An Interactive Guide to Effective Policy Management In Schools

The SG Wrap: February 15, 2024


The information in the SG Wrap is aggregated from other news sources to provide you with news that is relevant to the education sector across Australia and worldwide. Each paragraph is a summary of the subject matter covered in the particular news article. The information does not necessarily reflect the views of Ideagen.



Nominations Are Now Open for the Australian Education Awards 2024

The Australian Education Awards 2024 is now accepting nominations, with the event aiming to recognise top-performing schools, principals and department heads who have made significant contributions or shown outstanding performance in various aspects of education. Presented by The Educator, categories for nominations cover innovation, leadership, and community engagement. Nominations for the awards opened on Monday 12th February and winners will be announced on Friday 9th August at the Star Centre Event, Sydney.


Studies Expose the Worrying Impact of Technology Use on Student Performance

A study featured in The Educator examines the correlation between internet use and student performance on tests. The research encompasses various factors, including the amount of time spent online and the types of activities conducted, to determine their effects on academic outcomes. Findings from this study provide insight into how digital habits are associated with students' scores, with score declines being more prominent among female students. Another study conducted by researchers at Macquarie University uncovered that reading on screens is generally less effective for absorbing and retaining information compared to reading words printed on paper. From what the research has unveiled so far, researchers emphasised the importance of balanced exposure to screens, particularly in educational settings, so no child is disadvantaged when faced with digital assessments if their reading ability is weaker.


Program Enhances Student Safety Through Brave Conversations in Schools

A recent article from The Educator underscores the relevance of open and courageous dialogues within schools as a technique for elevating student safety. Former educator and National Program Director of Power to Kids at The MacKillop Institute, Smeeta Singh, states that building “trusted, safe and positive relationships at school is a foundation for wellbeing.” The article summaries their program featuring three evidence-based strategies, including guidance on what educators should do when they aren’t confident on how to answer or take action. Singh went on to say that “a whole-of-school approach that embeds trauma-informed teaching practice is imperative to increasing safety for students and teachers alike”, thereby creating a more secure and supportive educational environment.


Report Addresses Reading Proficiency Gaps in Australian Schools

The Educator highlights a new Grattan Institute report which discovered that in an Australian school classroom of 24 students, eight can’t read well. With this meaning one-third of children aren’t meeting reading proficiency standards, the article underscores the need for a comprehensive strategy to address these shortcomings and makes recommendations on how schools can do so. This includes new and improved reading programs and additional support to prepare teachers. The Australian Financial Review also addresses this issue by referring to the reading and literacy deficiencies within Australian schools as preventable setbacks. It advocates for evidence-based practices and intervention methods, early detection and support for struggling students, and for progress to be tracked.


Researcher Uncovers Themes of Gender Bias in 69% of School Textbooks

A study reported by The Educator highlights issues of sexism within school textbooks, uncovering that gender biases are present in educational materials. The analysis of the content in 34 English-speaking countries revealed patterns that may perpetuate stereotypes and potentially impact the perceptions and development of students regarding gender roles. The study underlines the importance of critically evaluating and updating educational resources as a step to resolving gender equality. Especially considering that it “seems unlikely that girls' education will achieve all it can if girls are being shown that they don’t belong in positions of achievement and authority by the books they’re being taught from”, as stated by Lee Crawfurd, lead author of the research.


The Impact of 'Right to Disconnect' Laws for Teachers

The Sydney Morning Herald reports on the recent implementation of 'right to disconnect' laws that grant teachers the legal right to disconnect from work-related communications outside of work hours. This new legislation aims to address the well-being of educators by establishing boundaries for work-life balance. However, the effectiveness of these laws is being questioned, as it's uncertain whether parents will adhere to and respect these boundaries, potentially impacting the intended benefits of the policy for teachers.


Teachers Report AI-Generated Lesson Plans Are Effective in Educational Settings

A recent article from The Educator reports that lesson plans created using the AI language model ChatGPT are being deemed effective by educators. These AI-generated lesson plans are appreciated for their utility and helpfulness in educational settings, with 71% of educators reporting ChatGPT’s lesson plans were actually more detailed than their own. Teachers have provided positive feedback, highlighting the model's efficiency and adaptability to different subjects and classroom scenarios. The article reflects an increasing interest in incorporating AI tools into educational practices and calls for teachers to develop their skills and understanding of AI capabilities.


NSW Government to Expand Catchment Areas for Co-ed Public Schools in Sydney

In a recent development reported by The Sydney Morning Herald, the NSW Government has announced plans to expand catchment areas for co-educational public schools in Sydney from next year. This expansion is designed to provide thousands of families with increased access to co-ed school options. The policy adjustment comes as a response to the growing demand for such educational settings, allowing a greater number of students the opportunity to attend mixed-gender schools within their local areas. The changes have received a mixed response, with around one-third of the 400 proposal respondents expressing negative views, a quarter remaining neutral, and approximately 40% being pleased with the decision.


South Australian Schools Revise Menus to Promote Healthier Eating Habit

A recent decision by South Australian public schools to remove fairy bread and other treats from school menus has surprised parents, reports The Advertiser. The change is part of a move to promote healthier eating habits and nutrition among students. This ‘Right Bite’ initiative reflects the broader health policies aimed at reducing sugar intake and improving the wellbeing of children within the educational system. The reaction from parents indicates a mix of concern and support for the policy as it affects traditional food choices in schools.


Western Australia Enhances Recycling Education in Schools with Containers for Change Program

The Western Australian Government has introduced new educational resources to enhance the Containers for Change recycling program in schools. This comes after the program reached a significant milestone, recycling its three billionth container since its launch in October 2020. These resources align with the Department of Education’s sustainability framework and integrate recycling activities into school curricula. The education guide provided through Containers for Change encourages schools to make recycling a routine part of school life and community engagement. The program aims to expand its reach to more schools.




NZ School Enrolment Protocol Questioned Over Tenancy Agreement Requirement

In an incident reported by, a New Zealand school's enrolment protocol has come under scrutiny after a mother was asked to present a tenancy agreement as a condition for her child's enrolment. The woman was told she was unable to enrol her child in a school within her enrolment zone unless she produced a 12-month tenancy agreement. The lawfulness of this schools’ rule has been questioned leading the Ministry of Education to intervene. This scenario has initiated a discussion regarding the appropriateness and accessibility of enrolment procedures in schools.


New Program Advocates School Meals to Address Student Hunger in the US

In the US, Education experts have brought to light the correlation between hunger and learning difficulties in students. Reports from EducationNC underscore that lack of adequate nutrition significantly hampers a child's ability to succeed academically and achieve their full potential. Education leaders are advocating for initiatives such as School Meals For All NC to ensure that all students receive sufficient food to support their learning processes, at no cost to families.



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SG Editorial Team

SG is published by Ideagen. CompliSpace is Ideagen’s SaaS-enabled solution that specialises in helping schools achieve complete, continuous and consistent compliance.

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