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August has been the season for Censuses (awkward plural). Friday 5 August was the annual schools census and Tuesday 9 was the census covering the nation. Interesting lessons have been learnt about priv acy, on-line collection and future methods of data collection, no doubt.

We have moved further away from the election now that the Senate res ults are known and onto the government’s new agenda and the upcoming August parliamentary sitting. The matter of the new government’s (and Senate’s) effectiveness is the three year question. From a more specific Christian school perspective the Victorian Greens Anti-Discrimination Bill is of key concern. All the other states are watching to see what occurs.

Other than that there is a wide mix of interesting reading in this month’s eNews. Happy reading, Martin

Just a reminder that you will find throughout the eNews words with spaces in them, for example “res ult”, “educ ation”. These are spam triggering words and the way to deal with them is to put in a space so as the “trick” the spam filter. Apologies, we understand that it is annoying, but often these words cannot be replaced with other non-spam triggering words. 


Short Updates

NAPLAN res ults are out. Minister Birmingham said the plateaued res ults highlighted why it was “more important than ever to focus not just on funding but evidence-based, quality reform”…

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The Confirmed 2016 Election Res ult

Res ults for the election have been declared. In the House of Representatives (HoR), the Coalition will have only a bare majority of 76 of the 150 House seats, and after providing the Speaker it provides the slimmest of margins. No one would want…

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What Does the Election Res ult Mean for School Funding?

The government will not be able to implement its proposed policies with regard to funding for schools without amendments to the Australian Educ ation Act 2013. At the same time, the ALP and the Greens…

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AACS Advocacy and the New Federal Educ ation Lea dership

AACS will continue to advocate for the interests of member Christian schools. We will seek to ensure that our voice is heard in the area of educ ation policy. AACS will continue to prioritise efforts in the areas of…

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Educ ation Council Meeting

The Educ ation Council (EC), which is the big get-together for Educ ation Ministers, met on July 21st. The key topics were NAPLAN online, NAP testing (other areas other than literacy and numeracy) and National Teacher Induction Guidelines. School Funding was deferred until…

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Students with Disabilities Census and Funding

The collec tion of NCCD was completed on Friday August 5. Some states provide their NCCD via the SSP web portal and others through their state’s Australian Independent Schools (AIS). We know the budget allowed for an additional…

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The National Census and the Religion Question

Once every 5 years the Australian Government via the ABS undergoes obtaining an overview of the nation and all its citizens. The ABS says it is a snapshot of Australia, showing how our nation has…

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eSafety Commissioner

The office of the eSafety Commissioner (eSC) has now completed one full year. Other than handling many complaints the eSC has initiated two programs: eSafetyWomen, which provides resources and advice to counter the rise of technology facilitated ab use, and a range of online resources for parents, with guidance on cyber-safety issues and online content.

2016 NAPLAN Res ults are not Good Enough

Simon Birmingham said the latest NAPLAN res ults showed a mix of res ults with an increase in reading scores across the country of 0.40% since 2013, a fall in writing scores of…

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Chris Bonnor comments on NAPLAN were worth noting. Apparently this year Queensland and Western Australia are standout improvers (yay!). Since 2008 there have been gains in all content areas (yay!) but not in writing (boo!). Year 3 and some year 5 tests show…

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Our Failing Schools. Enough is Enough!

In an interesting TED Talk Geoffrey Canada (May 2013) talks about the problem of repeating a failing model that we have used for the last 60 years and we just keep using. We have brought in testing…

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Freedom for Faith One Day Conferences

Freedom for Faith (FFF) is a most helpful Christian legal think-tank that picks up on the difficult and complex legal issues affecting religious freedom. A quote from their website: “Religious freedom is widely recognised as…

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National Policy Forum 2016 Presentations

The presentations of most of major presenters at the Christian Schools National Policy Forum are now available on the Christian Schools Australia (CSA) website. Click here for the CSA website conference information.

Business Managers, Bursars, IT and Marketing people are encouraged to attend the Christian Schools National Business Conference, which is designed to equip, inspire and refresh. The conference will be held in Melbourne – September 7 – 9. Click here for registration details.

What Does Safe Schools Coalition Teach About Gender?

A recent journalistic storm occurred between Sydney’s Daily Telegraph and The Guardian about what actually occurred at a staff meeting at a Girls School where they were addressing…

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Parent speaks out in regards to SSC

At a recent Forum held in the Victorian Parliament (August 11), largely addressing issues of gender and religious freedom, a parent (Cella White) spoke to the gathered religious and Christian school leaders…

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LGBTI Discrimination and the Implications for Victorian Christian Schools

The Victorian Parliament reconvenes on August 16 and there will be further consideration of the Greens Equal Oppor tunity Amendment (Equality for Students) Bill 2016. The Greens wrote to Christian Schools requesting…

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How Should the Plebiscite on Marriage be Designed?

Even though a plebiscite on SSM isn’t needed for constitutional reasons (the Parliament has the authority to change the legal understanding of marriage) the Coalition has promised one because they say there is a need for a national debate…

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New Victorian Child Safe Standards and Other States Requirements

Seven new Child Safe Standards (the Standards) have come into place in Victoria (August 1) under Ministerial Order 870. School Governance ran an article about a new form of compliance administration where Victorian school principals are…

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Disability Discrimination: What are Reasonable Adjustments?

Many schools ask how they should make practical changes to help students with disabilities receive the care and support they need. In response to last year’s review of the Disability Standards the Federal Department of Education has…

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What is Shaping Our Young People’s Understanding of S ex?

You might not agree with all the conclusions of Maree Crabbe in her article in The Guardian (Aug 4) but Christian schools must address the devastating impact that…

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Conflicts of Interest in Schools: How do you Manage Them?

School Governance (July 21) ran this helpful insight for Board members. The introduction states that: “If you sit on a board, you have a duty to act in the best interests of your organisation, regardless…

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The Shaping Influence of Christianity

What do we say to those who feel Christianity has no place in modern Australia? Soc ial commentator and CEO of Olive Tree Media, Karl Faase, has just released a DVD series which looks at how Christianity has shaped our moral roots in ways that even the secular world treasures.

Click here for further information.

Reimaging School Design

Rather than looking at Finnish PISA res ults check out this article on Finnish school design and the thinking behind it. The design brief places huge emphasis on the idea of schools being pleasant, attractive…

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Reimagining NSW: How Good Governance Strengthens Democracy

In The Conversation (Aug 2) four NSW academics reflect on what makes good policy and good governance (the relationship between the state and civil…

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DIDUNO and Father’s Day and the Christian Connection

The DIDUNO series (a series that explains the Christian roots of historical events and artefacts) explains how Father’s Day (In Australia – first Sunday in Sept) came about.

It says in its conclusion, “Sonora Dodd’s efforts to celebrate and promote Father’s Day were a practical expression of what the Lord had ordained in the fifth of The Ten Commandments: “Honour your Father and your Mother.” May each of us take notice of this biblical and divine instruction and cherish and respect those who God has chosen to be our earthly fathers (and mothers).”

Canadian University Religious Liberty

The Christian Post (July 27) reports on an important religious freedom issue in Canada. This issue has clear connections to the similar situation in Australia. Under the title…

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