February 1: School Governance Weekly Wrap
NSW Government launches pop-up school at Ultimo, and reveals plans for more
ABC News reported how the NSW Government unveiled a 14 classroom “pop-up school” situated at a greyhound track, which will house 360 students from Ultimo Public School for the next two years. This is a temporary solution while the Ultimo Public School is being redeveloped. The pop-up school was constructed over seven months which includes a library, canteen and outdoor play area for students. The NSW Education Minister said the Government is planning to build or redevelop more than 120 schools and more pop-up schools are a possibility.
Adelaide teacher ‘betrayed trust’ by taking explicit photos of students, court hears
ABC News reported that the Adelaide District Court heard of a teacher who took explicit photos of students and viewed inappropriate material on a school computer. Police searched the teacher’s home after the school’s IT department found he had viewed child exploitation material on a work computer. Detectives found 1,758 images on his phone, computer and other devices which constituted child exploitation material.
NSW teacher guilty of sex with student can give birth in jail
The Sydney Morning Herald wrote about how the NSW District Court heard that a pregnant woman should receive a full-time jail term for having sex with a teenage student when she taught at a Sydney non-government school. Prosecutors submitted that the woman’s pregnancy, the birth of her child and any specialised needs the baby may require after the birth can be well handled while the defendant is in custody. The former teacher pleaded guilty to five counts of sexual intercourse with a person under her care over three months in 2016 while working at a Sydney non-government school. The teacher is due to be sentenced on 2 February 2018.
NSW Education’s fitness overhaul for students
According to The Daily Telegraph, physical education in NSW schools is being radically overhauled to combat inactivity and obesity. This plan includes providing classrooms with scales, asking schools to consider putting fitness levels in report cards and even splitting classes into single-sex groups to encourage self-conscious pupils to get active. This move comes after a NSW Health report on the new program notes that studies have found that teachers can waste 30 per cent of physical education classes on administration tasks.
Businesses unprepared for new data breach notification laws
The Financial Review wrote how thousands of Australian small businesses remain unprepared for the introduction of new mandatory reporting laws that come into effect in February, requiring them to publicly disclose if their customers’ data is breached by hackers or technology problems. Under the new laws, eligible breaches are those in which there is unauthorised access, disclosure or loss of personal information held by an entity and that access, disclosure or loss is likely to result in “serious harm to any of the individuals to whom the information relates.” Businesses who fail to report breaches could face a large financial penalty for non-compliance.
Former Jewish girls’ school principal evades extradition hearings
ABC News reported about an Israeli former principal of an ultra-orthodox Jewish girls’ school in Melbourne wanted by Victoria Police on 74 charges of child sexual abuse, that has again successfully claimed mental incompetence to Israeli authorities and will avoid extradition hearings for another six months. The former principal avoided extradition back to Australia after a psychiatrist review board in Israel determined she was too unwell to face extradition. For the last three years, the former principal has evaded extradition by claiming she suffers from panic attacks and anxiety.
Remote Territory school teacher resigns after fearing her accommodation would be ransacked
According to NT News, a teacher in a remote NT community has quit her job due to ongoing fears of break-ins at her staff accommodation. The teacher, who wishes to remain anonymous, was employed at a community education centre but decided to resign at the end of last year due to the constant break-ins and lack of action from the NT Education Department. During the four-week holiday period in September 2017, the NT Education Department employed a security guard and a dog to protect teachers’ houses, but the security guard was not employed for the entirety of the Christmas school holidays. NT Police said they had 12 reported break-ins in the community since school holidays commenced on 15 December 2017.
US: High school student charged with molesting 17 children
The Dayton Daily News reported on a high school student who was charged with molesting 17 children between the ages of 3 and 7, while working at a YMCA and an elementary school. The student was originally charged with two counts of felony molestation in October 2017, but after those charges were filed more victims came forward.
US: Kentucky school shooting leaves two students dead, 17 injured
ABC News reported about a 15-year-old student who opened fire with a handgun inside his rural Kentucky high school, killing two classmates, injuring 17 others and sending hundreds fleeing for safety. Police were seen leading the shooter away in handcuffs after the attack at the school. Kentucky Police said the shooter will be charged with murder and attempted murder. This is the US’s first fatal shooting for 2018.