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Ever since May 2 when Minister Birmingham announced the new funding proposals the political landscape has been brisk. Many AACS members have been involved in lobbying their local members and senators. Thank you for your assistance.

Everything else seems to pale into insignificance and will take up the bulk of this newsletter. If the Bill gets through I’m going to take a day off and enjoy the “win”, and even though AACS can’t afford it, (I’m just thinking about) sending a bottle of 1974 Grange to the 43 year old Minister. This has been one of the best and boldest ‘good policy’ moves that has been seen for a long time.



Big Late News

Even though the vote on amendments are happening as I write, we are reasonably confident that the government will have the votes to see the successful passing of the Australian Education Amendment Bill 2017. Wunderbar !!!

Short Updates

This week I am based in Canberra doing what I can to assist the passage of the Bill. It involving lots of discussions with key advisors and senators. This will continue until…

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Funding: The State of Play

The Amendment Bill 2017 (Gonski 2.0 funding arrangements) passed the House of Representatives (HoR) and is being debated…

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Funding: The Arguments

Minister Birmingham gave his perspective and a fine summary of the arguments (AACS is in full agreement with these sentiments) at a doorstop…

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Thank You for Your Lobbying Efforts

It is one thing for letters to be sent from peak bodies and organising lobbying meetings (there have been many over the last 6 weeks), but individual school letters to political members get…

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What are the Consequences if the Bill Doesn’t Pass?

In AACS view it would be a huge travesty if this ‘good policy’ were not to be successful. I wrote this short piece for a journalist this…

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Other Proposed Changes in the Bill

School Governance (June 1) explains other changes (particularly in the Preamble and Objects sections) in the proposed legislation with its “simplified objectives and a focus on…

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AACS Gets a Fair Bit of Media Play

Ever since the initial AACS letter providing early support for Gonski 2.0 and critiquing the Catholic argument AACS has been widely quoted across a…

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The Best Articles on Gonski 2.0

There has been such a glut of material on Gonski 2.0. Ever since the Minister’s announcement on May 2 this radical proposed schools’ funding overhaul has…

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Senate Inquiry into Gonski 2.0

The Inquiry reported on June 14 and the Committee recommended that the Australian Education Amendment Bill 2017 be passed as presently tabled. There were dissenting reports…

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Understanding Gonski 2.0

The Gonski 2.0 information was released in last month’s newsletter but it is worth repeating. If you don’t understand the new model…

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The Funding Model Summary

Here is a summarised version of the key changes within the new model, which should provide assistance in budgeting and help understand the…

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50 years Since Recurrent Funding Started in Victoria

On Friday May 26 all the Victorian Christian Schools’ groupings joined together to enjoy 50 years since the Bolte Government started Non-Government Schools (NGS) recurrent funding…

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Harm Done

AACS made a submission (March 11, 2016) to the Senate Inquiry into the harm being done to Australian children through…

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Mum Wins Fight for Daughter’s Right to Wear Pants

Quoting from a Channel 9 story (May 31) “A Sydney mum has won a battle for her daughters to be allowed to wear pants and shorts at school. It took a claim of…

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Who’s Wearing the Pants? School Uniforms: The Issue that Keeps on Giving

School Governance (June 8) again addresses a highly topical issue. The article is a general update. The last two paragraphs are ‘interesting’ conclusions which…

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13 Reasons Why

The recently released Netflix ’13 Reasons Why’ has caused quite a stir and would no doubt have been talked about among staff and parents. Many specialists…

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The Other View – 13 Reasons

Sharyn Burns in The Conversation (April 28) and Alan Stokes in Sydney Morning Herald (April 25) both take the view that “concerned parents can help by…

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Perth Father Loses Legal Battle to Remove ‘God’ from School Creed

A Perth man has lost a legal fight for his daughter’s government school to remove the word ‘God’ from its school creed…

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Senate Inquiry into School to Work Transition

The Standing Committee is calling for submissions into its inquiry into school to work transition. The Minister has asked the…

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Minister Birmingham on Parental Engagement

Recently Minister Simon Birmingham gave a keynote speech at the Australian Research Alliance for Children and Youth (ARACY) – Parent Engagement Conference…

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Perth College Bans Mobile Phones from the Schoolyard

The West Australian reported about a WA boys’ school banning mobile phone use in schools due to concerns that students will be distracted and students…

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The Distortions of NAPLAN

Early May is NAPLAN time and each year there is more NAPLAN commentary. This writer thinks much has been distorted from…

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The Effectiveness of Christian Schooling – Cardus 2016 Survey

The Cardus 2016 Survey results are out. Dr Beth Green spoke on these at the recent National Policy Forum. This report profiles the importance of…

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Religious Freedom Paper

Neil Foster (Blog: Law and Religion Australia) presented a paper on the above topic at the Freedom for Faith Conference (June 14). The paper aims…

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NCCD on School Students with Disability

The last significant update summary on NCCD was given in the March newsletter…

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School Choice Research

The Infrastructure Sustainability Council of Australia (ISCA) has provided a summary of ‘school choice’ research conducted in 2016 (last time 2006). This looks at the key reasons…

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Monitoring Computers and When to Report

I learnt a few new things when I read this helpful article from School Governance (May 25), and was alerted to the implications for a school’s duty of care when it comes to its IT…

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Faith and Belief in Australia Research

Those at the National Policy Forum (NPF) would have been most impressed with Mark McCrindle’s presentation about his organisation’s new research report ‘Faith and Belief in Australia’. It is…

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How an Australian School Solved the Homework Problem

The Sydney Morning Herald (April 30) wrote about a Sydney primary school principal not giving homework to students. This issue was raised when…

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Homework in the Primary School Years

School Governance (May 5) also tackled this old chestnut of “homework in the primary school year” again. For me, I’m ‘resoundingly’ in the ‘no primary homework’ camp.

Click here for the article.

External Leasing Duty of Care

“Can you afford to hire or lease any outside venue without conducting a valid due diligence process first? …Ultimately, schools must be aware of the non-delegable duty of care they owe to students regardless of any venue/vendor or contract arrangements they have undertaken.”

Click here for the full School Governance (June 15) article.


The Role of Religion and its Overlap with Cultural Conservatism

The Conversation (May 31) explores the role of religion and its overlap with cultural conservatism in current debates and Australian…

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Is Australia a Christian nation?

I agree with everything in Kevin Donnelly’s article except for his start and finish. I agree that western civilisation and Australia has been significantly shaped by a Christian work-view, but it is another…

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Why Australian Culture is Fracturing at a Staggering Rate

Akos Balogh in his blog “See your world through a Christian lens”, writes on the underlying worldview that are changing Australia…

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Australia’s Teachers Fail: Half Quit the Classroom in Five Years

“Long hours, heavy workloads and concerns about dealing with school parents are driving rookie teachers out of schools, with almost half walking out of their classrooms within five years.”

Click here for the full (June 7) story.


Why do Adults Think Video Gam es are Bad?

The Conversation (May 31) has been running a series titled ‘Curious Kids’ inviting questions that an expert can answer. Bo, aged 9, from Melbourne asked…

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Lunchbox Policing

WA Today (June 1) reports on teachers cracking down on unhealthy foods. Where do the lines of authority/ responsibility lie here? How far should teachers…

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Six Ways to Improve Meal Times with Your Children

This might be an interesting topic for a school newsletter. Whilst such discussions belong in the realm of the family, increasingly families are looking to schools for good advice, as the morays for family life are not as clear as they once might have been.

Click here for The Conversation (June 6) full article.

Words You Get Wrong

The Guardian (June 6) ran an interesting article, ‘The 35 words you’re (probably) getting wrong. As a Dutch migrant kid who has to write a lot, I certainly need my material…

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Anti-Poverty Week

Anti-Poverty Week runs from Oct 15 – 21 with Oct 17 designated the UN International Anti-Poverty Day.

Click here for the website to get some ideas and resources, etc.

Time to Ditch the Fundraising Chocolate

Emma King  in The Sydney Morning Herald (April 25) raises some pretty good questions about the chocolate fundraising. 

Click here for the full article.

Princess BF Syndrome

Dr Michael Carr-Gregg is a family psychologist. Here he answers a Q&A in the Weekend Australian Magazine (Feb 25) and says that whilst media has changed the…

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