School pay for parents floated

PARENTS should be trained to fulfil school organisation roles and be compensated for their time, the peak body representing Tasmanian school organisations has said.

Increasing parent engagement in schools is one of seven policies on the election wish-list for the Tasmanian Association of State School Organisations, formerly Parents and Friends.

Association president Jen Eddington said changing demographics meant there were less parents who were able to give their time to a school, and those who could often did not have the skills or confidence to sit on the board of the school association.

Mrs Eddington said parents should be compensated for out- of-pocket expenses when they have to miss work to fill a volunteer role at their child's school.

"If we are unable to move in some direction for some sort of funding, we simply will exhaust the supply of people who are able to put their hand up," she said.

The association is calling for funding to train parents for a "Parents engaged as partners" initiative, which Mrs Eddington estimated would cost more than $100,000.

Other election priorities include asking all parties promise to deliver the the original six- year commitment to the Gonski funding "whatever it takes'.' The funding program was reduced to four years by the federal government.

It is also requesting an "evidence-based approach" to disability funding, echoing a call made by the Tasmanian Disability Education Reform Lobby yesterday, and a review of the student transport system.

Mrs Eddington said the association still did not support the Liberals' policy of extending all Tasmanian high schools to year 12, arguing that extending high schools in urban areas threatened the college system.

The election wish-list will be sent to all political parties today.

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