Falling tree branch injures two in Victoria: a reminder to schools about Tree Management

A falling tree branch has injured two people on the grounds of a school at Bendigo North, in central Victoria when the branch came down on the school’s basketball court. It serves as a timely reminder for schools of the importance of an effective tree management policy, including regular inspections and recommendations from an accredited arborist. Trees […]

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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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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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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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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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Cultural shock: how schools can help overseas students to speak up and adapt to education in Australia

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Secretary, Frances Adamson, has encouraged Chinese students at Australian universities to speak up if they hear something they disagree with, if they wish to gain an “authentic Australian education”.  Ms Adamson said in a speech she delivered to the Confucius Institute annual lecture at the University of Adelaide, that “silencing […]

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WorkSafe Month: is your school ensuring the health and safety of staff?

This month is WorkSafe Health and Safety month. States and territories are regularly updating legislation, regulation and guidance on work health and safety (WHS) and occupational health and safety (OHS) matters which apply to schools.  But it is important to remember that sometimes, simple messages work best.  For example, did you know that in 2012–13, work-related injury […]

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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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Health and Safety Month and OHS updates in Victoria

On 5 October 2017, Health and Safety Month commences across Australia.  As a part of Health and Safety Month, WorkSafe Victoria and SafeWork Australia will be hosting events on WHS/OHS topics. Schools and other workplaces are also encouraged to host their own events to inform their workplace about WHS/OHS requirements and improvements.  In the lead-up to this national event, schools […]

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Reforms to the ASA Data Retention Schedule: Insights for schools on records management

Knowing what records to keep, how to keep them and for how long, is a tricky business for schools to master.  With a raft of legislation, such as the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth), dictating how to handle/protect certain types of information and the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse (Royal Commission) recommendations saying there […]

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