School-Community Partnership Agreements

22 November 2012 | General Interest

During 2011, VAEAI has facilitated the development of two School-Community Partnership Agreements at Reservoir High School and Swan Hill Primary School.

The Reservoir and Swan Hill School-Community Partnership Agreement were signed and launched in April and December 2011, respectively. The Agreements set out a formal partnership between the school and the local Koorie Community, represented by their Local Aboriginal Education Consultative Group (LAECG), and outlines how the school and the community will work together to support Koorie students, and ensure the best education outcomes.

A School-Community Partnership Agreement is a formal commitment between a school and their local Koorie Community to work together in partnership to improve educational outcomes for Koorie students. The Agreement is negotiated over a period of time, between Koorie parents, the school and the local Koorie Community. It sets out the respective responsibilities of each party and the ways in which they will work together to create a culture of high expectations for Koorie children, and support improvements in their engagement, wellbeing and educational outcomes.

Both launches at Reservoir High School and Swan Hill Primary School were attended by Koorie students, parents and community members, school staff including members the Koorie Education Workforce, Ministers and local MP’s, as well as VAEAI and DEECD representatives.

School-Community Partnership Agreements connect schools, parents, and the Koorie Community through Local Aboriginal Education Consultative Groups (LAECGs) to form a relationship based on shared goals. The goals are then used as a basis for ongoing discussions between the Community and school about the progress and wellbeing of Koorie students.

Formalising the relationship between the school and the local Koorie Community is a pledge to working together for a common purpose, in a meaningful way. As partners, the school and Community agree to create a culturally inclusive environment, to meet regularly with parents and caregivers for information sharing and access, and to openly discuss and negotiate programs, projects and issues relating to the education of Koorie students.

The ultimate aim of a School-Community Partnership Agreement is to improve educational outcomes for Koorie students. School-Community Partnership Agreements also align with National and Victorian initiatives to improve the education outcomes for Koorie students, under the Victorian Wannik Strategy (2008) and the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education Action Plan (2010-2014).
In 2012, VAEAI will be brokering several more School-Community Partnership Agreements between schools and their local Koorie community, as well as continuing to support the existing partnerships.

VAEAI encourages all schools wanting to work collaboratively with their local Koorie Community to create a culture of high expectations for Koorie students to enter into a School-Community Partnership Agreement. You can read more about the KPaCE program and how to develop a School-Community Partnership Agreements here . Please contact VAEAI for more information.