March 1: School Governance Weekly Wrap

AUSTRALIA

Can in-house lawyers in schools solve complex social problems?

The Lawyers Weekly wrote about a lawyer who is part of an innovative project to offer legal advice and education to school students.  Employed by a Community Legal Centre (CLC) in Melbourne’s western suburbs, the practitioner is the first “school lawyer” to provide assistance to students. The lawyer is due to headline a CLC master class to be held in Brisbane next month.

The southeast Queensland schools where most kids get kicked out

According to The Courier Mail, the Queensland Department of Education has released new data revealing a record 978 expulsions and suspensions were recorded at government high schools in the state’s southeast.  The top 20 worst government schools across the southeast of Queensland recorded a total of 9963 suspensions between them.

Controversial child sex abuse legal tactic to be struck out

The Age wrote a controversial legal tactic that prevents survivors of child sexual abuse from suing the Catholic church and how it may be invalidated by sweeping legislative changes planned by the Victorian Government.  The confidential bill addresses several outstanding recommendations from the state’s 2013 Betrayal of Trust inquiry. The bill is due to be introduced into Parliament this year. Australia is the only common law nation to allows religious institutions to hold such an immunity.

Private school pupils outclassed in VCE results, study shows

According to the Herald Sun, government school students achieve better VCE results than their non-government school counterparts.  A Monash University researcher, David Zyngier, said that “the claim that private schools outperform public schools is a myth.” Mr Zyngier further stated that: “Public schools in almost every instance are equal to or better than private schools.”

INTERNATIONAL

New Zealand: Teacher shortage a ‘ticking time bomb’ Government says

The New Zealand Herald wrote about the New Zealand Government claims that the number of people who are training to be teachers dropped 40 per cent in the last six years, causing a teacher shortage.  Figures released showed that the number of people training to be teachers dropped from 14,585 to 8895.  Education Minister Chris Hipkins said that New Zealand is facing a “ticking time bomb” as boomer-aged teachers prepare to retire.

Canada: Teacher jailed for 6 years over student sexual abuse

The Otago Daily Times reported about a former music teacher who has been sentenced to six years in prison for sexually abusing a student over four years.   The teacher was found guilty of five charges of committing an indecent act on a boy and one charge of sodomy. The incidents occurred between 1974 of 1978 when the victim was boarding at the school. The sexual abuse allegedly occurred at the teacher’s office and at the teacher’s home.

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