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Welcome

It has been a fairly stormy political month and “funding” has returned to the front pages. It might become a big issue within the election campaign. When will the election occur and what sort will it be? I am fairly confident we will know by next month.

The se xuality and gender debate continues on as the government has tried to hose down the difficult matter of whether it supports the controversial Safe Schools Coalition program. I invite you to read my reflections on this difficult issue and also the article ‘Gender Ideology Harms Children’ – a fascinating insight from a neutral medical spec ialist body. Both of these articles could be a useful for school newsletters. My favourite article this month is at the end – ‘Cut the waffle’.

Martin

Martin for eNews

UPDATES

Short Updates

Parliament returns to Canberra later this month to give consideration to the government’s industrial relations legislation. We’ll need to wait and see if a double dissolution election on July 2nd results, and if this affects the standard sitting dates…

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Recommendation to Attend Two Conferences

Associated Christian Schools (ACS) and Christian Heritage College (CHC) have realised a huge coup by enlisting Dr Jamie Smith as their keynote speaker. I highly recommend that you attend the two conferences…

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Interesting Statistics

The graph below has been used in some of the recent ‘split funding’ discussions since the PM’s comments about states funding public educ ation and the Commonwealth funding the non-government schools. Those who champion only public schools get…

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AACS AGM

Don’t forget to RSVP to the AACS AGM Cru ise on Sunday 22nd May from 4 pm till 6 pm. This invitation is open to all AACS members (and partners) who might be in Canberra for either the CEN Conference and/or the National Policy Forum. You are invited to High Tea on the MC Southern Cross, moored at the Southern Cross Yac ht Cl ub Boat Jetty, 1 Mariner Place, Yarralumla, Canberra. Please RSVP to Christine Paech (Executive Assistant) before 22nd April as bookings for this cru ise are essential.

Click here for more details.

Christian Schools National Policy Forum – 23 & 24 May

If you haven’t already registered for the Christian Schools National Policy Forum, please do so as soon as possible. Click here for the link.

Christian Schools Symposium – 25 May

Soc ial norms and understandings of gender and se xuality are under constant challenge. Parents, schools and the church struggle to compete with soc ial media when endeavouring to appropriately influence students during their…

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NAPLAN Results Out and My School 2016 Updated

NAPLAN results for 10,000 Australian schools were released on March 9th. ACARA has launched My School 2016 assisting the community to view updated information on all schools across Australia, and to make comparisons between them.The MySchool website includes eight years of performance data…

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ISCA and AHISA Forum

At the recent joint ISCA and AHISA National Educ ation Forum held in Canberra – March 15th. A few things worth noting. Minister Birmingham said that it is important to have diversity in educ ation. He said that this enables…

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The Queensland Economy Benefits from Independent Schools

Independent Schools Queensland (ISQ) has released a report highlighting the worth of independent education to the Queensland economy. The ISQ commissioned report, The Economic Significance of Independent Schools to the Queensland, is based on independent economic…

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ADVICE

Discrimination Activism Going Mad

This is hard to believe but The Australian reports (April 2) that the Catholic Society at the University of Sydney is facing deregistration on the grounds that it requires senior members to be Catholic. The society, formed in 1928, has been told that its membership requirements are…

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Safe Schools Coalition Australia (SSCA) Controversy and Review

Even though the SSCA ‘Stand Out’ program has been around for a few years now it has made headlines over recent months after Coalition members bought their concerns to the…

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The SSCA Controversy – AACS Commentary

The Safe Schools Coalition Australia will be tricky topic and care and balance is needed in addressing the issue…

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Big Concerns for Andrews’ Government – Further AACS Commentary

There have been a number of concerning decisions made by the Andrews’ Government in Victoria, since they came to office in late 2014. This is despite a balanced and positive articulation of…

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Year 8 Kids to Study Se x Ads

The Australian has reacted quite strongly to the Victorian government’s agenda in running a front page exclusive (April 14) and editorial (April 15) on the extent to which Victorian state schools have taken over the role of…

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The Australian Editorial – The Sexualisation of Children

Following are some extracts from The Australian Editorial (April 15th). It is interesting that The Australian, as a secular newspaper in an overtly secular country, doesn’t pick up on the language of a moral framework for life as Christians might do, but there are still many…

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Does Gender Correspond with Biological Se x?

Neil Foster in his Law and Religion blog (April 12) said, “There are many issues in this area which intersect with religious freedom questions, especially as the majority view within Christian and other “Abrahamic” faiths seems to be…

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Gender Ideology Harms Children

The American College of Paediatricians made this post (March 21, 2016) and urges educators and legislators to reject all policies that condition children to accept as normal a life of chemical and surgical impersonation of the opposite…

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Alternative Anti-Bullying Programs

Roslyn Phillips, National Research Officer for Family Voice Australia (FAVA), recently posted a contact list for a wide variety of Anti-bullying programs from Australia and over seas. Friendly Schools Plus is a whole-of-school program developed…

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John Collier – Next Instalment

Click here for the next instalment of John Collier’s Study of Christian Educ ation in Scandinavia and Europe

The New Grattan Institute Report – Widening Gaps

The Grattan Institute’s new report, ‘Widening gaps: what NAPLAN tells us about student progress’ shows that the level of parental…

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Is There a Link Between Funding and Results?

The federal government has consistently argued that the increased funding over the past decade (66% real increase for public schools over the last 10 years) has not resulted in any change in…

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Update on the Student With Disabilities (SWD) Situation

School Governance ran a summary article on the recent release of leaked data (see story in March AACS newsletter). The article refers to some key statistics and revealed that the NCCD data shows “19.4 per cent of students nationally have a disability or learning difficulty…

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Governance Wars

An old friend of Christian schools, Dr Ian Lambert, has made the news on a number of occasions over recent times as a dispute between…

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Laptops in the Classroom

Sydney Grammar (about to retire) Principal John Vallance was probably right about the waste of money that went into the $2.4 billion Dig ital Revolution but perhaps he’s using a big ‘point of difference’ to highlight his school as he bans…

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OTHER INTERESTING ARTICLES

Explaining Offshore Banking Using Piggy Banks

The Guardian (April 5) ran a brilliant simple explanation of offshore banking using piggy banks, wardrobes and an angry mum, in the article ‘How to explain offshore banking (and when it is…

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Cut the Waffle

The Australian ran this wonderful article (March 30) “Schools must speak to parents without waffle or jargon’’, on an appeal for plain speak. “Our schools must talk to parents…

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Not Another Disability Acronym

What is non-verbal learning (NDL) disability? In The Conversation article (24 March), Barbara Rissman explores NLD which is a complex neurological disability…

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Parents Assisting Their Children Develop Skills for School

The Western Australian Government is developing a series of educ ational videos to help pre-school children develop basic literacy schools and aid their transition to school. The first video of the series is now available, aiming to help children thrive at school with some simple pre-school activities which highlight the importance of parent engagement.

Click here for further information.

Victorian Students Screened for Dyslexia

The Age (April 2) reports that a new Victorian government program will see every child screened for dyslexia and other learning disabilities when they start…

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Parents Made Responsible

The reporter for Perth Now reports (March 14, 2016) on a more forceful approach designed to gain greater parental responsibility for children’s…

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Mother’s Day and the Christian Connection

Honouring of mothers over the centuries has appeared in varying forms and traditions since and possibly before Roman times. In the 1600’s the Church of England instigated Mothering Sunday in recognition of…

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