School discovers inappropriate material on former teacher’s computer: What’s on a hard drive?

Two Victorian non-government schools have been praised for their responses to the recent discovery of inappropriate material involving children on a teacher’s hard drive. The teacher in question has been charged and proceedings are due to commence in August.  The potential criminal actions by the teacher are fairly clear on the facts but his liability […]

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Report shows 46 NSW teachers dismissed due to misconduct offences

In 2016, 46 NSW teachers faced allegations of misconduct.  Last week, the NSW Department of Education (DET) published the Teacher Conduct and Performance report (the Report).  The Report details the number of government school teachers who have undertaken improvement plans, undergone disciplinary action or have been convicted due to misconduct allegations or criminal offences.   […]

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New Mandatory Notification of Data Breaches – What does the scheme mean for schools?

On 22 February 2018, changes to the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) (the Act) will take effect and a new Notifiable Data Breach (NDB) Scheme will be in force. This reform will affect the Privacy Programs of almost all non-government schools, and it is one of the most important reforms since the introduction of the 13 […]

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Can your school be trustworthy while also being transparent?

The theme of this year’s Privacy Awareness Week is ‘Trust and Transparency.’ Timothy Pilgrim, Commissioner of the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) stated that trust and transparency “speaks to the consumer and community trust that flows to organisations who handle personal information transparently, and with care, throughout the information life cycle. Privacy is rarely about secrecy, […]

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Whistleblowing Protection: Report shows schools need to improve

The release of a significant report Strength of Organisational Whistleblowing Process – Analysis From Australia (the Report) based on research by Griffith University’s Professor A J Brown is a reminder to schools of the importance of having a whistleblower policy and how it can enhance a school’s culture once implemented.  Nathan Luker, General Manager of  Your […]

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Boarding in schools: Emerging trends for 2017

School boarding houses and boarding facilities have changed dramatically for the better since I first did boarding house duty in the 1980s as a young teacher. I recall that although the meals were average, they were basically ‘hot and brown and plenty of it’, with limited choice available for students who had specific dietary requirements. […]

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South Australia finalises its Registration Standards: Key issues for schools

In a previous School Governance article, we reported on the introduction of draft Standards for Registration and Review of Registration of Schools in South Australia (the Standards) by the Education and Early Childhood Services Registration and Standards Board of SA (the Board). The Standards were finalised on 5 April, and all new or existing schools will […]

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Remunerating your School Board members – is it a valid proposition?

Schools are generally either incorporated associations via legislation within their own state or territory, indigenous corporations or they are companies limited by guarantee under the Corporations Act (2001) (Cth). Regardless of how they have been structured, three common factors that all schools generally share are that they: are not for profit (if they want to receive Commonwealth funding as […]

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More Changes to NSW Registration Manuals: new information on financial viability compliance

The NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) has been extremely busy in Term One and has recently released its second update to the Registered and Accredited Individual Non-government Schools (NSW) Manual and Registration Systems and Member Non-government Schools (NSW) Manual (the Manuals) in four months.  In January 2017, School Governance published an article outlining the changes NESA made to the Manuals in […]

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Incident reporting in schools: What to do when the Australian Standard is not useful?

It is pretty obvious that collecting information about injuries and near misses is important to ensuring the future health and safety of students and staff. However, what kind of information and how much information is required to make reasonable decisions about how to prevent injuries in the future? Some employers have turned to the Australian Standards […]

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