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School CP - November 2000


Sydney Morning Herald, 20 November 2000

More time for cane schools

By Gerard Noonan

The NSW Government has given breathing space to a Christian school which refuses to accept that physical punishment of students is unlawful, allowing it until the end of the year to rethink its position.

Nambucca Valley Christian Community School, with just 93 students, faces deregistration by the Board of Studies because it will not outlaw caning or physical punishment.

A spokesman for the Minister for Education, Mr Aquilina, said yesterday that the school's parent body was considering its stance, and the deadline of late October had been extended until the end of the year.

Another Christian school, the Sutherland Shire Christian School, with more than 740 students, has until March to reconsider its position. It is due to receive more than $2 million in Federal funds this year, rising to almost $3 million by 2004.

Nambucca is eligible for $220,000 in Federal funds next year.

Both schools say they do not use the cane or the strap in daily discipline, but the parent organisations at both schools insist that the Bible allows the use of "loving discipline".

Private schools face re-registration every six years and have to meet standards regarding facilities, staff, curriculum and assessment.

Five years ago the NSW Government required each school to commit to a policy explicitly forbidding corporal punishment.

Mr Aquilina's spokesman said the Government had no doubt the parents were quite sincere in their beliefs.

"They're not trying to pull a stunt. We have to respect their sincerely held views, but there's also the law, and it's against the law."

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Colin Farrell
Page created December 2000