Photographing and Filming Students: Is Your School Getting it Right?

Photographing or filming students at school or at weekend sport has become a highly sensitive issue. With the rise in online abuse such as sexting and cyber bullying, schools have been required to rethink and reinforce protections for their students online, including the consent of students and their parents when taking photographs or producing videos at school events. But has your school maintained the right balance between privacy and common sense when photographing and filming students?

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Culture of Continuous Compliance: Principal Continuing to Run Alternative Schools Despite NESA Report

A recent case before the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal has again brought non-government school registration to the forefront of discussion. Eagle Arts & Vocational College has three campuses across NSW. It has been deemed non-compliant with non-government school registration requirements by the NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) and has had its school registration cancelled. For all non-government schools, the facts of the case serve as an illlustration of the importance of a continuing culture of school compliance.

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Significant New Child Protection Legal Reform Proposed in NSW: Schools Must Reduce or Remove the Risk of Child Abuse

The introduction of a new Bill in NSW Parliament proposing to significantly amend the Crimes Act 1900 NSW signals that the NSW Government is finally catching up to Victoria and other states in getting serious on child protection legal reform. Amongst other proposed changes are the creation of an offence of failing to reduce or remove the risk of child abuse and new grooming offences. If passed, these reforms will require organisations engaging in child related work to, at a minimum, update their child protection policies and procedures to comply with the new laws and, in further steps of good governance, provide serious motivation to adopt the NSW Principles for Child-Safe Organisations and the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse (the Royal Commission),10 Child Safe Standards. The introduction of the Bill before the Federal Government’s response to the Royal Commission is also timely.

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Former Teacher on Bail for Grooming Runs Children’s Sport Tournament

The Office of the Children’s Guardian has identified that many employers fail to correctly verify working with children check details for new and existing workers. This compliance gap may have caused a tennis association to be unaware that a person released on bail for child abuse offences was conducting children’s tournaments, putting sports organisations on notice of the need to uphold child-safe environments and promote a child safe culture.

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Students Sending Nudes: The Tension Between Online Offences, A Teacher’s Legal Duties and Reasonableness

Online offences are a challenging everyday issue for most teachers around Australia. In particular, sexting (or sending nudes, as it is more commonly referred to by students) has become an increasing problem as society normalises the practice while the law criminalises it in most circumstances for children. This creates a tension, forcing schools and teachers to navigate a fine line between complying with the law, upholding their duty of care and wanting to be reasonable in reporting an offence involving their students.

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