Some of you may have also seen reports in the papers regarding the NSW P&C Federation this week, and wondering what is going on and does it matter. In short the NSW Federation has been pretty much dysfunctional at the Executive level for a year or more with conflict, rival groups and generally bad behaviour. It got to the point that the Minister withheld their government money (they also raise funds through affiliations from school P&Cs like ours) until they got their act together. Turns out they haven’t got their act together and there are 2 separate groups claiming to run the Federation. In response to this complete circus the Minister is now planning to clear out the organisation and start again. There is more to it than that, but you get the drift.
The more important question is – does it matter to us? At the direct level the answer is pretty much no. We are affiliated to the Federation and this provides us with advice and support services, as well as the right to participate in the voting, debates etc. We also have our liability insurances through the federation. As far as we understand the situation, the services and the insurance are unaffected. We will, of course, keep an eye on this.
It is the governance structures and the executive committee that is not working. This means the Federation is not fulfilling its role of representing the parent voice in the education debate, DEC advisory groups and so on. This is what is frustrating the Minister, as it should, and should be of concern to all parents of children in the public system in NSW. At that level it does matter to us and we will add our voice to the growing demand for a swift resolution.
I recently received an email from David Hope President of the P&C Northern Sydney District Council which give s a detailed update on what is happening, with some good links for more information if you wish to pursue this further. The content of this email can be found here.
If you would like to know more, or discuss any of this please don’t hesitate to contact me via email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 0414918817. Bill Hawkins, P&C President.