A New School Year – A New Approach to Discipline?

Student-Dicipline

At the start of a new school year schools may be confronted by students who have forgotten school rules and remain in ‘holiday mode’. While detentions, suspensions and expulsions are all necessary by-products of students’ misbehaviour, imposing a discipline policy is often a source of angst for all involved and affected. Common across all jurisdictions is the need for procedural fairness in the imposition of a form of discipline and the importance of encouraging positive student behaviour.

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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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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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