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Welcome – April Bulletin

Dear Colleagues,

It is great to be writing to you in my first month as Executive Officer for AACS and it is a privilege to be working for the best interests of the students, staff and schools in our Association.

The challenges for schools in 2019 are already becoming evident and it’s shaping up to be a big year with the details of the new school funding model being finalised, uncertainty regarding religious freedom issue and NAPLAN is now in its twelfth year.

I thank my predecessor Annette Pereira (McHugh) for her tremendous service to AACS during very challenging times in the Christian schools sector and wish her all the very best. When I meet with representatives from other groups, they continue to tell me what an excellent job she did.

I would also like to thank my colleague Erik Hofsink and staff at Emmaus Christian School (where the AACS executive office is located) for such a warm and supportive welcome.

Last week I spoke at the Covenant Christian School AGM on religious freedoms and schools. This weekend I will be heading to Tasmania on Friday to visit Launceston Christian School. I have also met with other representatives in the wider schooling sector and with those operating in the Christian human rights space.

This week was the last sitting week before the Government announces an election and goes into Caretaker mode. The Budget was announced on Tuesday night and Senate Budget Estimates commenced on Thursday.

Our understanding remains that both major parties are reticent to make religious freedom a prominent election issue. Whilst disappointing, especially in light of the fact that we have not yet seen concrete improvements to religious freedom, it remains our hope that the additional time to debate and lobby will produce the best legislation possible and unify all Australians and Christians towards positive rights to freedom of religion, thought, belief and not merely exemptions.

Regardless of the nature of debates taking place in Australia, we still have our primary duty to provide the best possible e ducation to our students and operate with a theologically-informed ethos.

I look forward to visiting more schools and you as their leaders.

Peace and blessings,

Alithea Westerman

Executive Officer

Australian Association of Christian Schools

Federal Budget 2019-2020 and Opposition Budget Reply

Federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg handed down the Budget on Tuesday night

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AACS AGM – 19 MAY 2019

Please follow the link below to our AGM event for details

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Christian Schools National Policy Forum

A reminder about the CSNPF at the Hyatt in Canberra from 20-22 May. The Conference is now full, but we will be reporting on what happened afterwards for those who’ve missed out.

Welcome to seven new AACS schools

As of April 2019 AACS warmly welcomes the following schools to the Association:

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AACS Student and Teacher Profiles

Did a student at your school accomplish something significant in sports or set up a charitable venture?

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AACS Student Contests

AACS will be commencing an essay contest for secondary students and a poetry…

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Religious freedom for schools debate

Erik and I have been busy meeting with stakeholders, political representatives and schools to discuss religious freedom in schools, particularly around staffing matters.

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AACS and the upcoming Federal election

AACS will continue working in the lead-up to the Federal election

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School Funding

What’s happening this year?

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School copyright fees

The existing licence agreement on school copyright fees expired on 31 December 2018. However,

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Royal Commission – Redress Scheme update

Since the beginning of the redress scheme, there have been 3,000 applications made and 88 redress payments.

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NAPLAN

In the AHISA submission to the Education Council review on NAPLAN reporting,

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ACT School Chaplain Ban

This year, the ACT Government announced that it would withdraw from administering

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VIC School Chaplain Conflict

The Guardian newspaper reported last week (‘Victoria opens the way for secular or atheist school chaplains’, Paul Karp 27/3) that a legal settlement between

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Report into Principal OHS

The results of the 2018 principals’ occupational health and safety survey

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New civics and citizenship resources for students

The Government has just announced that it will be spending $1 million for new resources

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Opposition promises $40,000 bursaries for 1,000 teachers

In February, the Opposition announced it would fund bursaries

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Pre-graduate teaching students failing LANTITE test up to five times

The Daily Telegraph (‘A lesson in failure’, Christopher Harris 1/4) reported that some university teaching students

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New AITSL CEO appointed

Mr Mark Grant was appointed last week as the new Chief Executive Officer of AITSL

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Is your school looking to change from its current model?

Some AACS member schools are coming to the decision to move from an association model to

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