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2015 07 July

Same Sex Marriage and its Implications

The public discussion to date has largely focused around the term ‘equality’ and that present definitions discriminate. That is only one aspect of a much bigger debate. I appreciated Paul Kelly’s excellent piece in The Australian (11th July 2015) because it opened up some of the broader issues and looked at implications for religious freedom that proponents of same sex marriage are not giving attention to. I’d recommend the read. …

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Christian School Accused of Victimising 10-year-old Transgender Girl

A Victorian Christian school (not identified in the article based on the mother’s request) received significant media attention last week when the parents of a 10-year-old transgender girl took their complaints about the school’s handling of the matter to the…

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Christian Sex Education Program Gets in Trouble

An Age (July 2nd, 2015) article ran a very critical story about a CityLife Church Sex Ed program running in a local high school. The Epic Youth program distributed a booklet ‘titled ‘Science & Facts’ without parents’ permission that made claims challenged by those who hold …

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Resignation of ISCA CEO Yvonne Luxford

We received from ISCA (July 9th) a very short announcement (no extra information) that Dr Yvonne Luxford had resigned after a very short stint in the ISCA CEO role. It could be that more details will come to light in time, though obviously this is not an outcome that the ISCA Board or Dr Luxford would have anticipated 6 months ago. Dr Luxford replaced Bill Daniels who had served as the Independents Schools head for well over a decade. 

South Australia Code of Conduct

The SA minister of Education Susan Close has proposed a code of conduct for all SA schools following the concerns of some parents around a particular Islamic school. The Minister proposes to include the ‘Code’ in the SA Education Act (2011). All schools would be accountable to the…

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Reform of the Federation White Paper

The Australian Government has released the Reform of the Federation Discussion Paper (the Paper) following reports by in the media and leakage of the Paper. Three weeks back this raised all sorts of speculation and debate: school fees for high-income families at…

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School Funding – Can’t See the Wood for the Trees?

I’d highly recommend reading Glenn Savage’s piece from ‘The Conversation’ that addresses the confusing matter of school funding. Great read. Savage seeks to bring clarity over the state of Australian school funding because it has descended into such a hazy quagmire since the release of the…

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Senate Inquiry into Disability Standards for Education

The Senate has announced an inquiry that will look at: • The current levels of attainment for students with disability (SWD) in the school system • The impact on students and families associated with inadequate levels of support • The economic, personal and societal benefits of improving outcomes for students with disability at school as well as recent allegations of mistreatment. • The inquiry will also look at the impact on Government policies and funding cutbacks….

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SWD – NCCD Data Date

Schools are reminded that the Census Day for the Nationally Consistent Collection of Data on School Students with Disability (NCCDSSD) is Friday 7 August 2015, the same day as the Australian Government’s Census of Schools. For the first time, all Australian schools are required to provide…

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Australian Government Compliance Certification

The Department of Education and Training (Aus DET) has provided information regarding the arrangements for schools and systems to complete their annual compliance certification for recurrent funding. All approved authorities must complete this process by …

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Minimum Wage Rises

Most Christian schools pay staff well above the minimums outlined in the Educational Services (Schools) General Staff Award and Teachers Award 2010. The Fair Work Commission handed down a 2.5% increase to National Minimum Wages in its Annual Wage Review Decision for the…

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National Literacy and Numeracy Test for Teaching Graduates

The key skills test that Minister Pyne flagged as government decisions after the TEMAG report on teacher education, is being rolled out. The federal government is funding a trial literacy and numeracy test for initial teacher education students that will be available from August this year for up to 5000 students across Australia. The purpose of the test is to…

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NSW Takes Further Step for Entry Standards for Teaching Degrees

Minimum Year 12 scores, which didn’t ‘get up’ in the TEMAG recommendations, has been adopted by NSW (bold step) according to the Bostes website. Students sitting for this year’s HSC will need to achieve at least three Band 5 results, including one in English, to enrol in a teaching degree. BOSTES has approved a range of options for students who do not meet the entry requirements or who do not apply with NSW HSC results. Increasing entry requirements for undergraduate teaching degrees is an initiative of the NSW Government Great Teaching, Inspired Learning (GTIL) Blueprint for Action and is effective from 2016.  

Classroom Allocation more Important than Other Policy Considerations

John Hattie provides some of the most interesting research of educational determinants. A new international report by Professor Hattie, director of the Melbourne Education Research Institute at the University of Melbourne, shows that the classroom a child is assigned matters more than…

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Ignore at Your Peril

The following article (School Governance – 9 July) ‘Principal suspended after breaching duty of care during risky outdoor activities’ is reproduced in full. You can make your own conclusions about the actions of the Principal and School Board, though the point I’d make is that we need to be fully cognisant of our responsibilities under ‘Duty of Care’, ensure that …

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Children’s eSafety Commissioner: Cyber-bullying Complaints (Dave Gleeson – Contributing Writer)

School coordinators may have read of the launch of an online complaints process for children (or their carers) to use. This follows the fairly recent establishing of the Office of Children’s eSafety Commissioner, and the assignment of Alastair MacGibbon to that role mid-March this year. The objective and authority of the Children’s eSafety Commissioner seems to be quite simply to…

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New Chair for ACARA

Minister Pyne has appointed Professor Steven Schwartz as the new Chair of ACARA, saying “Professor Schwartz couldn’t be better placed to take on this challenging role given his excellent history as an outstanding educationalist and is highly regarded as an organisational director, known for his…

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ALP Educational Positioning

This Opposition Education spokesperson Kate Ellis opinion piece appeared in The Australian (10 July 2015) providing an update on the opposition’s attitudes to various federal education matters. Some highlights include …

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A selection of other interesting and helpful snippets for schools and their leadership:

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