November 30: School Governance weekly school wrap

AUSTRALIA

Teachers offered extra pay to take on more students
The West Australian reported about how WA’s only selective school is offering teachers up to $500 cash in exchange for taking extra students above maximum class-size thresholds, causing anger among the teacher’s union.  Teachers can negotiate compensation for accepting larger classes above the limit of 32 students in years 7 to 10 or 25 in Years 11 and 12.  In a document circulated to staff at the school, it is not compulsory for teachers to take up the offer, but examples of negotiated compensation included trading off yard duty and accepting middle years for $300 for an extra student and $500 for senior years.  The school welcomes the teachers to negotiate for something else if the options available are not suitable.

Perth school sacks gay teacher
SBS reported about a Perth non-government school firing a gay teacher, sparking a debate about laws that allow religious schools to discriminate. The sacked teacher was removed from the roster after he told senior staff he was in a long-term relationship with a man.  The teacher said that he went to a wedding with his partner and students from the school were present, so he decided to be proactive and tell the school.

Tasmanian teachers’ union accused of staff bullying, anti-union behaviour by Australian Services Union
ABC News reported that the Australian Education Union (AEU) has been accused of bullying staff, acting in an anti-union fashion and creating a culture of mistrust. The ABC News has obtained a letter that was sent to about 50 AEU counsellors on behalf of staff.  The letter from the AEU has revealed questionable redundancies and the disregard of an existing agreement, while the union goes through a restructure.

Victoria’s flexible school programs plan to keep students in the classroom and off the streets
According to ABC News, Victorian authorities are rolling out new laws and flexible school programs to get teenagers off the street and make sure they remain out of court.  These changes are a response recognising that rehabilitation is the best way to re-engage troubled youth. This new program will see courts directly engaging with schools.  As of June 2018, magistrates will be able to hand out youth control orders, with mandatory requirements that youths attend school or training and engage in other rehabilitative services such as drug and alcohol counselling.

Former science teacher sentenced over child porn
The Sydney Morning Herald reported about a former high school science teacher avoiding imprisonment over two child pornography charges. The former science teacher was charged with using a carriage service to access child pornography and possessing child abuse material. He will serve 18 and 12 month sentences for imprisonment concurrently, served by way of intensive corrections order in the community.

Students bond with aged care residents by writing down their memoirs
ABC News reported about a program between a school and a nursing home to co-write the memoirs of elderly residents.  In the partnership between the school and the nursing home, nine year 10 students are paired with residents to document their lives as part of their English studies assessment.

 

INTERNATIONAL

China: Teacher arrested after abuse allegations at Beijing kindergarten
News.com.au reported about police in China arresting a 22-year-old woman suspected of abusing children at a Beijing kindergarten amid allegations toddlers were fed pills, jabbed with needles and forced to strip. Officers say that the teacher has been place on detention until police are finished with their investigation.  The Education Centre said that it was “extremely shocked and distressed” about the allegations.

USA: High school teacher showered student with gifts in exchange for sex
According to News.com.au, a New York high school teacher became a ‘sugar daddy’ after showering a high school student with gifts in exchange for sex. Investigators found out that the teacher hired her as an intern funded through the Department of Education.  Investigators also found that she offered sex to the teacher in exchange for money and also received gifts in exchange for sex.

USA: Teacher arrested after students say she used cocaine in classroom
USA Today wrote about how a high school teacher was arrested on drug charges after a student said they saw her using cocaine in the classroom.  One student said that the teacher was “in the corner, hiding with a chair and a book and what appears to be cocaine, putting it into lines.” The teacher will face charges of felony possession of a controlled substance and misdemeanour possession of drug paraphernalia.

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