A Window with a View
As we farewell Week 3 of Term 2, the high school is preparing for the academic year changeover. In Week 4, the Year 10 students will sit their exams, Year 8 attend camp, and Years 9 and 7 complete their subjects in readiness for the new year. Thursday and Friday will be pupil free days for Years 7-10 as the staff sign off on the 2017 academic programs and prepare 2017-18. Then on Monday, 8th November, at the start of Week 5, all of the classes go up a year. Year 10 begin preparations for Year 11 senior study programs before formally commencing their new subjects in Week 6, with the new Year 12. There is no slowing down for us this term!
On Wednesday, Thursday and Friday just past, Mark Thomas and I attended a training program in ‘Child Protection Investigation Course’ at the AIS. This covers child protection legislation with regard to teachers in NSW schools. It is important that we share this information with you so that you have confidence in our procedures. We have been updating our qualifications. Any matter brought to the Principal with regards to concerns around teacher behaviour must be taken at face value, and assessed for whether or not it is a matter of professional conduct or reportable conduct, according to the law. This is something we take seriously to ensure the safety of all children.
The course covered the definitions of reportable conduct and reporting requirements, the roles of the NSW Ombudsman and Office of the Children’s Guardian, as well as the process to be followed when conducting an investigation. There is a requirement that any person conducting an investigation is a qualified investigator, and while Mark and I have completed 50% of the assessment, we have a written assignment to submit before qualifying. Mark is the Investigator for Korowal School, and he would report his findings to me as Head of Agency. If Mark was not available, I would conduct an investigation, but then the Chair of Korowal Board would be acting as the objective reviewer, or Head of Agency, for this purpose. This process ensures that procedural fairness is followed and objectivity is maintained. However, if the matter was complex and going to require a lot of time, we may refer it to an independent investigator.
Meanwhile back at school, Years 5 and 6 are preparing for their concert of next Friday evening and Year 6 are starting to plan for their graduation. Liz has been having drama classes with them, and also Years 3 and 4, in preparation for their upcoming events. The end of the year will be quickly upon us.
Not before we have a few significant celebrations however! Planning is underway for the ‘Hugh Mackay- Impressions’ evening and the 40th Anniversary, on Thursday 23rd and Saturday 25th November. Let’s kick up a storm together and enjoy who we are and where we are. Volunteer helpers are most welcome for both events, so please contact Caroline or Jes if you are available.
Now, the sun is hot outside today, and the cicadas are chirping. I’m stepping out and hope you are too.