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 – marked by public criticism of organisations including schools, for their handling of allegations of child abuse […]

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Addressing liability for institutional child abuse: NSW leads the way in state and territory responses to the Royal Commission

Recently, the Civil Liability Amendment (Institutional Child Abuse) Bill 2017 (the Bill) was introduced into the New South Wales Parliament by Shadow Attorney-General, Paul Lynch. It is a groundbreaking step by NSW to update their liability for institutional child abuse before the recommendations of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Abuse (the Royal […]

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Legal changes to university residential colleges: How they relate to schools

On 22 November the NSW Government introduced proposed statutory changes in the form of the Saint John’s College Bill 2017 (NSW) (the Bill).  The Bill seeks to replace the Saint John’s College Act 1857 (NSW) which established a Roman Catholic residential college of the same name at the University of Sydney. Although the Bill relates to a university residential […]

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Review of mandatory reporting laws in NSW prompts wider discussion

A new discussion paper released by the Department of Family and Community Services (FACS) in NSW, Shaping a better child protection system (the Discussion Paper) is a reminder to schools about the importance of mandatory reporting regarding child safety incidents. Background to the Discussion Paper The Discussion Paper was released by the NSW Government on 20 October […]

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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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New program for child sexual abuse evidence in NSW Courts

A pilot program for child sexual abuse victim evidence has been rolled out in Newcastle and Sydney Downing Centre courts.  The trial reached its halfway point this month with the delivery of a UNSW report Evaluation of the Child Sexual Offence Evidence Pilot (the Evaluative Report). The program is the first of its kind in Australia […]

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Information Sharing and Schools: Part 1 – Balancing privacy obligations: how schools can ensure that ‘sharing is caring’

This is the first 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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Teacher receives six-figure payout for being bullied at school

It’s not only students in the school yard being caught bullying at school. Bullying also affects school staff.  In recent news, a NSW primary school teacher has received a six-figure settlement after claiming she attempted suicide as a result of being bullied by her principal and isolated by her colleagues for more than a year.  Although […]

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Uniforms and disability only the start of a school’s anti-discrimination policy

A new NSW Parliamentary report on students with a disability in NSW schools and two recent reminders in the news about uniform policies and disability have brought the issue of harassment and disability discrimination in schools into sharp focus. Despite there being a complicated mixture of state, territory and federal laws relevant to these topics, […]

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