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Inside Teaching : April 2010
IN BRIEF www.atra.edu.au | email@example.com NEWS 41 My school Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) chief executive Peter Hill is seeking legal advice on potential copyright infringements by third parties using data from ACARA’s My School website. ACARA asked Stephen James to withdraw a report on ‘8,000 Australian schools ranked from top to bottom’ from his Australia School Ranking website, claiming it breached copyright. ACARA’s database copyright claim may, however, have been dealt a blow by the judgement in February by Federal Court Judge Michelle Gordon in Telstra Corporation Limited v Phone Directories Company. Judge Gordon ruled that Telstra does not own copyright over the information in its Yellow Pages and White Pages phone directories because they depend on databases for which there is no clear authorship and no originality. Bullying... According to results from a Newspoll survey conducted for the Alannah and Madeline Foundation, 74 per cent of people were bullied when they were at school; almost one in four have been bullied in the workplace; and 20 per cent of respondents aged between 18 and 24 years have been cyberbullied. In other results from the survey of 1,200 respondents aged 18 years or older, 92 per cent of Australians identify bullying as a serious issue, with 87 per cent saying bullying needs to be better addressed. . . . and more on bullying Justice Tony Cavanough in the Victorian Supreme Court ruled in March that a case involving a student who was bullied by four other children aged younger than 10 years should be reheard. The student had lodged a civil claim for compensation in the Victorian Victims of Crime Assistance Tribunal. Her claim had been rejected on the basis that, under Victorian criminal law, children under the age of 10 years are presumed to be too young to commit a criminal offence and are incapable of criminal intent. The law requires proof beyond reasonable doubt that they understand that their actions were wrong. Justice Cavanough ruled that in this case, since the student had been frequently punched, kicked, pinched, and threatened with scissors and a broken bottle, it was clear that the incidents had not occurred accidently and that the main bully fully intended, by her threats, to put her victim in fear of her life. Good sports Queensland’s 167 former State of Origin stars are helping Indigenous students in six Queensland state high schools to improve their results off the football field. The Achieving Results Through Indigenous Education program, funded by the Commonwealth Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations, aims to encourage the academic, cultural and sporting achievements of Indigenous secondary school students. • the connections and coherence of the development of concepts through the years, and • the identification of additional content in Year 10 and its impact on students’ access to learning options in the senior secondary years. Predictably, the history and English drafts are more contentious. According to Australian Association for the Teaching of English president Guy Bayly-Jones, ‘There is a lack of overall coherence, as the necessary interrelationships between the three discrete strands of language, literature and literacy are not highlighted. This turns English teaching into a reductive exercise of “join the content dot points.”’ On the positive side, he said English teachers are likely to see the achievement standards as clear and reasonable. History Teachers’ Association of Australia president Paul Kiem described the draft curriculum as ‘ambitious.’ ‘The fact that the...draft will be evaluated in the absence of clear information about implementation does raise quite serious concerns,’ he said in a prepared statement. ‘We will be evaluating the (Kindergarten to Year 10) document before we have seen proposals for Year 11-12 courses,’ he added. The draft curriculum for English, mathematics, history and science for the senior secondary years was scheduled for release this month, for three months of national consultation. LINKS: Visit the consultation portal that hosts the draft curriculum at www. australiancurriculum.edu.au