The Religious Freedoms Review and what it means for religious schools

The Religious Freedoms Review was established in the lead up to the 2017 same sex marriage vote by the Prime Minister to ensure that any reforms to protect religious freedom at large should be undertaken carefully. The same sex vote drew attention to other areas of the law which have attracted controversy. Now, religious education authorities are speaking out about wanting to protect their religious freedoms so they can still hire and fire staff based on their religious or political views. There are also calls for religious authorities to have the right to select students, based on their religious beliefs. The Review’s findings are due at the end of March.

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Changes to ACT Child Protection: Reportable Conduct Scheme and New Grooming Offences

Prior to the conclusion of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse (Royal Commission) in December 2017, November was a flurry of regulatory activity in the Australian Capital Territory, with various changes to the Territory’s child protection system proposed and introduced. As other jurisdictions prepare themselves for responding to the Royal Commission’s Final Report, and the extent to which they will be taking the final recommendations into account, the ACT is under the spotlight as we consider the effectiveness of its attempts to pioneer reforms and expand its child protection system.

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A New School Year – A New Approach to Discipline?

At the start of a new school year schools may be confronted by students who have forgotten school rules and remain in ‘holiday mode’. While detentions, suspensions and expulsions are all necessary by-products of students’ misbehaviour, imposing a discipline policy is often a source of angst for all involved and affected. Common across all jurisdictions is the need for procedural fairness in the imposition of a form of discipline and the importance of encouraging positive student behaviour.

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