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Schools have been back for many weeks now and no doubt things have kicked off at a fast pace. I hope that both you and your school will be richly blessed in this wonderful oppor tunity of serving the Lord in 2018. 

The political year has also been running hot particularly in the aftermath of the SSM legislation late last year and now the Religious Freedom Inquiry that has followed. Thank you to all those who have become involved. Can you believe that over 16,000 submissions have been made?

There are some changes that have been made to the AACS Newsletter. The first is that the newsletter is now ‘password’ prot ected and all AACS members and others who receive the newsletter will have been informed of their User Name and Password. You only need to enter those details once per newsletter. The newsletter will no longer be openly available on the website as it was in the past. These changes prot ect membership integrity.

For me, there are two more Newsletters to produce before I ‘hang up my boots’. In next month’s newsletter I hope to share more about the next chapter for the AACS Executive Officer. 

Just a reminder about the “spa ces” that you might find in some words in eNews. These words are seen as SPAM words. So putting in the “spa ces” avoids sending the newsletter off into your SPAM folder. A small inconvenience we hope. 

Enjoy reading this month’s eNews, Martin. 

Short Updates

May National Policy Forum; An Election-laden year; Updating Your School’s MySchool Profile; National Review of Teacher Registration; Libraries and more…

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Long Updates

An Overview of the Political – Educ ation Landscape in 2018

In the political educ ation field, what can we expect in 2018? The big policy areas are: Religious freedom; SES Review, followed by SWD Review by the new National Schools Resourcing Board, and more…

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2018 Demographic and Fee Changes

The Australian (Feb 3) reports that, “More parents are enrolling their children in public schools — and a growing number of private schools have not raised fees — as cost-of-living pressures take their toll on…

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Spat Over Funding

A significant spat over funding has occurred between the Independent (AIS) Sector and the Catholic Educ ation Commission of Victoria over commentary from CECV Chief Executive Stephen Elder saying…

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SES Review

The National Schools Resourcing Board Review of the SES mechanism is currently underway. It has been commissioned to assess the extent to which the current approach properly…

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Ruddock Expert Panel on Religious Freedom

In November 2017, the Australian Government announced that a panel chaired by former government minister Phillip Ruddock would examine whether ‘Australian law adequately…

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Other Ruddock Review Submissions

There have been over 16,000 submissions to the Ruddock Expert Panel. Again, a big thank you to schools and parents who took up the invitation to write in. How the panel will be able to assess that many…

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Religious Freedom Implications of SSM in Australia

There were many who said the change to SSM law was simply an adjustment of terminology and inclusion. We were not convinced and…

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Northern Territory Anti-Discrimination Review

The discussion paper on the Modernisation of the Anti-Discrimination Act released in Sept 2017 contained many radical proposals including the proposed abolishment of the…

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Closing the Gap

The Prime Minister delivered the tenth annual report to Parliament on Feb 12 on the progress made in Closing the Gap, a program to close the gap by 2030 in seven key areas. COAG agreed…

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Indigenous Boarding Schools Under Threat

The Independent Schools Council of Australia (ISCA) has warned that indigenous boarding schools are under threat unless issues with ABSTUDY funding are urgently addressed…

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Year 1 Phonic Screening

The federal government continues in its attempt to persuade state governments to adopt a year one phonics screening. In a campaign to sell its worth the minister points out it is only a five to seven minute session…

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Civics and Citizenship – Emerging Trends for Australian Students

The 2016 report on National Assessment Program Report for Civics and Citizenship (NAP-CC) has been released (Dec 2017). The NAP-CC report is used to measure…

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PISA Results Challenged by Questions Over Student Motivation

Do the international PISA tests conducted every three years for Year 10 students, adequately factor in motivational differences between different countries? Jennifer Buckingham addresses this…

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Report on Government Services (ROGS) – Schools

Each year the Productivity Commission reports on the effectiveness and efficiency of all Australian Governments’ Services. According to the 2018 Report on Government Services, in…

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Economic and Demographic Trends in Regional Australia

The Grattan Institute’s new working paper, Regional patterns of Australia’s economy and population, confirms that opportunities, economic growth, employment and population shifts are…

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The Commonwealth’s Role in Improving Schools

The Grattan Institute continues to pump our reports seeking to influence the Gonski Review into the Review to Achieve Educational Excellence in Australian Schools. The new Grattan Institute report…

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The Royal Commission Report

After five years, the handling of 42,041 calls, sorting through 25,964 letters and emails, holding 8,013 private sessions, referring 2,575 cases to authorities, and 57 public hearings, the Royal Commission published…

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The Royal Commission Report – What Does it Mean for Schools?

Over the past 18 months State and Territory Governments have been busily changing their Child Protection laws. It has been difficult to keep up with pace of change here and…

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Child Safe Organisations – National Principles

The Federal Government has commissioned the Australian Human Rights Commission to develop a National Statement of Principles for Child Safe Organisations.  The Consultation Draft was released on Jan 31, 2018.

Click here to download the draft version.


Mobile Phones in the Classroom

There is an interesting discussion being had in schools about the influence of mobile phones in the classroom and ways of managing this issue. There are…

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2018 International Student Survey

The Federal Government is asking all schools who have international students to complete the International Student Survey (ISS) 2018. The survey sample draws from international school students studying in…

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Cardus Canada – Christian Schools Have a Positive Influence

A new Cardus Report reveals that “attending a Protestant Evangelical high school has a very positive influence on graduates’ level of religious and spiritual lives as young adults…

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Speeches on Religious Freedom

There were many fine speeches on religious freedom in the Parliament during the SSM debate. Tow of the outstanding ones were from Treasurer, Scott Morrison and…

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‘Too much control’: What Finland can Teach Australian Schools

There are some great insights and quotes in this article from The Guardian (Jan 7) following on from Finnish education expert Pasi Sahlberg’s speaking tour…

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Year 13

The Year 12 students from 2017 will have received their ATARs and have probably made their decisions about study or work for the coming year. Even though a school’s responsibility finishes…

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Teachers Who Feel Appreciated are Less Likely to Leave the Profession

A damning statistic that over 40% of teachers leave the profession within the first five years suggests that many feel burnt out, unsupported or undervalued. The Conversation (Jan 15) addresses this issue.

Click here for The Conversation article.


The 12 Rules of Advocacy

Chris Borthwick writing in ‘Community Matters’ provides some helpful advice about being an advocate for a cause. If you can find a way around the problem, do that…

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The Australian Institute of Family Studies Research Report

The Australian Institute of Family Studies has released (Dec 2017) a Research Report on The Effects of Por nography on Children and Young People. Commissioned by the…

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The Best of Circle

According to Circle, these two articles were their best for 2017: (1) A good education for good character; (2) Asking the right questions: Are you a future ready school? How would you…

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Four Secular Myths About Religion

Akos Balogh has written an excellent blog (Feb 13) on secular myths. He says, “An increasing number of overtly secular people believe in myths: myths about religion – and about how religion…

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How To Survive The Moral Revolution: What You Should Know?

Akos Balogh has again written a terrific blog piece on Christians strategizing for more than survival in a challenging world. He says, “Australia is changing. From gender fluidity, to euthanasia…

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Classroom Design Should Follow Evidence, Not Architectural Fads

The authors of this article in The Conversation (Feb 7) say, “schools are complex spaces” and that “further evidence of how different physical layouts support best practice for…

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Primary School Principal Wants Parents to Let Their Kids Off the Leash

The Principal of Fitzroy Community School (Melbourne) caught the attention of The Age (Feb 7) when he said, he “knew he’d succeeded when two of his students…

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The First Fleet

I am sure that history buffs will enjoy this series on The First Fleet from The Australian (Jan 21 – 26th). Part 1: Told through the eyes of Australia’s youngest convict, eight-year-old John Hudson, this is the First Fleet as you’ve never seen it…

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