Listening Devices and Surveillance: The Fine Line Between Student Safety and Teacher Privacy

A recent case in the United States of a mother secretly recording her child’s teacher through a tape recorder on the child’s backpack raises questions of how similar listening devices would be governed under surveillance laws in Australia. To provide a safe and secure environment for students, it may be necessary at times to record conversations, however it is essential that schools understand the compliance and privacy obligations associated with this risk.

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Student duty of care obligations: Where does a teacher’s duty end?

Recently in the news was the case of a child found unresponsive in their mother’s car in Victoria, after the mother assumed she had dropped the child off at their primary school.  In light of this incident, it seems right for teachers to question where their duty of care obligations to their students end. And with schools […]

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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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Ominous asthma warning: Growing complacency leading to unnecessary deaths

Alarming new research suggests that, even though Australia has been successful in curbing the rate of asthma deaths and hospitalisations, we are growing increasingly complacent about the risks posed by asthma. A study was conducted by the Woolcock Institute of Medical Research (Study) surveying almost 2,700 people with asthma. It found that 39% of people only used […]

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The Royal Commission and ADF Cadets: incorrect policies and procedures and disciplinary culture are lessons for schools

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse (Royal Commission) recently released the report of Case Study 40 entitled: ‘The response of the Australian Defence Force to allegations of child sexual abuse’ (the Report).  Schools may well be asking, ‘what does a report regarding the Australian Defence Force (ADF) allegations of child sexual abuse […]

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The connection between falling male teacher numbers and fear of student contact

Over the last three decades, the number of male primary school teachers across Australia has been decreasing.  According to new research conducted by Dr Vaughan Cruickshank of the University of Tasmania, there has been a decrease in male teachers, from 30.24% in 1983 to 18.26% in 2016, which is an overall drop of 12% of all male primary […]

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Part Two: Confiscation and searches of student property – searching students and student property

This is the second article in a two-part series on the myriad issues associated with managing inappropriate student materials. Part One is available here. In this series, Craig D’cruz, National Education Consultant at CompliSpace, explores managing the confiscation of student materials and the legal, regulatory and guidance to consider when dealing with this matter.  In […]

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Billeting and homestays: Do schools have a duty of care while students are at home?

Billeting and homestay defined Billeting and homestay are largely interchangeable terms which involve students staying with host families for accommodation purposes. Stays may be part of a cultural exchange program or during an overnight excursion. Students can stay with host families intra-state, in another jurisdiction or even overseas. The term used most frequently is homestay, […]

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Safety in the Outdoors: Academic guidance for schools

Schools frequently take students on outdoor education activities as part of an extensive co-curricular program. Many parents are very supportive of such programs and, for some parents, the type and extent of co-curricular programs offered by a school can be an important factor in choosing a school for their child. Unfortunately, there are sometimes serious […]

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