Educators in schools across Australia will have to start planning now to cope with the influx of new students and students from overseas, according to the head of the Association of School Principals.
Education groups will also need to work together to plan a strategy to respond to the growth of ‘child education’ clubs, the head at the Australian Council for Child Education said.
As children travel overseas, their parents are becoming more concerned about their health and wellbeing, said Ms Ann Jones.
“Schools have become centres for child wellbeing, and they need to become more effective at helping parents get on top of that,” she said.
“Parents need to be more engaged in managing their child’s travel arrangements and make sure they understand where the schools are and how to best get to the schools.”
Children attending children’s homes in Queensland, Victoria and NSW will have a greater responsibility for managing the health and well-being of their children, Ms Jones said.
“If a parent is at home with their child, they need a clear plan for managing their health, their wellbeing and their child.”
She said schools needed to ensure they were aware of the changing needs of the Australian population, including the changing lifestyles of children in their homes.
She recommended that schools and parents have more common understanding of the health needs of children.
A recent survey of parents and teachers in Australia’s primary and secondary schools found that there were increasing concerns about children’s health and safety in their schools.
Ms Jones said many teachers, principals and parents in these schools were not well-versed in health and welfare issues and were not prepared to support their staff in a health and behaviour management role.
There was a lack of communication between school staff and the principal, she said, and there was a “disillusionment” among some parents.
The Association of Child Education Principality is a registered charity that is working with more than 2,000 schools to develop a strategy for the education of children overseas.