National Apology to Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse Made by Federal Government

On 22 October 2018, the Prime Minister apologised on behalf of the Federal Government to all survivors of child sexual abuse. The Federal Government and each state and territory have all accepted, or accepted in principle, the vast majority of the recommendations suggested by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse (Royal Commission). The National Apology recognised that, after the investigations of the Royal Commission, not only particular institutions, but society as a whole, failed children and that everyone, including schools, needs to do better to protect the children under their care.

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Child Safety Curriculums (Part One): Schools Face Curriculum Compliance Issues Relating to Child Abuse Prevention and Respectful Relationships

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse recommended that child abuse prevention education should be made mandatory for schools, integrated into existing school curriculums and linked with related areas such as respectful relationships education and sexuality education. However, the manner in which the Australian Curriculum – including the prominence of concepts of child safety and respectful relationships – is implemented varies between jurisdictions.

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October 25: School Governance Weekly Wrap

AUSTRALIA Ombudsman Reveals Failings in the Australian Capital Territory’s Response to Reportable Conduct According to The Age, a teacher accused of inappropriate behaviour towards a student sparked the first investigation by the ACT Ombudsman into the territory’s reportable conduct scheme. While ACT Policing did not press criminal charges, ombudsman Michael Manthorpe said the case had revealed […]

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Children with AD/HD: Best Practices for Promoting Positive Behaviour

October is AD/HD Awareness Month in Australia. The mission of AD/HD Awareness Month is to educate the public about AD/HD by disseminating reliable information based on research and scientific evidence. This year, the theme is “Setting the record straight”. In order to help School Governance set the record straight on AD/HD, ADHD Australia outlines the best practices for teachers and schools in promoting positive behaviour in their students.

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World Mental Health Day (Part Two): Self-harm Explained

World Mental Health Day (10 October 2018) was a worldwide initiative dedicated to global mental health education, awareness and advocacy. This year’s theme, “Do you see what I see?” challenged perceptions about mental illness in Australia and encouraged everyone to look at mental health in a more positive light, in an effort to reduce stigma and make way for more people to seek the help and support they deserve. Part One encouraged teachers and students to look at mental health in their schools, and headspace outlined common indicators of self-harm in schools. Part Two explains the self-harm cycle and how teachers and schools can respond.

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World Mental Health Day (Part One): Self-harm Explained

World Mental Health Day (10 October 2018) is a worldwide initiative dedicated to global mental health education, awareness and advocacy. This year’s theme, “Do you see what I see?” challenges perceptions about mental illness in Australia and encourages everyone to look at mental health in a more positive light, in an effort to reduce stigma and make way for more people to seek the help and support they deserve.

Part One encourages teachers and students to look at mental health in their schools, and headspace has outlined common indicators of self-harm in schools.

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Governance of a School: Misuse, Mismanagement and Funding

A recent Ombudsman review of a Victorian public school, based on three protected disclosures, investigated allegations of nepotism, conflicts of interest and financial mismanagement. The Australian Charities and Not-for-Profits Commission, also released its final report on the effectiveness of the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission legislation, concluding that public expectations of the not-for-profit and charity sector were of transparency, accountability and good governance. What both of these reports have in common is an expectation for schools, as not-for-profit organisations and/or charities, to prioritise good governance and minimise conflicts or perceived conflicts of interest within the management of their school.

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