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Welcome to December eNews and Christmas Greetings

Another school year is nearly over and ‘end of year’ celebrations are happening. From AACS we hope that you will be able to celebrate the fact that God so loved His world that he gave us Emmanuel, Jesus – God with us. Jesus’ redemption is why we are about Christian education. We want to join him as ambassadors for the kingdom – to bring His lordship into the learning playground of education.

We wish you a refreshing time over the Christmas and New Year break. There will not be a January eNews but you will hear from us again in February.

This eNews covers quite a range of issues but of note in particular: is the funding update; the very pleasing defeat of two Bills before the Victorian Parliament, and some commentary about comparative international studies.

Until the new year. Rest in God’s wonderful shalom, Martin.

martin pic

UPDATE

Short Update

After writing copious amounts on the issue and spending many months lobbying against the Victorian EO Amendment (Religious Exceptions) Bill 2016 it is wonderful to share that the Bill was…

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Funding Update – State Disparities, Grattan & Wages

The focus over the last month has shifted from over-funded (above SRS) schools to funding disparities between states and an interesting set of suggestions from the…

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Christian Schools Write to the Minister on Funding

Four large Christian school organisations (Anglican Schools Corporation, Adventist Schools Australia, Christian Schools Australia (CSA) and AACS) wrote to the Minister (Nov 29) urging “all par ties and all Governments to work cooperatively and quickly resolve the uncertainty around future funding and ensure the vital consistency and predictability needed by Christian schools.”

Click here for the full letter.

Victorian Equal Opportunity Amendment (Religious Exceptions) Bill Defeated

This was the Bill which would have imposed a ‘inherent requirements’ test and placed restrictions on Christian schools being able to require that staff uphold the community’s faith and values. We are so…

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Changes to Victorian Birth Certificates

Both the South Australian and Victorian governments have been reviewing the categorisation on Birth Certificates. In this last sitting week for the year the Victorian Upper House (Legislative Council) is considering the…

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Gender Dysphoria and Gender Confusion

I want a pause for a moment and recognise that gender dysphoria is real, although rare. I am not without personal knowledge of Victorians who are genuinely struggling and suffering due to…

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18C – Freedom of Speech Inquiry

As mentioned on previous occasions this issue is of interest to Christian schools because of the close relationship between various branches of human rights law. Shifting understandings regarding human rights freedoms, particularly…

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Commentary on ‘Australia Failing’ in International Studies

I am not sure how you react to the reflections that typically follow any new comparative international study. For me, it is typically a sigh and thought, ‘here we go again, knock the teachers and our system’. It is very predictable and quite…

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Australian Schools Continue to Fall in Maths and Science – TIMSS Study

The latest Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study Study (TIMSS) results have been released. Again a round of reflections about the weakness of Australian schools and teachers has followed…

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Stop Blaming Teachers for Falling Results

In an interesting and provocative article in The Guardian, Ned Manning argues that ‘teacher bashing’ has got it all wrong. He doesn’t hold back from seeking to change what is being reviewed…

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Latest PISA Results Are Out

The results are out for the OECD’s latest Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), an international snapshot for 15-year-olds held every three years. This major global test of student achievement is…

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If ‘Australia’s Students are Failing. I Blame the Politicians’

Continuing on with my theme of querying the standard ‘beat up’ after another International Report, Canberra academic Misty Adoniou wrote this clear and insightful reaction…

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Overcoming Indigenous Disadvantage: Key Indicators 2016

The Productivity Commission’s report, Overcoming Indigenous Disadvantage: Key Indicators 2016, has looked at what has improved and what has not. Two of the key findings are…

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AITSL Annual Report 2016

The 2016 Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL) annual report is out and Board Chair, Professor John Hattie says in his introduction, “one of my prime objectives is to…

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ADVICE

Catholic Schools Completing Checks on Volunteer Parents

Under strict new child safety standards Victorian Catholic school principals will be required to run rigorous background checks on parents who volunteer at school events. According to new guidelines parents will be…

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The Relationship Between the Business Manager, Principal and Board

Here are the second and third articles in this School Governance (Nov 17 & 24) series on the relationships between the Board Chair, the Principal and the Business Manager. Well worth reading.

Click here for second article – the relationship between the Board Chair and the Principal.

Click here for third article – the relationship between the triumvirate.

The Role of the Deputy Principal

The standard jo ke in some Principal circles is to define the Deputy Principal’s (DP) role as picking up anything the Principal doesn’t want to do. School Governance (Dec 1) ran a helpful article on the role including…

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Performance Management & Redundancies: Traps and Pitfalls

Schools must occasionally use performance management processes where staff are underperforming or fail, for any reason, to conform to the school’s requirements or cultural norms. However, it is important to get one concept clear. The main outcome of …

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OTHER INTERESTING ARTICLES

Study Finds That Strict Classroom Discipline Improves Student Outcomes and Work Ethic

The Sydney Morning Herald (Nov 9) reported on an interesting debate about the value of strict classroom discipline on results. Two new studies have found evidence that…

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Senate Report – Harm on Young People

A Senate Committee report has recommended governments consider if their ‘current policies on, and responses to, allegations of ab use perpetrated by children within schools’ are adequate. The report, Harm being done to Australian children…

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Should We do Away with Exams Altogether?

Exams do have a purpose, but they shouldn’t be used to assess the recall of meaningless facts. Two academics investigate the purpose of exams in this helpful article from…

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What to Say if Your Child Asks, ‘What’s the Point of Maths?’

Academic Kevin Larkin attempts to answer this question from The Conversation (Dec 2). Good to address in a newsletter editorial.

Click here for full article.