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Travelling teachers – a snapshot

Girls-on-steps-thinkstock_81271171

Ever wanted to know how other teachers spend their time off? Teachers Health Fund Travel Insurance shares what its customers got up to on their 2013 holidays.

Sure, our customers have to take their holidays when half of Australia is, but they certainly know how to make the most of their well-deserved down time!

Who are our customers?

Teachers of all ages come to us for travel insurance: 14% of our customers are 18 to 35, 14% are 35 to 55, 68% are 55 to 80 and 4% are over 80.

More than half (55%) of our customers travelled as a couple last year, 37% as singles and 8% as families.

Where do they go?

Last year 90% of our customers travelled overseas on their holidays, with 36% exploring the Asia Pacific region, 20% opting for a European break, and 10% enjoying an Australian adventure.

How long do they go for?

Our customers favour longer trips, and why not?! 36% took a four to 12 week holiday, 16% went for two weeks, 15% for three weeks, a very lucky 14% went for more than 12 weeks, 13% went for four weeks and only 5% went for one week.

Why do you need travel Insurance?

Last year, we helped 431 teachers and their families, paying out a total of more than $750,000 in claims.

Customers travelling worldwide made 175 claims totalling $379,000, those travelling within Europe made 110 claims totalling $234,000, there were 69 claims for Asia totalling $78,000, 55 claims for the Pacific totalling $36,000, and 22 claims within Australia totalling $23,000.

In our experience, a hospital stay overseas is the most expensive mishap and one you’ll want to be covered for, as 101 of our customer can attest to, who claimed a total of $298,000 for international hospital stays.

Cancellation fees and lost deposits are another pricy problem our customers encountered last year, with 89 claims totalling $167,000. Fourteen customers claimed for alternative transport expenses totalling $85,000, and 126 claimed for luggage and personal effects totalling $62,000.

Why choose Teachers Health Fund Travel Insurance?

The one thing all our customers had in common on their 2013 holidays was the peace of mind that Travel Insurance with Teachers Health Fund provides if things don’t go to plan.

Our travel cover provides unlimited medical and hospital expenses, unlimited overseas emergency medical assistance, cover for your luggage and personal effects, and much more.

We also offer some unique differences:

  • Cover for pre-existing conditions, with no blanket medical exclusions;
  • Variable excess options;
  • Variable cancellation benefit limits; and,
  • Option to purchase additional packs like ski, golf or business.

Anyone working in the education industry can take out Travel Insurance with Teachers Health Fund, not just Teachers Health Fund members.

 

Providing optimum air quality for Asthma sufferers

pacvac

Asthma is a condition of the airways. People with Asthma have sensitive airways in their lungs that react to triggers, making it harder for them to breathe. Asthma can affect people of all ages and is particularly common amongst the younger generation. Did you know that asthma has doubled since the 1990s and is the leading cause of school absenteeism and hospital admittance for kids? Statistics show that one in six Australian children are currently diagnosed with this condition.

Schools strive to improve health and development outcomes for students and at Pacvac we do too! It is proven that using the correct commercial cleaning equipment to clean schools helps create a happier and healthier environment for all. From classrooms to canteens, Pacvac has specifically designed a range of cleaning equipment to help keep the air you breathe clean. We believe clean air equals happy people and healthy minds.

Now that’s a worthwhile investment!

How do you achieve this?

In essence, by providing optimum air quality. Cleanliness is one of the factors that go into good air quality, but one of the easiest for you to manage is carpet and floor cleaning. It is important that vacuum cleaners are fitted with HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) filters meaning that at least 99.97% (at 0.3 Micron) of dust particles are retained; helping children with allergies or asthma breathe easier.

Pacvac’s products have been specially designed to promote optimum air quality and that is why Pacvac is the preferred supplier for vacuums to the education departments in Western Australia and Queensland. Want clean air in your school and even in your own home? Make Pacvac your Smarter, Cleaner, Healthier choice.

Visit www.pacvac.com for more information.

How do schools promote cybersafety?

 

cyber-bullying website

In the following extract from Beyond Cyberbullying – An essential guide to parenting in the digital age Michael Carr-Gregg says that all schools should have a holistic approach to cybersafety.

To be honest, up until the last decade, the education systems in Australia and in many western countries, with a few notable exceptions, have moved with the speed of mammalian evolution on the issues of school bullying and its cyber cousin. For many years the majority view (reminiscent of Tom Brown’s School Days) was that a little bit of schoolyard bullying was fine, probably made young people more resilient, and unless someone was in need of hospital treatment, it really wasn’t the school’s business.

As far as cyberbullying is concerned, the initial view was that if an incident occurred outside the school (most did), then it could not possibly fall under the school’s jurisdiction. With the help of a few high-profile media stories and some legal cases, this view has shifted, and now most schools have an acceptable use policy covering all online communications between students, parents and teachers that impact on the school community.

The official document deployed by the federal government is the National Safe Schools Framework, which is designed to help Australian schools develop effective student safety and wellbeing policies including cyberbullying. While this document promotes some worthy goals – ‘creating learning environments which are free from bullying, harassment, aggression and violence’, for instance – the truth is that there is no monitoring system and funding is not linked to implementation. This means that in some schools the document is still in its cellophane wrapper or, worse, relegated to the recycling bin.

The consensus among cybersafety experts is that all schools should have a holistic approach to the issue and should be able to tick several crucial boxes. If in doubt, it’d be worth asking your child’s school if they’re aware of the Australian Communication and Media Authority’s free and accredited Cybersafety Outreach Professional Development for educators program. Ask if they have done any of the following (as suggested by the ACMA):

1.  Establish a cybersafety team

Create a cybersafety committee with at least one member being a tech head (a.k.a. computer nerd) and others being experts in student welfare, staff management and curriculum development.

2.  Conduct a cybersafety audit

Figure out what the school currently does to support and encourage cybersafe behaviours.

3.  Identify issues

Consult with staff, students and parents to identify key cybersafety issues and determine whether current policies and proceduresadequatelyaddresstheseissues.

4.  Research cybersafety resources

Examine the available school-focused resources. eSmart, an Australian cybersafety and wellbeing initiative, is a good place to start.

5.  Draft and circulate a code of conduct

Draft a cybersafety code of conduct, including clear incident response flow charts, to ensure all staff and relevant parents are aware of how to deal with a breach of the code of conduct. Consult with staff, parents and, where appropriate, students on the draft code. Revise and redraft in line with feedback and consult again if necessary.

6.  Promote and share the code of conduct

Arrange for the code of conduct to be sent home for parents and children to read and sign together.

7.  Appoint a cybersafety contact person

Organise someone as a first point of contact for students, staff and parents if a cybersafety issue arises. They will be responsible for starting the agreed process for handling the cyberbullying and facilitate communication between the parties involved.

8.  Regularly review the code of conduct

Technology changes fast, so make sure the code of conduct reflects the latest usage.

9.  Integrate cybersafety into curriculum

Use the federal government’s Cybersmart teacher resources, plus any from the state government to integrate cybersafety into the curriculum

10. Educate parents

Provide cybersafety information to parents. (One fabulous idea would be to make this book available to the parent community!) The cybersafety contact person could host an internet safety awareness presentation for parents, directing parents to the following sites:

Cybersmart: Developed by the ACMA, Cybersmart provides activities, resources and practical advice to help kids, teens, teachers and parents safely enjoy the online world.

Bullying No Way: Bullying No Way is a free online resource that aims to create learning environments where every student and school community member is safe, supported, respected and valued, and free from bullying, violence, harassment and discrimination.

Cybersafety Help Button: The Cybersafety Help Button is a new Australian government initiative designed to keep children and families safe online. It is a free web-based application giving young people the ability to talk about, report or learn about cybersafety issues by clicking on the button.

eSmart: Following a successful pilot (involving 164 government and non-government schools in urban, rural and remote regions around Australia), this cybersafety program (developed with the assistance of the Alannah and Madeline Foundation) is now being rolled out nationwide.

 

Planting the seeds of learning

 

kitchen garden

The kitchen gardens sprouting up in schools all over Australia offer a great opportunity to incorporate cooking and gardening activities across the entire school curriculum.

The not-for-profit Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Foundation provides a range of teaching resources that connect a variety of learning areas, including maths, English and science – for Years 3–6 students – to the kitchen and garden.

Schools who join the Foundation’s Kitchen Garden National Program receive an Implementation Manual, Kitchen Garden Program Syllabus and Tools for Teachers–an ongoing series ofcurriculum resource books.

They are also able to purchase Recipes for Literacy, which includes 12 recipes laid out in a step-by-step process with clear photographs. These recipes are ideal for all students and provide the additional support required by reluctant readers and students with literacy special needs.

The Tools for Teachers series and Recipes for Literacy are also available for purchase by schools not running the Program, but who have a kitchen garden and are interested in incorporating it into students’ learning.

Kitchen Garden Foundation Curriculum Officer Bev Laing, author of Tools for Teachers which is now into its fourth set, says the books were designed to support learning with curriculum-linked exercises in food science, agriculture, cultural and environmental studies.

“Children learn fundamental maths skills and practise literacy in the kitchen and garden without noticing it, mainly because they’re having so much fun,” Laing said.

“The books draw on our 10 years of experience and link activities explicitly to learning areas in ways that are hands-on, engaging and suitable for all learning styles.

“Ask a kid to weigh their tomato harvest, tally it up and check last year’s figure – that’s maths, but to them it’s more about the challenge, having fun and the tomato tart that results.”

The Foundation has also created a curriculum matrix, listing every activity in the Tools for Teachers series against the relevant Learning Areas and Strands of the Australian Curriculum. The matrix is available as a free download from the Foundation website.

TheStephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden National Programis open to all schools with a primary curriculum and runs in over 500 schools around Australia, teaching more than 70,000 students the joys of growing, harvesting, preparing and sharing fresh, seasonal food.

The Program aims to reach 800 schools, which is 10 per cent of all Australian primary schools, by the end of next year.

Schools wanting to join theProgram can complete an online form and contribute $660 to the cost of four days of training for one or two teachers. The cost of this training has been heavily subsidised by the Australian Government.

The two training sessions for teachers, each two full days, are held six months apart and are available in all Australian states and territories, in metropolitan and regional areas.

Features

FEATURES |  Education Matters Primary & Secondary

Each issue of the Education Matters Primary & Secondary magazine is split into two sections dedicated to primary and secondary schools with a combined easy to use directory leading readers to your advertising throughout the publication. This comprehensive directory allows for multiple listings and the opportunity for you to reach both audiences.

Education Matters Primary & Secondary features editorial on hot topics including, teacher development, child development and health, 21st century learning, cyber safety, and green schools and sustainability.

Each issue also contains content and a buyer’s guide highlighting issues across the whole school environment including:

  • IT/Interactive learning
  • Extra-curricular learning
  • Sports development
  • Libraries
  • Music and drama
  • PE/Outdoor Ed/Excursions
  • Science
  • Audio Visual
  • Art Supplies and stationery
  • Infrastructure
  • Tech studies and home economics
  • Campaigns and events
  • Schools going green