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Welcome

Welcome back after a month’s break. Sadly, the October newsletter was lost somewhere in Norway, whilst I was visiting my daughter (currently studying in Sweden), when my computer hard drive corrupted and was not able to be resurrected. Those tears are now freezing over in the Scandinavian wasteland. My apologies for missing the October eNews issue.

Whilst in Sweden though, I did have the opportunity of visiting other Christian educ ation leaders in northern Europe and it is interesting to see their work within liberal secular states. More on that down the track.

What a full-on two months of political intrigue and educ ational battles. The US election, 18C, attempts to change Equal Opportunity laws, school funding, the 2016 Cardus educ ation report and more. I can commend to you the two ‘balanced’ Christian responses to the Trump outcome.

Shalom, Martin

martin pic

UPDATE

Short Updates

Many of you will know the Executive Officer of the Queensland based Associated Christian Schools and member of the AACS Council…

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An Equal Opportunity Update – It is all Happening in Victoria

There have been two Bills that have been before the Victorian Parliament that have been of concern to us as Christian schools. These Bills will have national implications as other…

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What is so Erastian about Daniel Andrews?

In this brilliant article, Michael Bird argues that the Andrews’ government move to press ahead with legislation that will directly interfere in the practice of…

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Section 18C – Racial Discrimination Act

Section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act is well and truly back on the agenda after a judge threw out the case against a number of Queensland University of Technology (QUT) students and because of the controversy over the…

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Marriage Plebiscite Defeated

With the ALP deciding against the SSM plebiscite on Monday Nov 7, the Senate rejected the plebiscite Bill. Michelle Grattan gave a helpful summary of affairs…

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Australian Charities and Not-for-Profits Commission

It would appear that the Australian Charities and Not-for-Profits Commission (ACNC) is now starting to feel more secure. Up to now they have been using a ‘light touch’ in their approach, but evidence is emerging that…

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NAPLAN Update

There has been considerable discussion around the use of online for the NAPLAN Year 3 writing task. Some research will be undertaken this year comparing online writing with pen and paper writing at Year 3…

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ADVICE

Funding Back on the Agenda

There are four funding options that have been discussed over the past year and are summarised here…

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Students with Disabilities Funding Update

Students with Disabilities (SWD) loadings are still in a state of flux. Price Waterhouse Cooper (PWC) is doing an audit of the 2015 data to determine how useful it is…

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Christian Schools Response to Funding Debate

In response to this funding debate AACS, along with other Christian schools organisations are about to send a short update submission to the Minister…

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Funding and Budgets

Schools wondering about budgeting issues – for the moment go with a continuance of the status quo into 2018 (The current AEA legislation – 4.7/3.6/3.0 % pa increases for under/on/over the SRS schools respectively. However, if you can wait until after the Dec 2nd Ministerial Council meeting, further news might emerge.

Overfunded Schools

In late September, Minister Birmingham triggered a renewed debate over school funding by agreeing on the ABC’s Q&A program that some non-government schools are ‘notionally overfunded’. One could only speculate…

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Myths, Media and School Funding

The last few months has seen a number of reports about unfair funding of independent schools. Here’s an example of a paper that was sent to all Victoria school principals recently. Sent to all Vic State School Principals…

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NSW Education Minister Adrian Piccoli Slams Report

It’s been very interesting to note the strong and consistent voice coming from NSW with regards the Gonski funding model. The Sydney Morning Herald (SMH) reports that…

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The Latest Cardus Study

Cardus survey titled ‘Educ ating to love your neighbour: The full picture of Canadian Graduates’, is out. There are many parallels with the Australian context…

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Cardus Study Findings

In launching the latest research from Cardus, Dr Beth Green (Cardus Comment, Oct 31), confirms that independent schools play an important role in…

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Is Freedom of Religion an Individual Right or is it More Communal?

In much of the present debate about how far freedom of religion should extend we have quoted frequently from Article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights which refers to…

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The Length of Pre-school

A new Victoria University report recommends that children start preschool at three. The current agreements between governments have seen preschool offered to four-year-olds. Dr Stacey Fox from Victoria University has said…

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Priv acy Update

Priv acy is a difficult policy area for schools to manage and more changes and requirements are about to come into play. Under new legislation – Amendment Bill 2016 (Cth) non-government schools (NGS) will…

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Student Wellbeing Hub

he Australian Government is proud to release a new Student Wellbeing Hub website. It aims to provide current best-practice, curriculum-aligned resources for…

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The Relationship Between Principal and Business Manager

School Governance (Nov 10) has started a three part series on the relationships between principals, Business Managers and Board Chairs.

Click here for Part One.

OTHER INTERESTING ARTICLES

The US Election – A Shock Result

As one journalist from the Washington Post reflected, “Trump’s victory is the single most stunning political development I have ever witnessed.” Akos Balogh offers some helpful…

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Leadership in an Angry and Divided Nation

‘Down under’ many of us have looked on the US primaries and election with perplexing bewilderment. Now it is all over the analysis and recriminations will begin. Into this context it was great to…

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Parents’ Choices of Primary Schools

Chapter 7 of the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children (LSAC) Annual Statistical Report published by The Australian Institute of Family Studies, examines the factors…

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The Controversy Over the Safe Schools Program – Finding the Sensible Centre

Rebecca Urban writing in The Australian reports on Professor Patrick Parkinson’s (University of Sydney Law Faculty) critique of the Safe Schools Coalition program. Here are some…

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What Christian Bale Could Teach Us About The “Safe Schools” Program?

Akos Balogh writes a pretty good blog. His October 10 post provides a summary of Professor Patrick Parkinson substantial SSC program critique. It begins…

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Playground Duty: 10 Years Since the St Mark’s Case

School Governance (Oct 6) provides us with a reminder of the duty of care responsibilities schools have towards students before and after hours. The infamous St Mark’s case reminds us that, “schools must realise that they have a duty of care for any student who is on the premises before or after school, if there is a knowledge of the student’s presence.”

Click here for full article.

School Staff Workload Study

An ACER survey of AEU members shows that full-time teachers in Victorian government schools work more than 52 hours a week, and that principals are working 60-hour weeks…

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Fairfax Offer

Fairfax is making an offer to schools of $500 (per annum) for one of the dig ital replicas of either: The Age, Sydney Morning Herald or Australian Financial Review. If you are interested, contact Fairfax media

Male Teacher Crisis: How can We Encourage More Men to Join the Profession?

According to The Australian, the number of male teachers across Australia has been dwindling – figures from the Queensland College of Teachers show a drop from 20.6 to 17.9 per cent in 2005 in Queensland. There are similar…

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Muck Up Day

How does your school do this day? Geelong Christian College made the news again this year after bringing in changes after a spectacular stunt last year. In part of a story in the…

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Weasel Words

The following blog on annoying jargon phrases, in ‘Our Community Matters’ (Oct 5), caught my eye. On a recent overseas trip I realised anew how frequently I insert colloquial phrases into…

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Spanish Parents Urged to Put Children on Weekend Homework Strike

The Guardian reports that parents in Spain are being encouraged to put their children on a homework strike in order to send a message to schools for the alarming amount of after-school work students are…

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