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Corporal Punishment Debate

While being interviewed with Sydney’s 2UE Justin Smith, Australian Curriculum Reviewer and conservative Catholic education commentator, Kevin Donnelly made comments in support of the ‘wise’ use of corporal punishment. He said, “If the school community is in favour of it then I have got no problem if it’s done properly…There are one or two schools around Australia that I know where it actually is approved of and they do do it. I’m sure they only do it very rarely.” Donnelly was also reflecting on other discipline strategies like “time out” zones which he said do not work because children can relax and avoid class work….

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July Funding Notices

All schools (or more correctly ‘approved authorities’) will have received their July Funding Notices and payment (July 11th) which will be the revised further 25% of recurrent federal 2014 funding. Frustratingly, again it’s just a table of figures without explanation. Principals and Business Managers can go to either the AACS website for an extended AACS funding explanation or click here for the Department’s explanation The revision calculations include more up-to-date data (provided by ACARA to DOE) covering socio-educational advantage (SEA) and language background other than English (LBOTE). The previous calculation was based on…

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Chaplaincy Funding Update

As previously reported the High Court ruled that present funding arrangements are unconstitutional (a technical legal understanding regarding the Commonwealth not having a ‘head of constitutional power’). To assist in managing this short term problem Federal Finance Minister Mathias Cormann gave notice on the same day as the High Court that the Commonwealth will waive its right to retrieve debts; i.e. it’s been ‘gifted’. All chaplaincy funding was paid at the start of the year. Decisions about the continuation of chaplaincy services are now a matter…

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Senate Select Committee Abbott Government’s Budget Cuts

AACS has been invited to make a submission to this Committee by Friday 22 August 2014. The committee is to inquire into the effect of cuts or changes in the Commonwealth budget and provide a final report to the Senate on or before 20 June 2016. School leaders are invited to provide input towards the AACS submission.

Senate Select Committee School Funding Review

This Report was presented to the Senate earlier this month (8 July). It was disappointing that this Committee, which was set up by a Greens/ ALP Senate majority to challenge the new Government’s watering down of Gonski, went down the standard party line division. The Greens/ ALP Majority Report rehashes all the pro-Gonski arguments (full funding over the 6 years) and the Coalition’s Minority Report argues…

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Trade Training Centre Review

With a very short deadline (August 1st), Assistant Minister for Education Sussan Ley MP has invited submissions from the 219 operating TTC’s (in 2012) for an independent review into the Trade Training Centres in Schools Program. The review is considering: (1) efficacy of utilisation, (2) training provided, particularly in terms of industry and employer engagement, (3) training outcomes and whether they are meeting industry and…

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Australian Curriculum Review

Click here for the preliminary report of the Review into the Australian Curriculum by Kevin Donnelly and Ken Wiltshire which has recently been released. The Greens made a bit of commotion about Minister Pyne not releasing this, which he then promptly did. It doesn’t say that much. The final report is due to the Minister at the end of this month.

Consultation Before the Abolition of the ACNC

This issue affects Christian Schools because they are ‘charities’ and the outcomes of the government’s policy will have compliance implications. In keeping with their promise to abolish the Australian Charities and Not-for-Profits Commission (ACNC) and reduce the burden of regulation and red tape an Options Paper has been released seeking feedback regarding replacement arrangements. The deadline is August 20. The Government will then introduce new legislation later in the…

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Christian Schools National Business Conference 2014

This conference has been running every second year since 2006 with the target audience being those engaged with the business of running Christian schools focusing on meeting the needs of Business Managers and Bursars. It is held on…

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White Paper on Reform of the Federation

In the context of ambiguous State and Commonwealth authority and responsibility (particularly for the independent school sector) we welcome the Federal Government’s initiative of commissioning a white paper on ‘federation reform’. We’d agree that there is duplication, waste and inefficiency and that a fresh look at a simpler and clearer set of definitions for the roles and responsibilities of the differing tiers of government is needed. The White Paper will be delivered by…

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Prolegis – Employment Law

We are delighted that, in this and future newsletters, we will be including legal updates from our partners, Prolegis Lawyers. We hope you find them helpful in supporting your school’s operational excellence, stakeholder management, and governance activities Prolegis has a national practise acting exclusively for Not for Profit organisations. They are specialist advisors to many Christian organisations, including…

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Schoolkids Bonus

Seeing that the Budget plan to abolish the Schoolkids Bonus was not passed by the Federal Parliament (opposition, Greens and PUP teamed up to reject) it will be paid to eligible families this month. The aim of the Bonus was to help families with education-related costs, such as…

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Where Has AACS Been Representing You Recently?

AACS have been busy representing you over the last month. Read more to see where I have been and don’t hesitate to contact me if you would like any more details about any of the meetings or submissions.

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