States

NSW

Why Schools Cannot Wipe the Slate Clean on Child Protection

While schools may be feeling compliance fatigue from the rapid pace of legislative reform and political discussion on child protection issues, removal of liability limitations and loopholes and shifts in the legal landscape mean that schools must consider their historical approach to child safety and their ability to respond to claims of historical child abuse.

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The Dangers of School Sausage Sizzles: Peeling the Risk Onion

Sausage sizzles have become almost synonymous with school activities, and are staple parts of school carnivals, open days, fundraising events and community fetes. Schools must ensure that they conduct proper risk management for sausage sizzles, to ensure the safety and welfare of all attendees.

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Queensland

Why Schools Cannot Wipe the Slate Clean on Child Protection

While schools may be feeling compliance fatigue from the rapid pace of legislative reform and political discussion on child protection issues, removal of liability limitations and loopholes and shifts in the legal landscape mean that schools must consider their historical approach to child safety and their ability to respond to claims of historical child abuse.

Read More...

The Dangers of School Sausage Sizzles: Peeling the Risk Onion

Sausage sizzles have become almost synonymous with school activities, and are staple parts of school carnivals, open days, fundraising events and community fetes. Schools must ensure that they conduct proper risk management for sausage sizzles, to ensure the safety and welfare of all attendees.

Read More...

Western Australia

Isolation Rooms, Dark Cupboards and Cages: Calling Time-Out on Disability Discrimination in Schools

Schools must maximise learning outcomes and wellbeing for all students and ensure access to high-quality education that is free from discrimination, but evidence suggests that many students continue to experience disability discrimination or are subject to unnecessary restrictive practices.

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Breaking School Rules? That’s a Paddlin’

School rules set standards for the conduct and behaviour of students, with disciplinary consequences for failure to comply. In light of recent events, schools should be reviewing their behavioural guidelines and how these are communicated.

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Victoria

Consultation on New Safeguarding Standards: Catholic Schools Publicly Accountable for Child Safety

Catholic Professional Standards Ltd has released a Consultation Feedback Report on its National Catholic Safeguarding Standards and promises to publish reports on Church authorities who fail compliance audits.

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Breaking School Rules? That’s a Paddlin’

School rules set standards for the conduct and behaviour of students, with disciplinary consequences for failure to comply. In light of recent events, schools should be reviewing their behavioural guidelines and how these are communicated.

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South Australia

Addressing Liability for Institutional Child Abuse (Part Two)

This is the second part of a two-part series exploring the responses from the states and territories to the Redress and Civil Litigation Report of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, and the current legislative developments reinforcing the Royal Commission’s recommendations. Part One addressed limitation periods generally and the proposed reforms by the Northern Territory in relation to institutional liability and a non-delegable reverse onus duty of care. Part Two addresses specific legislation from South Australia and the Australian Capital Territory to implement removal of limitation periods and institutional liability respectively.

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South Australia Child Protection Framework Starts: What are Your New Obligations?

On 22 October 2018, all schools in South Australia will need to comply with the new child protection framework, consisting of three new Acts and three new Regulations. To make matters more complex, the current Child Protection Act 1993 (SA) will be phased out gradually to enable the new framework to commence in parts. Schools should be aware that, in the first part of commencement of the framework, there are new definitions of “children at risk” and “harm”, as well as additional neglect and grooming offences, resulting in increased obligations for mandatory reporting for all teachers, employees and volunteers at the school.

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Tasmania

2017: The year of registration change: Is it time for national reform?

With just over a week to go until the curtain falls on the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse (Royal Commission), schools around Australia will likely remember 2017 as the year of child protection debate

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‘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, in addition to having standards of compliance available to help them keep their boarders safe.

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Australian Capital Territory

Violence, Workplace Bullying and Stress – All in a Day’s Work for a Teacher

Every school should be a safe place but not just for students. In recent months, there have been incidents of violence against teachers, workplace bullying in the staffroom and teachers worked to the point of stress, exhaustion and severe illness. All these incidents are health and safety risks for staff and should be appropriately balanced on a daily basis by schools with their duty of care to their students.

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Why Schools Cannot Wipe the Slate Clean on Child Protection

While schools may be feeling compliance fatigue from the rapid pace of legislative reform and political discussion on child protection issues, removal of liability limitations and loopholes and shifts in the legal landscape mean that schools must consider their historical approach to child safety and their ability to respond to claims of historical child abuse.

Read More...

Northern Territory

First Progress Report Released on Northern Territory Royal Commission Reforms

The Northern Territory Government has released its First Progress Report, detailing reforms completed in response to the Royal Commission into the Protection and Detention of Children in the NT; NT schools should be taking a proactive approach to child safety by undertaking an extensive review of their child protection policy framework in anticipation of future legal and regulatory developments.

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Police Officers in Schools: New NT Program Targets At-Risk Children

The Northern Territory government is introducing a new model of school-based policing to identify at-risk children and improve youth engagement and community safety, putting equivalent programs in other jurisdictions, and the relevant responsibilities of schools, in the spotlight.

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New Zealand

Cyber Attacks in Schools Surge as OAIC Releases Third Quarter Notifiable Data Breach Report

Recent international media reports have highlighted a significant increase in cyber attacks against schools, with six schools in New Zealand having their websites targeted in the first week of the term. However, this does not seem to be isolated to overseas incidents, with the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) releasing their Third Quarter Notifiable Data Breach Report (OAIC Report) showing an increase in data breaches with 57 per cent attributed to malicious or criminal attacks, similar to the ones described in New Zealand.

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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.

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