In this week’s top story, the Victorian watchdog announced it will investigate whether schools are secretly expelling students after figures from the state’s Education Department show the number of students being expelled having risen over 25% in the past year. The ombudsman's office had received complaints that families experience difficulties when they attempt to appeal against expulsions, as well as finding an alternative school for a child after they are expelled.
In other news, Western Australia’s Education Department was accused of censoring students as part of a visit by senior Labor MPs to a Perth high school. A group of Labor MPs visited Ballajura Community College on Monday, and held a question and answer session with the school’s Year 11 and 12 political and legal studies students. In the days leading up to the visit, students were asked to prepare a list of questions related to policy issues linked to the portfolios of the MPs. However, the state’s Education Department later advised the students that their questions were “too political” and asked that they choose something more generic in nature, forcing the students to re-write their questions.
Finally, a new program is helping principals upgrade the business skills and qualifications that will make them better managers. The first-of-its-kind program was created through a partnership between Catholic Education Melbourne (CEM) and Australian Catholic University (ACU) Executive Education in 2014. Tom Ristoski, director of strategic partnerships and executive education at the ACU, told The Educator that CEM identified a desire among principals to expand their management skills, and in doing so, free up their time and resources. “This saw CEM seek out ACU Executive Education and from there we collaborated to develop a tailored MBA offering that met the needs of the modern school executive, the first of its kind in Australia,” he explained.