The Australian Education Reporter - - FRONT PAGE - EMMA DAVIES

THIS year’s Sum­mit of­fers a range con­fer­ences on a range of key top­ics with ed­u­ca­tors able to choose the ar­eas they’d like to de­velop their skills, knowl­edge and ca­pa­bil­i­ties in.

“As a for­mer ed­u­ca­tor, I am de­lighted at what the Na­tional Ed­u­ca­tion Sum­mit in 2018 has on of­fer,” In­ter­na­tional Ex­hi­bi­tion and Con­fer­ence Group chief ex­ec­u­tive Marie Kin­sella said.

“Based on feed­back from past del­e­gates, this year we are of­fer­ing the Spe­cial Needs Sym­po­sium where ed­u­ca­tors can de­velop their knowl­edge around Spe­cial Needs, in­clud­ing Anx­i­ety, Dyslexia, Autism Spec­trum Dis­or­der and ADHD.”

With the in­tro­duc­tion of the new Dig­i­tal Tech­nolo­gies cur­ricu­lum to Vic­to­rian schools, the K-12 Dig­i­tal Class­room Prac­tice Con­fer­ence could be ben­e­fi­cial for staff look­ing to brush up on the lat­est learn­ing tech­niques in the class­room.

“An­other ad­di­tion to the pro­gram is the Le­gal & Risk Man­age­ment Frame­works where school lead­ers can be guided on com­plex le­gal and risk is­sues within schools by ex­pe­ri­enced lawyers from law firm Piper Al­der­man,” Ms Kin­sella said.

“My vi­sion is for this event is to as­sist our ed­u­ca­tors so they can re­turn to their stu­dents feel­ing in­spired to im­ple­ment the new skills and ideas they have de­vel­oped; whether that be a new strat­egy to as­sist a stu­dent with Spe­cial Needs or ways to ad­dress risk man­age­ment and le­gal is­sues,” she said.

Nav­i­gat­ing po­ten­tial le­gal risks is def­i­nitely in the spot­light this year, with Piper Al­der­man Na­tional Em­ploy­ment Re­la­tions team prin­ci­pal Chris Har­ti­gan speak­ing at the event.

“School lead­ers have re­spon­si­bil­ity for manag­ing the in­creas­ing le­gal (in­clud­ing crim­i­nal) obli­ga­tions in re­la­tion to keep­ing chil­dren safe,” Mr Har­ti­gan said.

“There is an in­creas­ing range of laws that re­quire that schools do not em­ploy any­one who would con­sti­tute a risk to chil­dren.

“They must also re­port where they rea­son­ably be­lieve that a child is be­ing abused ei­ther by a par­ent or a staff mem­ber.”

Mr Har­ti­gan also said that schools

need to be aware of stu­dent is­sues, such as sex­ting and is­sues with im­ages, so­cial me­dia and pri­vacy on­line which are now reg­u­lated by crim­i­nal law.

Prin­ci­pals also need to be aware of how to nav­i­gate staffing is­sues and dis­missals to avoid dis­crim­i­na­tion claims and po­ten­tially dam­ag­ing fall­out.

“They [schools] need to un­der­stand what con­sti­tutes un­law­ful dis­crim­i­na­tion and also adopt ap­pro­pri­ate pro­cesses to avoid le­gal ac­tion, in­clud­ing be­ing clear about the rea­son for the ter­mi­na­tion of a staff mem­ber so that it can’t be sub­se­quently sug­gested that there was a dis­crim­i­na­tory rea­son for a ter­mi­na­tion,” Mr Har­ti­gan said.

The Master­class for Prin­ci­pals is also rec­om­mended at­ten­dance for school lead­ers.

“It’s de­liv­ered by ex­pe­ri­enced ed­u­ca­tional con­sul­tants from G9 Ed­u­ca­tion who will ex­plore best strate­gies to im­ple­ment a whole school im­prove­ment pro­gram,” Ms Kin­sella said.

“The con­tent has a school-wide fo­cus and will out­line proven prac­tices for get­ting whole-school cur­ricu­lum right; get­ting staff per­for­mance right; and get­ting

whole-school teach­ing right,” she said.

“Prin­ci­pals will come away with prac­ti­cal strate­gies to im­ple­ment an im­prove­ment strat­egy for their own schools.”

While all the con­fer­ences af­ford­ably cover top­i­cal is­sues in ed­u­ca­tion, vis­i­tors can also at­tend the Free Ed­u­ca­tion Show which features more than 100 ex­hibitors show­cas­ing school re­sources, ser­vices, prod­ucts and tech­nol­ogy.

“Vis­i­tors can ex­plore the lat­est in ed­u­ca­tion prod­ucts, pro­grams and tech­nol­ogy from Green Hat’s STEAM fo­cused work­shops to dig­i­tal lit­er­acy sup­port from The Learn­ing Stair­case; it’s a one stop shop for your class­room,” Ms Kin­sella said.

“Not to men­tion the Free Ed­u­ca­tion Pro­gram where vis­i­tors can at­tend ses­sions on Cy­ber Safety, how to ad­dress body im­age is­sues in a school set­ting, and how to im­ple­ment an ef­fec­tive well­be­ing pro­gram.”

The Na­tional Ed­u­ca­tion Sum­mit and the Ed­u­ca­tion Show will run Fri­day 31 Au­gust and Satur­day 1 Septem­ber at Mel­bourne Con­ven­tion and Ex­hi­bi­tion Cen­tre.

“Prin­ci­pals will come away with prac­ti­cal strate­gies to im­ple­ment an im­prove­ment strat­egy for their own schools.”

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