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Welcome

Welcome to the August newsletter. I thought NAPLAN would be our lead focus for this issue of eNews, but the Same Se x Marriage (SSM) debate has ratchetted up at a mighty rate of knots.

Please give attention to the SSM statement from AACS. This statement might be useful for your newsletter. We wanted to provide a short, clear message that focussed on the needs of Christian schools and not something that presumed a particular viewpoint. Our key concern is the clash of rights. Both of the Paul Kelly and Frank Brennan articles are both worth reading.

I enjoy doing the reading and research for eNews each month, and seek to offer articles in a quick and digestible form for members. Thank you for giving time to reading this as I know how much comes in your into your inbox and across your desk. Enjoy the read.

Martin

martin pic

Short Updates

If the SSM vote/survey/plebiscite survives the High Court challenge postal forms will be mailed out from September 12 and completed by November 7. Schools can get involved by…

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SSM DEBATE

Introductory Comments

No doubt the SSM debate has been happening within your school communities. How does the Christian school get involved in this debate? What advice should school leadership provide…

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AACS Statement on SSM Debate

There are a variety of views about the upcoming SSM postal plebiscite and AACS does not make any presumptions as to what position a school might want to take. Many will leave the matter for…

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Frank Brennan Will Vote ‘Yes’ but He Still Wants to Protect Religious Freedom

Frank Brennan in The Guardian (Aug 17) advocates for SSM but also seeks religious freedom protection. He says, “I am one of those Australians who will be…

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The Clash of Rights

Again The Australian Editor-at-Large, Paul Kelly (August 12) captures well the issues that are of great concern to Christian schools. In this significant piece, Kelly says, “Beyond the campaign lies…

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Those Lobbying for the ‘No’ Vote

Those Lobbying for the ‘No’ Vote, the Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) and The Coalition for Marriage, take the position that not only seeks…

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Our Manner Toward this Debate

I was quite taken with the spirit and attitude encouraged in this post. For me, having a similar attitude to Tom French doesn’t stop me holding the traditional marriage viewpoint…

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The Need to be Politically Involved

Akos Balogh says in his blog (Aug 16) ‘How Should Christians Engage the SSM Debate?’, “Instead of retreating from politics, Christians, out of love for their neighbours, should engage government, and help it to be as just as possible.”

Click here for the blog. 

Should You Vote?

This paragraph comes from Megan Powell de Toit writing in Engage.Mail: “I haven’t discussed how you should vote, as that wasn’t my purpose with this piece. But here are some brief comments. You should…

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GENERAL UPDATE

NAPLAN Results and 10th Anniversary

NAPLAN results came out on August 2 and the usual digest and ‘no improvement’ commentary accompanied. The bulk of commentary focussed on the nil relationship between increased funding and improved results…

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The Worth of NAPLAN

After 10 years, one might have expected more commentary on the worth of the NAPLAN exercise. As I have stated on numerous past occasions, the value in NAPLAN is primarily as a…

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Eight Principles for Reversing Out Classroom Decline

Elena Douglas (The Australian, Aug 5-6) makes a number of really helpful suggestions – what she calls design principles that she suggests the Gonski 2.0 Review should…

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Funding Update

The SES data review should be completed soon with the data being released October/ November. My assumption is that it will inform 2018 funding. As expressed in a more significant…

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A Parent’s Guide to Understanding Gonski 2.0

Last month AACS distributed a ‘Parents Guide to Understanding Gonski 2.0’. We did this because there has been so much confusion and contrary arguments surrounding…

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Melton Christian College – A Sikh Turban

Melton Christian College found itself in many headlines regarding parents requesting that their child wear a Sikh turban at school. The hearing before the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal has been heard and they…

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Xmas Card OK, But Don’t Mention Jesus

Over recent years we have seen numerous examples of assertive secularism placing new restrictions on what Christians and Christian programs are allowed to do. The latest example comes from…

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Primary School Children Displaying Worrying Behaviour

The Sydney Morning Herald (Aug 6) looked at the problematic issue of teachers needing to deal with displays of worrying behaviour “prompting concerns that teachers are…

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ADVICE

How do You Deal with Parents Who Will Not Pay School Fees?

School Governance (July 20) takes a look at an issue that every independent school faces. “Families, due to a plethora of unfortunate circumstances can fall upon harsh…

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Losing Male Primary Teachers

Vaughan Cruickshank writing in The Conversation (Aug 8) asks why Primary schools are losing more and more male teachers and how can we retain them? He says: “The percentage of male primary school teachers…

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