Media Releases

APPA welcomes the Alice Springs (Mparntwe) Education Declaration

16th December 2019

The Australian Primary Principals Association joins others in welcoming the Alice Springs (Mparntwe) Education Declaration.

In commenting on the Declaration, APPA President, Malcolm Elliott, said the fourth declaration of Education Goals for Young Australians represented a significant challenge for systems, learners and Australian society.

“The first goal recognises excellence and equity as pillars of a successful system. This goal’s stated commitment to inclusivity, diversity, encouragement and support is really a call to society as well as to our schools.

“A societal attitude of commitment to support and encourage learning is essential. This is strongly voiced in this declaration.

“The ‘Commitment to Action’ is comprehensive. It presents a sense of a narrative of education throughout life and for all people.

“It also represents a sense of the crucial importance of the early and primary years of education and the necessity of support for and by families in nurturing a love of learning.”

APPA looks forward to supporting ongoing work on the implementation of this Declaration.

“Our schools have been working on these goals for decades. This is a declaration of challenge for our society,” Mr. Elliott said.


Education Council

10th December 2019

Changes to curriculum and teaching need a primary edge.

Education Ministers attending this week’s Education Council meeting would do well to bring a ‘primary school perspective’ to their curriculum and other discussions, says Malcolm Elliott, president of the Australian Primary Principals Association (APPA).


World Teachers' Day

24th October 2019

Primary principals recognise the vital work of teachers.
Tomorrow across Australia, World Teachers’ Day is being celebrated. The day is a great opportunity for the whole community to recognise and appreciate teachers for the vital role they play in shaping the next generation.


Minister’s Primary Principals Day Media Release

2nd August 2019


Minister for Education, Dan Tehan, says today is Australian Primary Principals Day and we pay tribute to all principals for the contribution they make to our children’s education and our communities. There are more than 7,000 principals working across our state, Catholic and Independent primary schools. The passion, commitment and experience of our principals and teachers are at the heart of successful school communities. Our students and their families rely on school principals to inspire and support them to reach their full potential.


2019 Australian Primary Principals Day

29th July 2019

Shining a light on school leaders
This Friday (2nd August) gives communities across the country the chance to recognise and thank our primary principals. Australian Primary Principals Day, originally an initiative of the Victorian Principals Association, moves national in 2019.


NAPLAN Testing

17th May 2019

Ongoing problems with NAPLAN see principals question its reliability


Federal Election Key Messages

12th April 2019

2019 Federal Election Key Messages of the Australian Primary Principals Association (APPA).

The Key Messages are APPA’s essential priorities for primary school principals across Australia.


Report highlights serious challenges facing principals

27th Feb 2019

Today’s release of the 2018 Report of the Australian Principal Occupational Health, Safety and Wellbeing Survey, the eighth in the series, highlights the challenges faced each day by principals across the country.

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Labor announcement of National Principals’ Academy

20th Feb 2019

Today’s announcement by Labor of a National Principals’ Academy recognises the complexity of school leadership and the critical role principals have in student achievement and success.


APPA welcomes the Hon Dan Tehan to the education portfolio

27th August 2018

In welcoming Mr Tehan, APPA paid tribute to the departing Minister, Senator the Hon Simon Birmingham, for his work across a wide range of areas in school education.


Selecting the best people for teaching

Tuesday, 14th August 2018

Following recent media coverage around entry standards into teaching, APPA President, Dennis Yarrington, was able to refer to work undertaken by APPA in recent years in sending out a media release today.


2019 APPA President Announcement


The Australian Primary Principals Association (APPA) announced today that Tasmanian principal, Malcolm Elliott, would become its new president from January 2019. Mr Elliott replaces Dennis Yarrington, who will retire after leading the association over the past four years.



Review of NAPLAN makes good sense

The Australian Primary Principals Association is supportive of growing calls to review NAPLAN. This is particularly so in light of the recent Through Growth to Achievement Report highlighting the role of assessment in tailoring teaching and personalising learning.


National School Chaplaincy Programme

10th May 2018

The Australian Primary Principals Association (APPA) welcomes the Federal Budget announcement that the Government is renewing the National School Chaplaincy Programme for a further four years.


Through Growth to Achievement Report

30th April 2018

Many of the recommendations in the report align with the themes presented in APPA’s submission to the panel.


APPA media release on NAPLAN results

14 December 2017

Please find attached APPA's recent media release on the 2017 NAPLAN results.


APPA celebrates PIRLS results

7 December 2017

APPA's recent media release in relation to the Progress in International Reading Literacy Study can be found here.


APPA welcomes Commonwealth Government's commitment to needs-based funding

May 2 2017

APPA's position on the recently-announced school funding arrangement can be found here.


National Year One check offers a valuable opportunity

January 30 2017

APPA welcomes the opportunity provided by the Federal Education Minister’s announcement of an advisory panel to develop an evidence­‐based literacy and numeracy check in Year One. APPA President Dennis Yarrington commented on the importance of the early years at school, saying that "Principals and teachers know that literacy and numeracy competency is fundamental to young children achieving at school and beyond."

Mr Yarrington went on to say that APPA was well placed to provide input to the panel's deliberations, having worked on the Principals as Literacy Leaders (PALL) project.


APPA's response to NAPLAN 2016

December 13 2016

The release yesterday of the NAPLAN 2016 National Report highlights the need for all involved in education to work together to focus on quality schooling. APPA President Dennis Yarrington commented that "in these closing weeks of school, primary principals and teachers should work together in reflecting on the year, identifying areas of need, building upon their successes and setting in place their plans for 2017."


APPA welcomes the reappointment of Senator Simon Birmingham as Minister for Education

July 19 2016

APPA has congratulated Senator Simon Birmingham on his reappointment as Minister for Education. President Dennis Yarrington said that APPA sees the Minister's reappointment "as offering effective and long-term stability at a national level" and looks forward to working together in future.


APPA reinforces key election messages

June 30 2016

The attached media release comes in the closing stages of the campaign so that the incoming government knows what principals see as important in Australia achieving the very best school education system. APPA's key messages highlight that, in an increasingly complex and interwoven world, principals are in the position to provide the reality check needed with policy and effective policy implementation.


APPA welcomes focus on quality teaching and school leadership

June 16 2016

APPA supports the commitment to quality classroom teaching and higher teacher education standards from both major parties. APPA President, Dennis Yarrington, said this was a welcome and much needed development if Australians genuinely want their children to gain the most from their education.


APPA's response to "Quality Schools, Quality Outcomes"

May 3 2016

This media release highlights APPA’s response to a number of the proposals announced in the Coalition’s school education plan “Quality Schools, Quality Outcomes”.


APPA welcomes Greens disability education funding statement

April 29 2016

APPA welcomes the recent policy statement by The Greens on Disability Funding for Schools. Schools struggle to meet the diverse needs of students with disabilities without adequate resources and training. This is why APPA supports disability funding that is transparent, targeted at need, and sector blind. Read the media release here.


APPA welcomes Labor education funding committment

January 29 2016

APPA’s media release welcomes the Opposition’s announcement that the Labor Party has fully committed to the funding arrangements proposed in the Review of Funding for Schooling (‘Gonski’ Review). Principals would know that APPA has long held the position that our schools must have the staff and physical resources to meet the needs of children from all backgrounds and every circumstance.


Principals say primary schools are key to our nation’s future

11 November 2015

The Australian Primary Principals Association (APPA) launched its Charter for Primary Schooling in Parliament House, Canberra on 10 November in front of a large number of parliamentarians from both Houses and members of the APPA National Advisory Council.

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APPA congratulates Prime Minister’s Primary School Science Prize recipient

21 October 2015

APPA congratulates Rebecca Johnson of Queensland’s Windaroo State School who was announced today as this year’s recipient of the $50,000 Prime Minister’s Prize for Excellence in Science Teaching in Primary Schools.


APPA says flexibility helps meet the challenge of a national curriculum

23rd September 2015

The Australian Primary Principals Association (APPA) has welcomed the recent Education Council Communiqué endorsing changes to the Australian Curriculum. APPA President, Dennis Yarrington, said that, after many years and wide consultation, we now have a national curriculum that provides the content in the eight learning areas but also allows for schools to be flexible in deciding how the curriculum is taught. Mr Yarrington said, "APPA has always recognised that managing the Australian Curriculum in the primary school classroom requires flexibility so that it is responsive to school context and also meets the varying needs of students".


APPA welcomes Senator Birmingham as Minister for Education

21st September 2015

We today welcomed the appointment of Senator Simon Birmingham as Minister for Education and look forward to working with the Minister for the benefit of Australian students, our schools and school communities.


Education the key to achieving our nation’s ‘great potential’

17th September 2015

Primary school principals have long recognised the scope of talent that lies within each 
child and across every classroom. The new Prime Minister’s statement that ‘we are a very 
strong country with great potential’ receives our full support.


APPA Forum: Principals have a critical role in teacher education

15th September 2015

As the Australian Primary Principals Association’s National Conference gets underway in Hobart this week APPA president, Dennis Yarrington, reinforced the importance of the quality of teaching in the classroom. 


Time to work together on Digital Technologies say primary principals

29th May 2015

APPA calls for collaboration and a national strategy that will support primary schools to integrate digital technologies into the currriculum.


Primary principals welcome 2016-2017 preschool funding certainty

5th May 2015

APPA has welcomed the Governement's decision to extend funding for preschool programmes into 2016-2017. The announcement is timely given many schools are in the process of preparing information packages for the 2016 school year.


Primary school students rallying to support families in Nepal

28th April 2015

APPA is lending its support to the Nepal Earthquake Appeal launched by KidsGive, the SchoolAid-inspired crowdfunding platform for primary-aged children.


Primary Principals welcome Teacher Education recommendations

13th February 2015

APPA welcomed the Teacher Education Ministerial Advisory Group's Action Now: Classroom Ready Teachers report and the Government's support of its recommendations. The report confirmed the views of principals that action is needed to ensure every graduate entering the teaching profession in Australia is classroom ready.


Teacher quality crucial for student achievement

17th December 2014

APPA has called for higher ATAR score requirements and a more rigorous and reliable selection process for those wishing to become teachers.


New leadership for Australian Primary School Principals

4th November 2014

At its national conference in Sydney APPA announced that ACT principal Dennis Yarrington would become its new president from January 2015.


Australian Primary School Principals gather in Sydney to 'create the future together'

22nd October 2014

Over 800 primary school principals from Government, Catholic and Independent schools from all states and territories gathered in Sydney for the annual APPA National Conference.


Primary principals welcome recommendations on overcrowded curriculum

13th October 2014

APPA welcomes the Review of the Australian Curriculum recommendations aimed at addressing overcrowding in the Australian Curriculum.


Primary principals argue for NAPLAN to be removed from My School

11th September 2014

APPA released a discussion paper arguing for NAPLAN data to be removed from the My School website. In drawing attention to the problems that arise from the data's publication on My School, the discussion paper highlights that NAPLAN has shifted into a high stakes environment with significant negative consequences for students, teachers and school communities.


Primary principals welcome preschool certainty

5th September 2014

APPA has welcomed the Commonwealth Government's decision to maintain 15 hours of preschool per week for 4 year old Australian children over the coming year.