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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The Australian Student Wellbeing Framework: Safe, Supported, Included and Connected

On 19 October 2018, the Federal Minister for Education launched the Australian Student Wellbeing Framework (Wellbeing Framework). Following extensive consultation and review in 2017, the Wellbeing Framework focuses on contemporary issues facing Australian school communities and identifies ways to support schools to build learning environments where students feel safe, supported, included and connected. The Wellbeing Framework is also committed to improving educational outcomes for all Australian students and recognises that children do better when respectful relationships are developed and maintained between home and school.

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Child Safety Curriculums (Part Two): Schools Face Curriculum Compliance Issues Relating to Child Abuse Prevention and Respectful Relationships

While no school registration authority has yet taken the formal step of revising their registration compliance expectations in response to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, by providing child safety and respectful relationships education, and by documenting how this education is provided, a school will be taking significant steps to demonstrating that it is relevantly meeting the Child Safe Standards and associated registration requirements.

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National Apology to Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse Made by Federal Government

On 22 October 2018, the Prime Minister apologised on behalf of the Federal Government to all survivors of child sexual abuse. The Federal Government and each state and territory have all accepted, or accepted in principle, the vast majority of the recommendations suggested by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse (Royal Commission). The National Apology recognised that, after the investigations of the Royal Commission, not only particular institutions, but society as a whole, failed children and that everyone, including schools, needs to do better to protect the children under their care.

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Child Safety Curriculums (Part One): Schools Face Curriculum Compliance Issues Relating to Child Abuse Prevention and Respectful Relationships

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse recommended that child abuse prevention education should be made mandatory for schools, integrated into existing school curriculums and linked with related areas such as respectful relationships education and sexuality education. However, the manner in which the Australian Curriculum – including the prominence of concepts of child safety and respectful relationships – is implemented varies between jurisdictions.

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Children with AD/HD: Best Practices for Promoting Positive Behaviour

October is AD/HD Awareness Month in Australia. The mission of AD/HD Awareness Month is to educate the public about AD/HD by disseminating reliable information based on research and scientific evidence. This year, the theme is “Setting the record straight”. In order to help School Governance set the record straight on AD/HD, ADHD Australia outlines the best practices for teachers and schools in promoting positive behaviour in their students.

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