School Students on School Boards – Can they vote on the principal’s employment?

According to a recent article in The Age, from 2018 Victorian government school students will have a say in hiring principals and approving school budgets as part of a shake-up that will see them appointed to government high school councils with full voting rights. The Victorian Education Minister, James Merlino said “Young people should have a say in the […]

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False invoices and poor procurement: Corruption in Vic Department of Education

In September 2017, the Independent Board-based Anti-corruption Commission (IBAC) released their Working with Integrity: The Department of Education and Training’s second report to the Independent Board-based Anti-corruption Commission (the Report). The Report made a series of recommendations based on the findings of two operations investigating corruption within the Victorian Department of Education and Training (DET) and government […]

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New laws on bullying: Schools under increased pressure to do more

Even if you subscribe to the controversial school of thought that bullying is an ‘inevitable’ interaction, that it is ‘part of growing up’ and ‘builds character’, it is uncontested that being bullied, particularly at a young age, can have very serious consequences for a child’s wellbeing, development and overall mental health. It is hence little […]

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Latest Royal Commission Report on Child Sexual Abuse Risk: Is your school a high risk institution?

On 19 June 2017, the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse (Royal Commission) released its latest research report considering why child sexual abuse occurs in institutions, entitled Assessing the different dimensions and degrees of child sexual abuse in institutions (the Report).  The research project was carried out by Professors Patrick Parkinson and […]

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External venue hire: To hire or not to hire?

There are two common venue hire scenarios that come to mind with regard to schools: schools that hire external venues for excursions and schools that allow other groups to hire their facilities. The latter was discussed in a School Governance article in 2016. It is commonplace for schools to hire or lease outside venues in […]

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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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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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Mental health in schools: how to get young people to seek help

Children’s and mental health agencies have a message for schools: if you make small changes to improve social relations in your schools, you will help more young people experiencing mental health problems. The Commission for Children and Young People, with the Mental Health Commission of NSW, have released ‘Support in Tough Times: Encouraging Young People […]

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Record keeping in schools: If it’s personal how long should you keep it?

How long should a school store the personal information of its former students? David Griffiths (Managing Director – CompliSpace) Although this is a simple question, a simple answer is not generated. In an era where data is vast, yet can be stored indefinitely, the reach of future inquirers must be considered in formulating a policy […]

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