September 20: School Governance Weekly Wrap

AUSTRALIA Australia facing an “epidemic of child abuse and neglect”, according to experts According to ABC News, South Australia’s Department for Child Protection has opened its doors to the University of South Australia’s child protection experts, allowing them access to abuse notifications for the first time. What seasoned researchers like Fiona Arney found as they dug […]

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Public Information (Part One): Are Schools Keeping their Communities in the Dark?

This is the first part of a two-part series exploring the kinds of information schools must and should make publicly available. Part One focuses on schools’ key legal obligations in this area, which are expanding due to increased focus on transparency. Part Two will focus on the key issues faced by schools when determining what to publish, and proposes some practical solutions.

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Mobile Devices in Schools: Is Banning Connected Devices the Key?

The New South Wales Education Department will look to a French schoolyard ban on connected devices as it considers age restrictions­ on smart phones, iPads and even digital watches in the classroom, as part of a landmark review. But, despite incidences of distraction in the classroom, social isolation and cyber bullying, experts have said that mobile phones can also play a part in supporting the digital literacy of students in schools, not to mention their health and welfare outside the classroom.

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Whistleblower Protections: Complementary to a Child Safe Culture

Whistleblower protections in a school can be the first of many steps that are complementary to creating a child safe culture. While mandatory reporting of child abuse is mandated by law in all Australian jurisdictions, schools with a formal whistleblower policy or program can also create the cultural change required to keep children safe, with an environment that encourages and welcomes staff to make disclosures about any kind of inappropriate behaviour.

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September 13: School Governance Weekly Wrap

AUSTRALIA New advocate for Western Australian high school principals sends a clear message to badly behaved parents ABC News has reported that the new spokesman for WA’s public high school principals has a simple message for parents behaving badly at schools “Stop treating schools like they’re the enemy and start working with them.” Armando Giglia is […]

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Catholic Church Responds to Royal Commission: National Standards and Addressing Celibacy, Conviction and Confession

Almost nine months after the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse (Royal Commission) handed down its findings, the Catholic Church has delivered its formal reply. Of particular interest is the response of the Australian Catholic Bishops’ Conference (ACBC) and Catholic Religious Australia (CRA) to the Royal Commission recommendations addressing celibacy, convictions for child sexual abuse and the sacrament of confession.

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Child Safe Frameworks Get More Complicated Post Royal Commission: It’s Time to Take Action Now

Since the release of the Royal Commission’s final report, there was hope for a more unified and perhaps national approach to child safety and child safe standards frameworks. This will most likely occur in the future, however, in the short term, the multitude of frameworks and standards/principles is only becoming more complex.

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