18th February 2020
Police Veterans in Schools Program
To All Victorian Primary School Principals
It has come to our attention that you may have received a letter recently from Victoria Police Chief Commissioner Graham Ashton.
Mr Ashton’s letter concerns the joint venture between a number of Victorian primary schools and the Community Advocacy Alliance Inc. (CAA). That joint venture is the ‘Police Veterans in Schools Program’ (PVISP).
Mr Ashton has sought to distance himself from the PVISP. He has said a number of things about what Victoria Police are apparently doing with schools.
The school principals, teachers and other education professionals with whom we speak tell us a very different story. They say that the service required or expected from Victoria Police is simply not being delivered. That is why we have established the PVISP.
Views expressed to us by educators in both public and private sectors include:
- Current activities by police around schools are, at best, ad hoc and spasmodic in nature;
- There is no consistent program underpinning those activities;
- The goals that are meant to underpin such activities are either not clear or are non-existent;
- There is little or no effort to integrate police activities within the current school curriculum;
- There is little or no effort by police to assist schools in delivering quality education or contributing to the development and enrichment of students;
- No effort has been made by senior management within Victoria Police to engage with the grassroots needs of schools or their students;
- The Respect the Badge program is patronising and ‘police-centrique’, rather than focusing on student needs and goals; and
- Police activities lack continuity, dictated by local police priorities and are subject to cancellation at short notice making planning problematic.
- There is little if any opportunity for the school to have input into the Police interaction to service the school needs, but must accept what the Police dictate.
The PVISP curriculum and lesson plans have been designed by an educator who is currently teaching in grade four, our target group He also happens to be a police veteran. He is assisted by a cadre of retired police from across the rank and experience spectrums who cumulatively represent over 400 years of policing experience and who maintain links into Victoria Police. Those links ensure that the curriculum will always be current and up-to-date. We also have legal advice on tap to ensure that material we deliver accords with current legislation.
The PVISP is a worthwhile initiative delivered by a registered charitable association, the CAA. It does not supplant any similar government program, any more than private schools supplant the public education systems. Lesson plans and curriculum are available on request.
Australian Principals Federation national president Julie Podbury said police in schools programs were a benefit for children.
“Anywhere where we have police in schools is a plus … and it’s a damn good investment, whether they’re retired or serving,” she said……..Herald Sun 17th February 2020
If you would like any further information or you would like one of our team to contact you, o register the interest of your school in this program, please use the portal available at www.caainc.org.au
Kelvin (Kel) Glare AO
Chief Commissioner Victoria Police Retired.
The Community Advocacy Alliance Inc.