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
2019 proved to be another busy and stimulating year for the School Board at Applecross Primary School, as we engaged in discussions, planning and decisions related to many aspects of our school’s functioning and strategic direction.
At the commencement of each school year, the Board farewells those outgoing parent members whose terms have expired, and this year was no exception with two longstanding Board members leaving our ranks. This was also the first year that the Board was required to hold an election to select its new members, having more applicants than vacant positions. The election process progressed smoothly, allowing the Board to proceed with business as usual.
As has been our established practice, a significant portion of the Board’s time in 2019 was spent on devising, editing and approving a range of policy documents, which will assist in guiding the day to day functioning of the school into the future. Due to the increasing number of applications by external groups to access our school site, be it classrooms or the oval, the Board oversaw and approved the development of the Community Use of School Facilities Policy. This document will provide a standardised framework for the processing of all future applications. The Board was also fully supportive of the school’s decision to create a document to encourage the use of positive and productive communication between the parent body and school staff. This document was inspired in response to both school based concerns and those voiced within the wider community regarding ensuring respectful and timely communication within education. The finished document has been named Raising a Concern with Us, and it establishes clear expectations about whom to approach with a concern, as well as an appropriate timeframe for communication. 2019 was also the year in which we reviewed the school’s behaviour management policy, the Developing Positive Student Behaviour Policy, to ensure that its contents align with best practice at the school.
A critical role of the Board is to engage in future planning discussions, as well as to provide advice to the Principal with regards to strategic functioning and the consideration of new initiatives and policies. In 2019, the Board regularly took part in conversations related to student numbers, the impact of current planning policy on our intake area, classroom capacity, teacher wellbeing and staffing levels. We were also delighted to provide guidance and feedback with regards to a number of areas including the Bring Your Own Device initiative, which is subsequently being rolled out in 2020.
These discussions took place against the backdrop of core Board business. As always, the Board reviewed school assessment data, both external i.e. NAPLAN testing, and internal, to monitor our school’s achievement. At Applecross Primary School, we are in an enviable position of consistently producing high results, as compared to both ‘like’ schools and the national average, and this year was no exception. The Board also dedicated significant amounts of time to reviewing and approving the school’s finances, including our annual budget, school fees and charges, as well as booklists and equipment. All discussions at the Board, are dictated and overseen by the School’s Business Plan, and in 2019 as in previous years, it provided the foundation and framework upon which we considered new initiatives and engaged in discussion.
When looking back over the year, it is with gratitude that I acknowledge the work of my fellow Board members, for their energy, dedication and focus. I know I speak for us all in saying that we feel privileged to be able to support the work of the wonderful school community at Applecross Primary School, especially our school staff with their ongoing quest for excellence, as well as our generous and enthusiastic parent body.