Mudslides, Saws and Metal Slippery Dips: Should Schools Bring Risk Back into the Playground?

Studies show that risk-taking is key to a child’s development, which has caused a growing global movement seeking to introduce controlled risks into the playtime of children. But with the ever-present risk aversion when it comes to child injuries, and the growing compliance burden placed on educators, Australian schools may feel they are not in a position to introduce ‘risky playgrounds’.

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Students Sending Nudes: The Tension Between Online Offences, A Teacher’s Legal Duties and Reasonableness

Online offences are a challenging everyday issue for most teachers around Australia. In particular, sexting (or sending nudes, as it is more commonly referred to by students) has become an increasing problem as society normalises the practice while the law criminalises it in most circumstances for children. This creates a tension, forcing schools and teachers to navigate a fine line between complying with the law, upholding their duty of care and wanting to be reasonable in reporting an offence involving their students.

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New Draft Victorian Information Sharing Regulations – Supporting the Child Information Sharing Scheme

New draft Victorian Information Sharing Regulations (the Regulations) have been released to support the establishment of the Child Information Sharing (CIS) Scheme. The new CIS Scheme responds to recommendations from the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse (the Royal Commission), and supports the operation of the Children Legislation Amendment (Information Sharing) Act 2018 (the Act).

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May 24: School Governance Weekly Wrap

AUSTRALIA Need for alternative sentencing for child neglect in NSW According to the Illawarra Mercury, NSW has the weakest child neglect penalties in Australia, and, according to a University of Wollongong legal academic, NSW is the only jurisdiction in the country where these offences carried a fine-only penalty. In Queensland, South Australia, the ACT and Northern […]

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Boarding Standard AS 5725:2015 – Where are we up to?

Since the publication of AS 5725:2015 Boarding Standard for Australian schools and residences (AS 5725 or the Standard) back in 2015 the journey toward its adoption by boarding schools has been an interesting one. Many schools have grabbed the Standard with both hands, worked hard to ensure they had the required policies and procedures in place, […]

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Privacy Awareness Week: From Principles to Practice

May 13-19 is Privacy Awareness Week (PAW) and this year’s theme is ”from principles to practice”. The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) is encouraging Australian organisations ”to review and improve how they handle personal information to ensure they are transparent and accountable, in line with community expectations and legislative requirements.” 2018 has already seen some significant change with the introduction of the Notifiable Data Breach (NDB) Scheme in February and on 25 May the European Union’s (EU’s) General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) takes effect for all Australian businesses operating in the EU.

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May 17: School Governance Weekly Wrap

AUSTRALIA Teacher faces court over charges of indecently dealing with students at Northern Territory school According to the ABC News, a teacher accused of indecent dealings with four girls at a Northern Territory school considered himself “bulletproof” and “exploited his status” to develop inappropriate relationships with his young victims, the NT Supreme Court has heard. The […]

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New ASA Data Retention Schedule for Schools: Acknowledgement of Royal Commission Recommendations

The new ASA Records Retention and Disposal Schedule for Non-Government Schools (April 2018) (RRDS) builds upon the best practice guidance published in the first edition. But now, the RRDS also takes into account changes recommended by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse (Royal Commission), privacy law and notifiable data breaches and best practice risk management categories to create a longer, but more coherent standard for the management of school’s digital and paper records.

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Slavery alive and well in Australia: NSW Modern Slavery Bill set to pass

It has been reported that slavery has never been a bigger problem in Australia than it is right now. With the Modern Slavery Bill 2018 recently passing the NSW Legislative Council, NSW is set to be the first jurisdiction to legislate on modern slavery, requiring schools to adjust their curriculum offerings and train staff on the new concepts and criminal offences.

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