The Applecross Primary School Board has an official role, as defined by the Department of Education, which includes reviewing school performance; developing and reviewing the school Business Plan; reviewing and approving school budgets and charges; and establishing and reviewing the school’s objectives, priorities and general policy directions. In addition to this official role, we agree to be ambassadors and advocates for the school; develop a culture of service; support our staff; and be available to other parents.
Annual School Board Chair Report
2018 was another busy year for the School Board at Applecross Primary School. As always, the year commenced with the farewelling of a number of long-standing members whose contributions have been highly valued and integral to the excellent functioning of the Board during their tenure. We also subsequently welcomed both new staff and parent Board members, whose various interests, enthusiasms and skills had motivated them to nominate to become part of the School Board.
Strong foundations had been laid regarding the governance and procedural role of the Board during 2017, and this was further consolidated and extended during 2018. Policies which were initiated and reviewed by the Board, including a School Behaviour Management Policy and a Community Use of School Facilities Policy, alongside systematic review of a number of documents governing the Board's own functioning. At each meeting, due time and consideration was also given to the School’s Business Plan 2018 – 2020, to ensure that the goals and strategies included within this document continued to provide an ongoing framework for the day to day functioning of the school.
As always over the course of the year, the Board engaged in a number of discussions regarding aspects of our school development and planning for the future. Such areas of focus have included predicted student numbers over the coming years, especially given the new and rapid building development in Applecross. This has involved learning more regarding proposed property developments within our intake area alongside reviewing the Department of Education's anticipated enrolment numbers. We then considered these in relation to our existing infrastructure, including our buildings and current staffing.
Another focus for the Board has been reviewing and analysing the educational outcomes achieved at Applecross PS, as identified via standardised testing i.e. NAPLAN. Our school has the enviable reputation of excellent academic outcomes, which are generally consistent over the years, and 2018 was no exception. As the result of a collaboration between the Board and Tom Gigg, Principal Consultant within the School Performance Branch at the Department of Education, in Term Four 2017 and Term One 2018, the school now has access to predicted NAPLAN targets for our students. This allowed the school staff and Board to track achieved outcomes against predicted results for 2018, which instigated robust and insightful discussions with our Board staff members around any variance which occurred, as well as possible trends that were identified.
2018 was also the school’s mandated year to conduct a comprehensive school opinion survey, which was administered to parents, staff and all students in Years 5 and 6. The results of this survey were overwhelmingly positive, and reinforced the hard work of the staff as well as the contributions of the entire school community, including the parent body and our very active P & C. The findings also provided areas of focus for the coming two years.
All of these initiatives were undertaken alongside the usual procedural and oversight functions of the Board. In addition, to enhance the Board’s connectedness to the school community, we hosted the school’s Welcome Night in early Term 1. This event provided an opportunity for our new as well as our more experienced families at the school, to hear from our school leadership alongside meeting Board and P & C members. We have also ensured regular updates on the school’s App following each Board meeting, to try to keep the parent and staff group abreast of current Board focusses and discussions.
Recognition should be paid to all of the Board members for their time, energy and engagement during the year. The Board would also like to acknowledge and thank the dedicated and professional staff at Applecross Primary School, as well as our ever enthusiastic and involved parent group.
School Board Chair