Letter to ACT Chief Minister

Letter regarding ACT Education Directorate proposal about the Telopea Before and After School Care (BASC) program.

 

Andrew Barr MLA

Chief Minister

ACT Government

 

13 August 2019

 

Dear Chief Minister

 

We write to you with great concern about the new red-tape the ACT Education Directorate has proposed to apply to Mum and Dad volunteers at ACT schools.

 

The proposal has come with little warning and no consultation prior to announcement.

 

Our P&C will have but a few weeks to submit a tender to the ACT Government to continue to run its before and after school care program that we have successfully been running for a number of years.

 

This creates a big new regulatory burden on Mum and Dad volunteers and the centre staff. It means hundreds of hours will be diverted to writing a tender document, rather than focusing our effort on delivering an excellent service for children at the centre.

 

Moreover it creates uncertainty for the school community that we will lose an excellent program to be replaced by a cookie cutter service with children put in front of televisions. Our program not only provides before and after school care, but also extra-curricular activities such as coding, french language, sporting offerings and art that grow the minds and bodies of our young people. The program is also run at a profit that allows the P&C to contribute back tens of thousands of dollars each year to the school to undertake improvement works.

 

The tender process also provides uncertainty the before and after school centre staff and makes it difficult to hire. As a case in point the centre was about to advertise a vacancy for the before and after school care program but will need to put this on hold until we receive confirmation that the P&C has successfully been selected to run the program next year.

 

We request the ACT Government put on hold its proposed tender process for at least twelve months until it undertakes proper public consultation on whether a tender system is needed. We ask the the ACT Government provide school communities with sufficient time to engage with the consultation process. Should the ACT Government then decide it wishes to pursue a tender process, we request the ACT Government then undertake consultation on the appropriate form with a view to minimising the red-tape, and ensuring there is sufficient time to then submit tenders – not a few weeks.

 

Given we were only given a few weeks to submit our tender we ask for your urgent response and no later than Friday 16 August 2019.

 

This letter is copied to the ACT Education Minister and will be made public in the interests of transparency.

 

Regards

 

Trish Roudnew

President

P&C Association

Telopea Park School