The Educator Weekend Wrap: Schools get $1.2bn, major school saved and docs reveal weapons in schools

In this week’s top story, the Federal Government pledged $1.2bn for schools in Tuesday’s 2016 Budget. In order to receive funding, schools will have to undergo literacy and numeracy checks for students in Year 1 and minimum standards for students to pass Year 12. Under the plan, teachers will be paid based on their competency rather than their length of service. The extra money, which will be allocated between 2018 and 2020, includes $118m to help the nation’s most disadvantaged students. However, the Australian Education Union (AEU) and NSW Secondary Principals Council (NSWSPC) said this amount would do little to help, considering the scale of support

Earlier in the week, the Malek Fahd Islamic School, which had been at risk of closing down, was granted a reprieve by the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT). The body ruled that the Federal Government must continue its funding on the condition that the school provides a monthly written account of its income and expenditure until further notice. In a statement released on Friday, Miriam Silva, chair of Malek Fahd’s interim board, welcomed the AAT’s decision as “fair and reasonable”. “The reinstatement of public funding frees Malek Fahd Islamic School to focus its full attention on re-registration and compliance with Commonwealth requirements for permanent funding,” she said. “The decision is a clear sign of a brighter future for our great school.”

Finally, new figures revealed by a Seven News investigation showed the extent of weapons in Queensland’s state schools. The figures showed that more than two students per school-day over the past year have been expelled or suspended for using weapons. The state’s schools reported 63 incidents of physical assaults or threats using a weapon between the first day of school on February 2 and March 1. However, a spokesperson for the Queensland Education Department told The Educator that despite the reports, the state’s schools are among the safest places in the community for children and young people. “It is important to note that the data referenced by the Seven Network is for disciplinary decisions recorded as being for ‘physical misconduct involving an object’,” the spokesperson said. “This is a broad category, which includes threats or use of an object not in line with teacher directions – for instance, using scissors to cut up a plastic container or damage a school desk and failing to cease after a teacher direction.”