School Violence: The Delicate Balance Between Staff Safety and Student Duty of Care (Part One)

This is the first part of a two part series exploring violence in schools. Part One focuses on violence against principals and teachers, and the results of the Principal Wellbeing Survey 2017. Part Two will focus on violence perpetrated by parents and students and how discipline and behaviour management policies impact a school’s reaction.

After the recent stabbing of a student at an Adelaide school and a wild brawl resulting in a broken jaw outside a school in Western Australia, schools would be forgiven for thinking that the current rise in violence is out of control. Most schools, however, are safe environments and shape young people’s positive development. But there is a fine line to walk between principal, staff and school community safety and balancing the duty of care to students.

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WA Registration Guidelines Update: Focus on Child Protection, Governance and Staff

On 4 April 2018, the Department of Education in Western Australia released the updated Guide to the Registration Standards and Other Requirements for Non-Government Schools (the Guide). The requirements of the Guide will have effect from 1 July 2018, meaning that all non-government schools, not just those due for renewal of registration this year, need to be compliant with the requirements of the Guide.

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School Boards: Accountability, Governance and the School Community

Recently there have been several high profile cases involving non-government school boards and principals coming under fire from school communities and attracting media attention. With every school’s reputation a key priority, these incidents raise important questions about school board governance duties and accountability to stakeholders, the school board’s relationship with the principal and reputation management.

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New WA Registration Standards Released: Child Protection and Governance changes for July 2018

The Western Australian Minister for Education has released new Standards for Non-Government Schools (the Standards) which will take effect from 1 July 2018. There are now 17 Standards, rather than 14, and the three new Standards relate to new requirements for the minimum age for enrolment, modes of curriculum delivery and provisions for numbers of students enrolled at a CARE school.

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Parent Complaints – the move from the car park to social media

School car parks were always a convenient place for parents to congregate and ‘chat’ either before school or, more often than not, at the end of the school day, whilst they waited to collect their children. They still are. Principals and school staff used to be concerned about the ‘car park gossip’ that took place when a disgruntled parent chose to voice concerns regarding the school or even about an out of school matter. They still are.

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