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Welcome

Christian schools have Christ at the forefront of everything they do. That’s why we love Colossians 1 and that key phrase ‘ALL THINGS’:

…all things were created by him and for him (whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities). He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.” Col. 1: 15 & 16

AACS seeks to bring ‘all things’ under Christ’s rule and as we wrap up 2017 we again acknowledge our Saviour who chose to join our humanity, entering in humbly and helplessly, so that we could make that marvellous connection through the gift of faith. As we come to celebrate Christmas may we be reminded that ‘all things’ hold together in the gift of Jesus who became our Redeemer.

This will be the last Christmas greeting that I will be bringing you in my AACS Executive Officer capacity (and therefore Christine’s, Executive Assistant, also). As the notice later in eNews explains I am finishing up in this role because of my declining health – oh the groans of a broken world. Even in trying circumstances however, I can still fix my eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfector of ‘all things’ and therefore, I can venture on in a hope that is beyond my weaknesses.

The key issues that have opened up over the past month relate to the pending changes to the Marriage Act and the debate that has been occurring around religious freedom. Whatever our viewpoint might be here it is important that we as Christians show our respect for all citizens particularly for those whose beliefs differ significantly from our own.

To date Christian schools have been able to rely on ‘exemptions’ to discrimination law. However, quite separate to changes in community attitudes towards marriage, these exemptions have been challenged in a number of arenas. In this newsletter it is worth being across the comments about religious freedom amendments, exemptions and the advice on staff employment. Plus there is the normal array of update and interesting articles.

This newsletter arrives a little earlier in December because the year is virtually all over by the 15th, bar the shouting. Have a great break and I would like to remind you that there will be no eNews during January.

I am hoping that your year ends well, particularly delighting in the gift of a Saviour, who came down to bless us with his favour.

Shalom, Martin

SHORT UPDATES

Executive Officer Update; Prime Minister praise for extraordinary achievement; the review of the SES model, and a federal election…

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LONG UPDATES

Update on CEA and the New AACS Organisation

Over the past 12 months, the AACS Council, along with other interested groups and schools, has taken active steps to pursue the…

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Financial Questionnaire Changes – Business Managers Please Note

After a review the Federal Department (Aus DET) has decided to make a number of changes to the format of the Financial Questionnaire (FQ). There are two key reasons…

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Provisional Entitlement Notices and the School Funding Estimator for 2018

Schools will have received their 2018 Entitlement Notices on November 22 as had been promised. The following is a summary of the key information for…

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Students With Disability Funding

From 2018, the NCCD data will inform funding for SWD students. The amounts received for the three funded subset areas of the SWD loading have been included…

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South Australian Funding for 2018 is Now Sorted

We were most alarmed to hear that the SA Education Minister Susan Close stated in a Press Release (Nov 23) that the SA Government would not be signing the…

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Same Se x Marriage and its Implications

The following quick update, regarding the SSM Bill and its religious freedom implications, was sent out to AACS schools on November 30 for…

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Religious Freedom Amendments and Protection

Marriage Amendment (Definition and Religious Freedoms) Bill 2017. It is expected that religious freedom amendments proposed by members of Coalition will be…

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Are There Limits for Religious Freedom?

It is interesting to note that the general amendment proposed by Attorney General George Brandis wanted to include wording from S 18(1) International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights which says…

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Same Se x Marriage – the Vote is in. What next?

Mark Sneddon, the Executive Director of the Institute for Civil Society addressed the issue of, ‘What happens next?’ after the decisive ‘Yes’ vote. In the attached article Sneddon explains…

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How to Talk to Your Children About Marriage Equality

I have previously brought attention to this Nurture article that encourages parents to talk to their children about the…

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Western Australia and Religious Freedom Exemptions

The West Australian press has been regularly reporting on the use of exemptions and a controversy over whether or not a…

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Northern Territory Anti-Discrimination Review

The Northern Territory (NT) Discussion Paper Modernisation of the Anti-Discrimination Act (ADA) which proposes changes would have a significant impact on…

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Exemptions Comparisons Around the States and Territories

Christian Schools Australia (CSA) has prepared a very helpful comparison of exceptions or exemptions in other domestic jurisdictions. The details herein show that the..

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Catholic Campaign Against Gonski 2.0

In last month’s eNews, we reported on a campaign against the Gonski 2.0 funding model coming from some Catholic Education offices, particularly the…

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PISA Assessing How Students Work in Teams

According to Fairfax reports, Australian students lag behind their international peers in science, reading and maths but are among the world’s best performers when it comes to…

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ADVICE

Advice for Christian Schools on Christian Employment

One Christian school group (a member of AACS) has recently spent a large amount of money obtaining legal advice on the defensibility of requiring staff to be…

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The Pros and Cons of Standardised Testing

The Conversation (Nov 13-24) ran a series of articles on standardised testing examining the pros and cons, including appropriate uses for standardised tests and which students are…

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How to Improve School Educ ation in Australia

The Grattan Institute argues in a new discussion paper (Nov 26) “Towards an adaptive educ ation system in Australia” that we need to rethink the way…

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Fix the Early Learning Flaws Before it’s too Late

This ‘alarmist’ article in The Age (Nov 3) has a fairly ‘dark’ outlook, but is worth reading. The writer, Harold Mitchell, challenges teachers and parents to recognise the critical importance of…

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Your ATAR is not a Measure of You

Fairfax contributor Lisa Wells says, “We’ve hit that time of year when year 12s freak out about what ATAR number they’ll get, believing this number will define their future. I wish I could convince them it’s not…

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Advice Regarding Trans gender Students

The following two articles might appear to be contradictory. I would suggest that they are not, but rather approach the issue from two different angles. The first is a…

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Gender Ideology Harms Children

The American College of Pediatricians originally published this article in March 2016 and has updated it in September 2017. The College urges healthcare professionals, educators and legislators to…

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Separated Parents and Conflict

Emil Ford Lawyers offer some general and short advice regarding the sometimes difficult situation of dealing with parents who are in conflict with each other and how it might impact the school their children attend.

Click here for the full article.

OTHER INTERESTING ARTICLES

Is the Push for Secular Supre macy Well Founded?

Ray Pennings from the Canadian Christian think tank Cardus writes in the Canadian National Post (Nov 16) about the struggles between aggressive secularism and religion, matters that are…

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Identity Politics or Western Civilisation – History Teaching

The Institute of Public Affairs (IPA) has released a survey of history subjects at Australian universities, arguing that “identity politics” (subjects related to…

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