Weekly Wrap: August 08, 2019

Published
08 August 2019

The information in the Weekly 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 CompliSpace.


AUSTRALIA

Teacher workloads on the rise – report

The Educator reports that Australian teachers have experienced one of the largest workload increases in the OECD, a new report shows. The new data, released by the OECD Teaching and Learning International Survey (TALIS) 2018, reveals a “significant increase” in teacher workloads since 2013, and represents one of the largest in the OECD. In an education brief by public school advocates Save Our Schools (SOS), the organisation’s national convenor, Trevor Cobbold, said the new figures “confirm the concerns of teacher organisations and teachers about their increasing workload.”

 

Biggest overhaul of SA’s education laws in nearly 50 years passes State Parliament, meaning good news for bullied kids

According to The Daily Telegraph, serial bullies can now be forced to move schools, and parents who give false information to get into their school of choice can now be punished under a massive overhaul of SA’s education laws. The legislation cracks down on dodgy parents with harsher penalties for abusive behaviour, and for allowing children to be chronic truants. It punishes parents who give false housing details to gain enrolment for their children in popular public schools, by giving the Education Department the power to order which school students must attend. The reforms cover schools’ governing councils, which must now be led by a parent or guardian of an enrolled student.

 

First stage of ACT education 10-year strategy puts teachers front of class

According to The Canberra Times, when the Kingsford Smith School decided to focus on the education of its teachers as well as its students, something remarkable happened. "The kids started behaving better," executive teacher Melissa Beattie said. "We used to have lots in the corridors, but suddenly the teachers could engage them better. There were less being sent out of class for acting up. And wellbeing has improved too, [for] everyone." For the past 18 months, Ms Beattie and principal Paul Branson have spearheaded a staff coaching program, with a particular focus on early career teachers. Now, over the next year and a half, the ACT government will beef up its own professional learning programs in schools across the territory as part of the first phase of its 10-year education strategy.

 

Mandated notification law change aims to provide more protection for Tas children

According to The Sector, a change to mandated notification laws in Tasmania earlier this week aims to provide greater protections for Tasmanian children and hold offenders to account. Earlier this week the Criminal Code and Related Legislation Amendment (Child Abuse) Bill 2018 (Tas) changes passed through the House of Assembly. The Bill makes a number of amendments in response to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, which includes making members of religious ministry, and members of the Tasmanian Parliament mandatory reporters of child abuse or neglect, and contains important information for those working in the early childhood education and care sector.

 

How your school can get data privacy right

According to The Educator, schools, by their very nature, hold and safeguard large amounts of personal and sensitive information. As such, who has access to that data and how it is protected is of paramount importance to a school’s community. To assist schools with their own privacy conversations, Civica commissioned the Institute of Public Policy & Governance at the University of Technology Sydney to conduct research into how schools can best respond to emerging challenges around the use and protection of data. The report, titled ‘Safe Enough’? Data Privacy and Security in Schools’ is available to download.

 

More help for indigenous students: govt

According to 9news, Indigenous Australian families with children in boarding school would receive thousands of dollars more to support their final years of study, under proposed changes to the family tax benefit. The federal government will introduce legislation to parliament to extend the benefit to families until their children finish secondary school. Although families receive other support for their children's study, the family tax benefit currently cuts off when students turn 16. Social Services Minister Anne Ruston says the change means eligible families will get on average an extra $5900 each year for their child's essential living costs, such as clothing, medicines and pocket money.

 

Is your school’s tech helping or harming students’ literacy?

According to The Educator, the latest NAPLAN data reveals a further decline in the proportion of students meeting the National Minimum Standard (NMS) in writing, suggesting a rethink is needed on how schools are working to improve students’ literacy. Some experts warn that this writing slump can have a far greater impact, not just on students’ academic outcomes, but also on their mental health. Jenny Atkinson is the CEO and founder of the Littlescribe online literacy program, which helps improve students’ writing skills by allowing them to create and author original handwritten and self-illustrated books. She says screen time is having a negative impact on students’ mental health.

 

Autism dual diagnoses, mandatory to receive learning support in South Australia, to be scrapped

According to ABC News, children living with autism spectrum disorder will be able to access extra support at school without a diagnosis when SA Department for Education regulations change in October. At the moment, children suspected of having the condition need to be diagnosed by two separate health professionals to access funding for extra learning support. The Manager of Disability and Complex Needs at the Department for Education, Emma Goodall, said that would no longer be the case. "From October, parents and students won't need a diagnosis of anything to access support because support in the new funding model is needs-based rather than label-based," Dr Goodall said.

 

INTERNATIONAL

[Asia-Pacific] Australia under pressure to help curb child abuse 'epidemic' in Pacific

According to SBS News, the Australian government is being urged to dedicate more of its Pacific foreign aid budget to the prevention of violence against children. A new report has detailed shocking levels of physical violence and neglect towards millions of Pacific nation children, sparking calls for better-targeted Australian aid programs. The "Unseen and Unsafe" report team investigated child-rearing practices in seven Pacific countries as well as Timor-Leste. It found as many as four million children experience violence at home - a staggering 2.8 million in Papua New Guinea alone.

 

[US] School spankings are banned just about everywhere around the world except in US

According to timesunion, in 1970, only three countries – Italy, Japan and Mauritius – had banned corporal punishment in schools. By 2016, more than 100 countries had banned the practice, which allows teachers to legally hit, paddle or spank students for misbehaviour. The dramatic increase in bans on corporal punishment in schools is documented in an analysis that a group of researchers conducted recently to learn more about the forces behind the trend. They looked at a variety of political, legal, demographic, religious and economic factors. Two factors stood out from the rest. First, countries with English legal origin – that is, the United Kingdom as well as its former colonies that implemented British common law – were less likely to ban corporal punishment in schools across this time period. Second, countries with higher levels of female political empowerment, as measured by things such as women’s political participation or property rights – that is, women having the right to sell, buy and own property – were more likely to ban corporal punishment.

 

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