Students on Bastow Institute Stakeholder Panel

Do current school structures allow for student potential to be unlocked?

Maxine McKew and Bruce Armstrong with VicSRC Executive Students

April 15th was a very eventful day for me and another VicSRC executive and for Krista, our coordinator. In the morning we presented to the with the DEECD board of Education and in the afternoon we spoke on a Bastow's Principal Preparation Program - Stakeholder panel.

The panel was held by the Bastow Institute of Educational Leadership, for aspiring principals and was hosted by Maxine McKew. It revolved around the question “Do current school structures allow for students’ potential to be unlocked?” The panel included two Victorian Student Representative (VicSRC) Executives (Margaret and Qais), a representative from Parents Victoria (Gail McHardy), Principals (Peter Corkill and Esme Capp), an Entrepreneur (Adam Smith) and a system improvement expert (Wayne Craig).

It was an interesting night, and began with Bruce Armstrong opening up the panel on the topic of what prohibits students’ potential. Many things were discussed such as how the lack of funding stops students from achieving higher and what testing does to students.  Adam Smith said that “there is a perception in schools that if it’s not funded then it is not possible. Let’s just take a look at online funding opportunties like Pozible and the potential in Education.”

It was also noted that the leaders and teachers of education need to engage more with students and the Bastow Institute was applauded for invited students onto the panel.

A member of parents Victoria, Gail McHardy stated that “If we take parents on the journey and effectively communicate, you will build your school community”.

The two student representatives, Qais and I, spoke about peer to peer learning, online education platforms and ongoing integrated assessment.  We talked about the everyday difficulties that we as students faced at school and what was challenging in terms of unlocking our potential.

The panel concluded with many questions from the aspiring principals. I was very surprised to hear the views of principals on such topics of education. It was an amazing opportunity and I thank the Bastow Institute for inviting the Victorian Student Representative Council to attend the event.

By Margaret Tran

VicSRC Executive Member

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