Public Education Campaign

Public Education Day, 15 March 2001

This year will be extremely important for public education and its place and future in our society. As public educators we must be prepared to both celebrate the great achievements of public education and to demand strong support and much better funding from all political parties.

Promoting and Funding Public Education

The NSW Teachers Federation and its colleague public education unions throughout Australia, under the umbrella of the Australian Education Union, have determined that promoting public education and increasing its funding will be the priority campaign for 2001. In NSW, the campaign has the support of the peak parent and principal organisations, which continue to work together in public education lobbies. Federation is now seeking the support of TAFE members, other Institute Managers, staff and students.

As a positive contribution to the campaign, the Teachers Federation Public Education Fund has paid for advertising on both television and radio during January.

Public Education Day 15 March 2001

Please put this day on your calendar of events. Activities will take place throughout Australia on the day.

With the cooperation of the Department, the Federation and supportive organisations will organise a central event in Sydney for that morning. The event will be broadcast via the OTEN network to all non-metropolitan schools and to all TAFE colleges. It is anticipated the broadcast will commence at 9.00am and last for no more than 45 minutes.

The event will be a celebration of public education and will involve a statement from a prominent person about the essential role of public education in Australian society and the need for it to be properly supported and funded.

Details of the actual broadcast and college activities will be advised later.

School activities planned for that day will be deemed to be a variation of normal school routine. It is hoped that college activities will be deemed to be a variation of normal TAFE duties and should be planned with your managers, students, local industry, business and community representatives.

What can your school do?

Schools are requested to plan a number of "open day" type activities for the morning of 15 March 2001 to involve members of the school community in celebration of the role of public education. You are best placed to decide on these activities. Here are some ideas.

Invite your local community to the school.

If you are on the OTEN network you might have the facility to let staff, parents and students watch the broadcast. Or you may tape the broadcast in whole or in part while your students are entertaining parents in celebration of public education, and then replay the broadcast to the parents at a suitable venue in the school at, say, 9.45 am while providing a morning tea.

For schools not on the OTEN system you will need to have more of the "open day" type activities. The Federation will provide a copy of an appropriate statement, which can be read or delivered to the parents during the morning's activities.

Other Activities on the day

The Federation will also provide to all schools copies of a leaflet in sufficient numbers for one to be sent to every household in the school community that afternoon. This leaflet will have the support of the parents and principal organisations.

Copies of a leaflet for TAFE students are to be provided by Federation for distribution on 15 March and if necessary during the following week. TAFE Federation Representatives are asked to arrange for this to occur.

School staffs will also be asked to send messages to their local Federal Member that day. A pro forma text will be made available for this purpose.

In centres where the local Federal Member's office is located, delegations of parents and teachers will be organised to deliver a statement to Members of Parliament. TAFE Federation Representatives should contact their local school association or its Organiser to ensure TAFE representation in the delegation to the Federal Member on 15 March or thereabouts. TAFE Federation Representatives are also asked to book now a supplementary TAFE meeting soon after 15 March with their Federal Member, so that a teacher, Institute Manager and student delegation can make representations regarding increased funding.

During the week further advertising will be placed by the Federation, and hopefully in the local press by local Associations.

I look forward to your support, which is crucial to the success of the campaign.

JOHN HENNESSY
GENERAL SECRETARY

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