November 9: School Governance weekly school wrap

AUSTRALIA

Woman charged over deaths of two children in Sydney school crash

ABC News reported about a 52-year-old woman who crashed her car into a Sydney primary school classroom, killing two eight-year-old boys. The woman has been charged with dangerous driving occasioning death and negligent driving.  Two eight-year-old girls were taken to Westmead Hospital in a stable condition and one nine-year-old girl was taken to hospital in a serious condition. NSW Police will investigate the accident to determine whether there were any mechanical faults with the vehicle or any other influencing factors.

HSC student allegedly caught live streaming exam on Facebook

The Sydney Morning Herald reported about a HSC student who is under investigation after he was caught live streaming his HSC exam on Facebook. The NSW Educations Standards Authority (NESA), which organises the HSC exams, received information that a student witnessed a live stream of another student taking an exam.  NESA is currently investigating the matter.

Perth primary school volunteer charged over historic sex abuse of eight-year-old girl

According to WA Today, a man who volunteered at a primary school north of Perth and allegedly sexually assaulted an eight-year-old girl more than 10 years ago, has been charged with three counts of indecent dealing with a child under 13.  The man has also been charged with possessing child exploitation material, after WA Police raided the man’s home.  The accused is due to face court next week.

Teaching students’ high school marks are dropping, but universities say it doesn’t matter

ABC News wrote about how ATAR scores for teaching degrees are dropping.  The average ATAR score to get into a teaching degree is 70. The number of teaching students who scored an ATAR lower than 70 has surged over the last decade, going from 25 per cent to 42 per cent in 2015.  Tanya Plibersek, Labor education spokesperson, says that standards and ATAR should both be higher.  However, Professor Tania Aspland, from the Australian Catholic University and President of the Australian Council of Deans of Education disagrees with the push to lift ATAR scores.

Some of the teachers who took $50,000 “burnout bonuses” to quit public schools will not be replaced

According to The Advertiser, dozens of older teachers who have been granted $50,000 “burnout bonuses” to quit will not be directly replaced by other teachers in the schools they are leaving.  The SA Government scheme, officially called a “teacher renewal program”, was designed to replace teachers who had lost their love for the profession with younger, passionate ones.  It was revealed in July 2017 that 179 teachers had been approved for their exit, despite originally being capped at 100, blowing the budget out by millions.


INTERNATIONAL

UK: Graduate teacher reveals why he quit profession in tears after just one term teaching eight-year-olds

Mirror reported about how a newly qualified graduate teacher quit the profession due to workload and pressure of teaching. The graduate found himself using his lunch times to catch up on work instead of socialising with other teachers and felt as though he was isolated by the other teachers. The Secretary of the National Education Union recognised that there is a deepening crisis, and with the number of teachers leaving the profession growing, the pressure is mounting on the whole UK education system.

USA:  Teacher arrested, fired after biting two-year-old’s face, police say

Fox News wrote about a teacher being fired after she bit a two-year-old boy on the face. The mother noticed a bite mark on her son’s right cheek when she picked her son up from school.  The teacher initially told investigators that she “left the mark on the child when her mouth accidentally hit his face.” Later, the teacher admitted that she bit the boy because she was frustrated with his behaviour.

USA: Man killed, teacher freed in California school standoff

ABC News reported about staff and students being safely evacuated after a disturbance involving a disgruntled parent barricading himself in a classroom and holding a teacher hostage.  Police says that the suspect was shot and pronounced dead at the hospital.  According to Police, the incident started just before noon when the suspect stormed into the school and punched a substitute teacher and broke his nose, before taking the teacher hostage.

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