding ability to serve.
We are here to serve you, so please follow the links to your favourite social platforms and join the conversation.
VPC is celebrating our 60th Anniversary later this year! As part of this VPC is creating a new website to be launched shortly. We are also organising some special events for our 60th year anniversary, dates to be confirmed soon. In addition, we are updating the membership structure, to give you even more value, so keep an eye out for VPC emails and ensure that our email address is in your contacts, so that you don’t miss anything.  
VPC will continue to host Education Seminars in Victoria, and we are delighted that we have organised 2 evenings with Steve Biddulph at Scotch College in October 2019. Watch this space for more details and upcoming 2019 dates.
VPC thanks Dr Kate Jacobs, for contributing our main newsletter article about various learning difficulties. It’s a great read!
We are also looking for parents who would like to become facilitators – read on for the workshop details below.
One of the big advances we have made in the last 12 months is the introduction of podcasts. Our recent podcasts include:
Careers and Career planning conversations with Kathryn Taylor 
Parents managing technology with Martine Oglethorpe
Parent approaches for learning support with Dr Kate Jacobs
All About Naplan – for those of you experiencing Naplan for the first time
Thank you to Kathryn, Martine and Kate for your time and sharing your expertise with us!
See the links below.
So much to look forward to in 2019!
Let’s inspire all those who support parents and children together!

Eveline Jona 


For 60 years now, VPC has worked tirelessly with Victorian school parents. That we are still here today is a testament to the hard work and support of parents, schools and parent associations across Victoria.
We are a not-for-profit, ACNC registered Charity Organisation and are driven by commitment of a small group of volunteers.
You can be involved as a parent, guardian, school, teacher or business; we love to collaborate with all those who are passionate about supporting children through education, from babies through to adulthood and beyond.
If you would love to get involved, don’t hesitate to contact us at:
Whether it's once a week or once in a while, we welcome your involvement.

Supporting students with Specific Learning Disorders

Dr Kate Jacobs (B.A., Post.Grad.Dip.Psych., PhD/M.Psych., MAPS, MCEDP) is an Educational and Developmental Psychologist. In 2013 she was awarded the Mollie Holman Doctoral Medal for the best PhD thesis for the year in the Education Faculty at Monash University. In addition to working as a university lecturer and researcher, Kate is the founder, director and principal psychologist at Raise the Bar Psychology.
What is a Specific Learning Disorder/Disability (SLD)?
Individuals with SLD experience difficulty learning and using important academic skills (such as word reading, spelling or maths calculation), with these difficulties not being able to be explained by external factors, such as inadequate educational instruction, missing substantial amounts of school, or significant and distressing life events. Despite often being of average (or above) intelligence read further
How can students with SLD be supported to reach their academic potential
Final Thoughts Going Forward

Schools, Education and Parenting News

10 reasons why Finland's education system is the best

Who as a parent wants to sit in class? It's embarrassing.
In a reverse suspension, instead of sending a child home, the student’s parent is invited to come to school and spend the entire day by his side. It’s a good motivator to not have your parents come and sit with them.
Middle school reduces bad behavior dramatically with 'reverse suspensions'
Want to 'train your brain'? Forget apps, learn a music instrument (

Australian Sign language (AUSLAN)
In a push to make Australia more inclusive, AUSLAN classes are going to be introduced to dozens of Victorian preschools this yea

School Replaces Detention With Meditation and has astounding results.
The Dalai Lama once said:
‘If every 8 year old in the world is taught meditation, we will eliminate violence from the world within one generation.’ (

It’s time that we stop thinking about conditions like ADHD and autism as ‘disabilities’ and recognize them as valuable pieces of humanity’s neurodiversity. We should all watch this short video about neurodiversity 

 Since Kiddle results are either handpicked and checked by our editors or filtered by Google safe search, you know you get kid-oriented results without any explicit content. In case some bad words are present in a search query, our guard robot will block the search.” 

Our Daughter's Nightly Struggle
 “It was time to start putting our daughter’s device in our room at bedtime. We had no idea how much this decision would impact her and we had no idea why she needed her phone in her bedroom.... The “no phone at bedtime” rule was introduced and, we could tell that eventually our daughter was so relieved! Much like setting limits with a curfew, she needed that structure from us to take the pressure off. Initially it was an adjustment for all of us at bedtime to “take the phone away”, after awhile it became routine.” (
The best toys go back to the basics – Pediatricians Say Kids Need Simple Toys, Not iPads And Electronics  The updated AAP guidelines for pediatricians and families stress that although toy aisles are increasingly filled with blinking lights, soundtracks, and screens, the very best toys for learning are also the simplest toys: blocks, dolls, games, and balls. The best toys are those that support parentand children playing, pretending and interacting together.
A must read for parents hosting teenage parties.
Tough new restrictions are now in place around supplying alcohol to minors (since 13 September 2018)
Any parent hosting a party for teenagers must get consent from other parents for their child to drink and actively monitor them.

How to Talk to Your Teen About Vaping (

Government News

ACARA, The Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority
 National updates on NAPLAN National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy Some of the key findings from the research include
  • The majority of parents (three out of five) believe that NAPLAN is valuable. NAPLAN is valued for providing parents with a snapshot of their child’s progress. 
  • Some negative views remain and parents note a lack of familiarity with the format and content of NAPLAN tests.
  • Parental attitudes toward NAPLAN are influenced by the way in which their child's school positions the tests.
  • In general, parents are accepting of the move to NAPLAN Online. The main reason for supporting the move online is as it is seen as a natural progression. ​
Where can I see my child's school's NAPLAN results from last year? 
My School Website: ACARA publishes individual schools' NAPLAN results on the My School Website each year and has been updated with 2018 NAPLAN results.

VCAA, Victorian Curriculum Assessment
  • All NAPLAN information please see above under ACARA
  • Making numeracy more engaging for VCAL students
              Making numeracy more engaging for VCAL students video
              Video transcript of Making numeracy more engaging for VCAL students
VRQA Victorian Registration and Qualifications Authority
Important changes for schools: updated minimum standards guidelines
  • The VRQA has released updated Guidelines to the Minimum Standards and Requirements for School Registration. Changes to the Guidelines to the Minimum Standards — Factsheet
Victorian schools use the guidelines when applying for initial registration, applying to amend their registration and at review.
Minimum Standards in relation to, School governance, Enrolment, Curriculum and student learning, Student welfare, Staff employment, School infrastructure.
Specific requirements in relation to, Bushfire preparedness, Anaphylaxis management, Financial management, Child safe standards.

VIT Victorian institute of Teaching
  • The Victorian Teaching Profession Code of Conduct Review with the mission to make sure that our teaching profession and our community can rely on VIT Code of Conduct that is contemporary, inclusive, effective, and widely applied. See video about this process.
  • VIT will be working in consultation with teaching profession including early childhood, government, independent, catholic, principals, unions, and other stakeholders related to students, including parents.
  1. Professional Boundaries Workshop, 150 stakeholders invited
  2. Written submissions on discussion paper
  3. Online surveys
  4. Further meetings and round tables with key stakeholders
DET, Victorian Department of Education and Training
Victorian Education State Ambition:
Factsheet: Learning for life Excellence in reading, maths, science, and critical and creative thinking

The Australian Government Department of Education and Training
  • Every child deserves a quality education:
The Australian Government wants teachers to have the support they need to lift outcomes for our students, and help students feel ready for whatever the future holds. To help make this happen, the Australian Government will deliver record funding for Australian schools under the Quality Schools package.
  • Mental Health
Be You is a national framework to empower every Australian educator, from early learning to primary and secondary school as well as our next generation of teachers, to foster the mental health of those in their care. It will also help educators to look after their own mental health and wellbeing.
New school-based program to support children’s mental health,1 November 2018 Press release
The program Be You will be delivered by beyond blue in partnership with headspace and Early Childhood Australia


VPC Parents Podcast Series

In May 2018, VPC launched "VPC Parents Podcast Series"
Recently we created some new podcasts, with the following topics,
Careers and Career planning conversations with Kathryn Taylor
Parents managing technology with Martine Oglethorpe
Parent approaches for learning support with Dr Kate Jacobs
VPC will continue to create more podcasts. If you have a ‘Podcast topic’ of interest, please let VPC know via email

Thank you to Jacqui Van de Velde for interviewing the various podcast speakers. Thank you to Ruth Fordyce, Dr Glenn Melvin, Professor Debbie Pushor, Wendy Eves Martine Oglethorpe, Kathryn Taylor and Dr Kate Jacobs for your expertise and time!

Parent approaches for learning support with Dr Kate Jacobs
A Framework for creating a Support Programme for Students Negotiating Individual Education Plans

Careers and Career planning conversations with Kathryn Taylor
Changing nature of work
Career Planning Conversations
Subject selection conversations
Vocational Subjects v Academic Subjects
Parents managing technology with Martine Oglethorpe
Should we be banning technology?
Managing Screen Time
Useful Tech

Transition to School with Wendy Eves
Transition to SchoolA Positive Start  
Transition to SchoolA Smooth Start
Transition to School: Practical tips for a successful start
Transition to SchoolWhat parents can do to help with early learning

Conversations about Parent Engagement with Professor Debbie Pushor

Stress and Anxiety: what can parents do? with  Dr Glenn Melvin

VPC all things NAPLAN with Ruth Fordyce
NAPLAN: Managing Anxiety
NAPLAN: What can parents do to help prepare their Year 3 and Year 5 children
NAPLAN: Adjustments for students with learning support needs

"Self –Regulation Coping Strategies” Students can use at school-poster                   

Useful Poster 4 step guide on - How to report cyber-bullying

ISDCN Parent Webinar Recordings

Young people need the skills and experience for jobs of the future,
not the past”
 The world of work is changing, influenced by technology and changes in global economies. A report from The Foundation for Young Australians (FYA) Find out about Career Ready Mentoring and register as
a mentee, please click here.

APC, Australian Parents Council, has developed in partnership with the Australian Government Department of Education and Training a suite of free, downloadable info-graphics as part of the  initiative, for families and schools to let everyone know about the opportunities Vocational Educational and Training (VET) offers.

Successful Learning: Free online facilitator training
VPC is looking for people interested in taking part in a unique parent-to-parent training program that encourages and supports families to engage in their children’s early learning and literacy. Successful Learning: The Parent Factor is an evidence-based program developed by the Australian Parents Council to provide parents with the confidence and knowledge they need to support their children's education at home.

We are offering free facilitator training to parents, caregivers and school community members interested in helping deliver this valuable support to families. Whether you're an enthusiastic parent, teacher, childcare worker or teacher's aide, we would welcome your involvement.

Training consists of a 3 hours of online study and a 3-hour practical and assessment, after which you will be qualified to deliver sessions as a paid facilitator.
If you or someone you know is interested, please email


Please join the vibrant "VPC online Community", "Building Informed Parents" 


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