States

NSW

The ten commandments of good governance

Due to the constant pace of legal and regulatory reform at state, territory and federal levels in Australia (which shows no sign of abating!) schools can be forgiven for remembering 2017 as the year of legal compliance. The often confusing statutory drafting by different parliaments causes headaches not only for lawyers but for other organisations […]

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Information Sharing and Schools: Part 2 – Teacher Obligations with Child Protection

This is the second article in a three-part series on the expanding issue of information sharing and how it relates to the schools system. In this series, Kieran Seed and Lauren Osbich consider the past and future development of information sharing regimes, particularly in the context of child protection and how schools can gain a […]

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Queensland

Tragic events lead to industrial manslaughter laws in Queensland

In October 2016, the Queensland Government declared an independent Best Practice Review of Work Health and Safety in Queensland to assess the State’s work health and safety laws.  This was in response to the deaths of four visitors to Dreamworld and two deaths of workers at Eagle Farm Racecourse redevelopment.  These tragic accidents highlighted the need […]

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Information Sharing and Schools: Part 2 – Teacher Obligations with Child Protection

This is the second article in a three-part series on the expanding issue of information sharing and how it relates to the schools system. In this series, Kieran Seed and Lauren Osbich consider the past and future development of information sharing regimes, particularly in the context of child protection and how schools can gain a […]

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Western Australia

Education and Care Services National Law changes commence

On 1 October 2017, changes to the Education and Care Services National Law (National Law) and Regulations (National Regulations) came into effect. The amendments were made after federal and state and territory Education Ministers agreed to changes to the National Quality Standard (NQS) at the last Council of Australian Governments (COAG). These changes are intended to strengthen […]

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What to do if your school receives a historical sexual abuse report?

It takes immense courage and strength for survivors of historical child abuse to come forward and discuss the behaviours to which they were subjected.  Sometimes survivors of historical child abuse make claims against the institutions where they suffered the abuse – such as schools and religious organisations.  With the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to […]

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Victoria

Falling tree branch injures two in Victoria: a reminder to schools about Tree Management

A falling tree branch has injured two people on the grounds of a school at Bendigo North, in central Victoria when the branch came down on the school’s basketball court. It serves as a timely reminder for schools of the importance of an effective tree management policy, including regular inspections and recommendations from an accredited arborist. Trees […]

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School Students on School Boards – Can they vote on the principal’s employment?

According to a recent article in The Age, from 2018 Victorian government school students will have a say in hiring principals and approving school budgets as part of a shake-up that will see them appointed to government high school councils with full voting rights. The Victorian Education Minister, James Merlino said “Young people should have a say in the […]

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South Australia

New laws on bullying: Schools under increased pressure to do more

Even if you subscribe to the controversial school of thought that bullying is an ‘inevitable’ interaction, that it is ‘part of growing up’ and ‘builds character’, it is uncontested that being bullied, particularly at a young age, can have very serious consequences for a child’s wellbeing, development and overall mental health. It is hence little […]

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South Australia’s revolutionary approach to child abuse and forced marriage

As reported in the news, a Melbourne man is set to be the first person convicted under Federal forced marriage laws despite the practice being criminalised in 2013. Because the laws make it extremely difficult to get a conviction (as they generally rely on victims testifying), South Australia has taken an unprecedented step of introducing a […]

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Tasmania

‘Stronger Communities, Safer Children’ – Do your students consider that your boarding community is a safe place?

This is National Child Protection Week – ‘Stronger Communities, Safer Children’.  This week, NAPCAN want to emphasise the value of connected communities in keeping children and young people safe and well. This article examines the role of boarding schools as a ‘community’ and how boarding schools are legally required to create child safe environments in those communities, […]

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The connection between falling male teacher numbers and fear of student contact

Over the last three decades, the number of male primary school teachers across Australia has been decreasing.  According to new research conducted by Dr Vaughan Cruickshank of the University of Tasmania, there has been a decrease in male teachers, from 30.24% in 1983 to 18.26% in 2016, which is an overall drop of 12% of all male primary […]

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Australian Capital Territory

School Students on School Boards – Can they vote on the principal’s employment?

According to a recent article in The Age, from 2018 Victorian government school students will have a say in hiring principals and approving school budgets as part of a shake-up that will see them appointed to government high school councils with full voting rights. The Victorian Education Minister, James Merlino said “Young people should have a say in the […]

Read More...

Information Sharing and Schools: Part 2 – Teacher Obligations with Child Protection

This is the second article in a three-part series on the expanding issue of information sharing and how it relates to the schools system. In this series, Kieran Seed and Lauren Osbich consider the past and future development of information sharing regimes, particularly in the context of child protection and how schools can gain a […]

Read More...

Northern Territory

‘Stronger Communities, Safer Children’ – Do your students consider that your boarding community is a safe place?

This is National Child Protection Week – ‘Stronger Communities, Safer Children’.  This week, NAPCAN want to emphasise the value of connected communities in keeping children and young people safe and well. This article examines the role of boarding schools as a ‘community’ and how boarding schools are legally required to create child safe environments in those communities, […]

Read More...

What to do if your school receives a historical sexual abuse report?

It takes immense courage and strength for survivors of historical child abuse to come forward and discuss the behaviours to which they were subjected.  Sometimes survivors of historical child abuse make claims against the institutions where they suffered the abuse – such as schools and religious organisations.  With the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to […]

Read More...

New Zealand

Teachers and alcohol abuse: lessons from NZ

A New Zealand teacher has been suspended for two years after being caught smelling of alcohol at school.  Although the incident occurred across the Tasman, the lessons from this case are definitely a helpful reminder for Australian schools and teachers. Mr C and the Teacher Disciplinary Tribunal Mr C was suspended for misconduct after a […]

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New Zealand develops new national Code and Standards for Teachers: Is Australia next?

The Education Council of Aotearoa New Zealand (the Council) is calling for submissions on a draft Code of Professional Responsibility and Standards for the Teaching Profession, entitled ‘Our Code, Our Standards,’ which is intended to reflect what it means to “be a teacher” in New Zealand. The new Code and Standards are to be implemented and […]

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