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Welcome

Good morning colleagues, As I write this, it is the end of the third sitting week of the new Parliament and leading into the long August break. During this past month, AACS has been busy meeting with Members and Senators in Canberra to discuss the Religious Discrimination Act (RDA) and its broader implications for schools…

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Religious freedom: Speaking to your staff and school communities

In addition to having conversations with your local representatives and Senators, please consider holding an information night on religious freedom for your Board, all staff and parents. If you would like someone from AACS to attend and/or to help with a line-up of speakers, please do not hesitate to ask. We can also Skype-in for Board meetings to provide an advocacy update and Q&A, giving you the latest from Canberra. If you’re looking for a guide on what to pass on to your communities, here are three broad points (which you are welcome to tailor for your newsletters):…

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What are we asking for?

You may be wondering what AACS has been advocating for in a Religious Discrimination Act (RDA) and why we are pushing for it to be as robust as possible. This RDA is the first cab off the rank in terms of the Government’s agenda on religious freedom. It is to protect people from being discriminated against for their religious beliefs. Shortly, we will also send out a list of cases of religious freedom conflict in Australia. It highlights the reality of what a number of people of faith and institutions have had to face – that don’t even make the news…

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Northern Territory to remove automatic exemptions

A reminder that the Northern Territory Government’s new Anti-Discrimination Bill is to be introduced in September. The Bill will remove a faith-based school’s automatic discretion to choose staff based on their religious belief. Instead, a school will have to apply to the Tribunal and ‘justify why their service requires a particular exemption’…

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NSW schools’ compliance with not-for-profit legislation

The NSW government has amended its guidelines about the sharing of school facilities with outside groups and can be found here…

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New South Wales to liberalise abortion law

With the introduction last week of the New South Wales abortion liberalisation bill (Reproductive Healthcare Reform Bill 2019), students and staff may raise this difficult topic. Please find a short summary of the background and various arguments raised this week which I hope will be useful in discussing the issue…

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‘Every day counts’ – school attendance and achievement snapshot

An AITSL report released on 22 July 2019 reinforces ‘the strong correlation between school attendance and student achievement, and highlights the importance of forming good attendance habits early.’ The report also points out the non-school funding related factors that affect school attendance and achievement. See the media release here…

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Review of needs-based funding requirements – AACS submission

AACS made a submission to the National School Resourcing Board’s Review of needs-based funding requirements, which is looking into approved system authorities and the balance between flexibility (of allowing systems to distribute funding according to their own needs-based model) and transparency. Please find a summary excerpt of AACS’s submission, below…

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NAPLAN review finds lack of will to abandon

Professor Bill Louden in his recent review found that states do not wish to abandon standardised student testing…

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