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A local government ombudsman report suggests that some children with special educational needs (SEN) are denied of specialist support and are being left without education for significant periods. The report highlights cases of students who are unlawfully excluded from school and weren’t given the educational support they need.
The ombudsman receives more education and children’s services complaints than any other area. Seventeen percent of the 20,186 complaints it received last year were in this area. The complaints about SEN provisions accounted for 8.6 percent of this number.
According to the ombudsman, the most serious area of concern is the delays in assessing and providing SEN support, which often lead to loss of education. It also says that there are cases of unlawful exclusions to children; some are wrongfully pushed out of education because of their special needs.
According to local government ombudsman Jane Martin, children with special needs and their families must be treated fairly by councils and must receive the support they are entitled.
“It is not acceptable when pupils miss out on crucial education, are unlawfully excluded or have their education opportunities adversely affected,” Martin said.Read More
It’s hard to imagine that a big, thriving city such as Brisbane could also be affordable, but that’s one of the beauties that make it such a great place.
Queensland’s capital city takes pride in its hospitality, accessibility and affordability, making it a great place for families, locals, and tourists. There are a lot of places to see, things to do, and dishes to try—all of which you can enjoy without burning a hole through your pocket.
Grab this list and find out how you can enjoy Brissie even on a limited budget.
WAGS to Riches
If you’re the Wednesday-Afternoon-Go-Sailing type, visit the Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron at Manly. Ever Wednesday afternoon, members of the yacht club take people sailing for free.
The Wynnum Manly Yacht Club also offers free yacht rides to members of the public on Sundays. All you’ll need to do is drop by the area, register, and if there’s still space on the boat, you can experience life as a sailor and a crew member.
To Market, To Market, and Enjoy a Fat Pig
Brisbane’s market scene is a thriving one. Whether you live in the city, nearby locales, or are just visiting, there are a lot of things in store. From organic food and produce, indie music, home-grown fashion labels, to restaurants and everything you can imagine in between, there’s something for everyone.
Visit Ann Street to shop for one-of-a-kind fashion items and enjoy the local food scene at some of Fortitude Valley, Brisbane’s best restaurants. You can also try the West End Twilight Market, the South bank Lifestyle Market, the South Bank Young Designers Market, or Jan Powers Farmers Markets for some affordable and fab finds.
Catch a Cat
One of the best and cheapest ways to see the beauty of Brissie is by taking a ride along the river aboard the CityCat public transport ferry. The ride takes you along the sanguine serpent that is the Brisbane River. You can hop on and off along the way, or stay for the whole ride, which lasts about an hour and will only cost you around $5. After the tour, you can cap off the experience by having a meal at one of the many popular restaurants in Fortitude Valley.
Exploring the city doesn’t always have to be expensive. Whatever place you visit, you can always have fun even on a budget.Read More
The heat of the sun is sometimes unbearable. It makes the family feel uncomfortable inside the house and causes appliances to overheat easily. This is why homeowners look for HVAC insulation systems and other effective ways to regulate the temperature. If you’re looking to do the same, here are some things you can do:
Batts are made of cotton, fibreglass, and wool, which many experts use to insulate ceilings, floors, and walls. These usually come in pre-cut rolls, which can be difficult to install. This is why you need to hire experts for proper installation. They can adjust the pre-cut rolls accordingly for effective and energy-efficient insulation.
Insulation keeps the house cool, especially during hotter than average weather conditions and keeps it warm when it’s cold. A well-insulated home means that your furnace and air conditioning systems will work less, saving you money on electrical bills. Rockwool pipe insulation products, for instance, are necessary to prevent the pipelines from freezing or producing extremely hot water.
This material is a foil-faced paper that experts attach onto the roof rafters. Don’t attempt to attach this yourself, though, as you’ll need to step on the ceiling joists to install this properly. Experts know what materials to use to prevent them from falling. They also know the correct way to install this material, so you can prevent it from loosening after a short time.
The colour of the exteriors can affect how much heat passes through the house. Dark-coloured paint can absorb 70% to 90% of radiant energy from the sun, but it will simply transfer into your home and cause heat. Light-coloured paint, on the other hand, reflects radiant energy like a mirror, and don’t absorb it completely.
These are only some of the things you should keep in mind to prevent heat from entering your home. Look for reliable suppliers to get high quality materials and experts for professional assistance.Read More
Danny Granger is no doubt the hottest property in the free agency pool today, and the immediate impact he can deliver on any team he ends up joining is a testament to why an array of top-tier ballclubs are vying to get the former All Star forward’s services. Among the premier teams pursuing Granger’s services—including last season’s finalists the Miami Heat and the San Antonio Spurs—there’s a great chance that the 30-year old veteran will call the City of Angels his new home – in a red uniform.
Final Piece of the Puzzle?
According to league sources, the Los Angeles Clippers are the top dogs in the bid to sign the 2008-2009 Most Improved Player. The team is highly capable of offering Granger major playing minutes and solid championship contention under the guidance of a basketball genius, Coach Doc Rivers—making them an attractive destination for the ring-less Granger. The entry of Granger could complete the formula for the Clippers to grab their first-ever championship since entering the league in 1970 as the Buffalo Braves.
Still a Topnotch Player
Despite a series of injuries, the versatile forward remains a valuable asset to any team. His health may be doubtful, but his character and professionalism definitely make Granger an excellent addition to any roster.Read More
Renovating the bathroom is easy if you know where to start and what fixtures to buy. A vanity unit, for instance, improves the appearance and functionality of a bathroom by creating a useful space for getting ready. Here are some reasons why you should buy small bathroom vanity units for your home:
Vanity units differ in size, material, design, and setting. These allow you to design according to your chosen motif or theme. For instance, if you want a modern-looking bathroom, look for single solid-coloured vanity units. Choose between glass, wood, and porcelain vanity units if you want other specific designs.
The pipes under the sink are an unsightly feature for some. This is why many homeowners install small bathroom vanity units, specifically those with cabinets, to hide these drainage fixtures. The only problem, however, is maintenance. Leaks will drop on the vanity unit, making its surface moist and prone to damage. To avoid this, you’ll need to check for leaks regularly, since most vanity unit cabinets are made of wood.
The components of a vanity unit normally include mirrors, sinks, and storage areas, which make these an all-in-one package. You don’t have to walk around the bathroom to get what you want, as everything is in one place. From towels to soaps, you can stock more to avoid running out of supplies. These also make the bathroom look bigger because you’ve maximised a corner or space in the area and reduced clutter.
Vanity units keep your bathroom organised, making it easier to freshen up each day. Add an extended counter for more personal grooming space, such as brushing the teeth, applying make-up, or drying the hair. This way, you can place your makeup kit, hair iron, and other items on a clean, dry surface.
Give the bathroom a total makeover with a simple vanity unit. Look for retailers in your area carrying high quality products for more options.
When deciding to go green, you don’t have to compromise the style, function, and quality of the materials you’ll use for the kitchen. All you have to do is choose materials that are either recycled or have all-natural components. Here’s a short guide to help you transform your kitchen into an eco-friendly area:
Instead of using stone materials, choose countertops made of wood. Many manufacturers offer bamboo end-grain, palm wood, and various other wood-based countertops for those who want an eco-friendly kitchen. A recycled glass countertop is also a good idea, as it’s made of 100% recycled glass and other mixtures.
Walls and Ceilings
Many residential fires start in the kitchen. This is why homeowners install plasterboards, also known as drywalls, to prevent the spread of fire. Manufacturers usually create plasterboards using materials that have a low impact on the environment. If you want to install these in your kitchen, hire a contractor that follows the environmental standards of the Green Building Council of Australia.
Choose durable and long-lasting floor materials to avoid frequent replacement. This way, you not only save money, but also reduce the use of flooring materials. Hardwood flooring is an ideal option, as there’s a wide selection of options to choose from. If you want old-fashioned flooring, linoleum is also a good choice.
Look for kitchen sinks made of recycled materials, like copper or stainless steel. If your old kitchen sink is still in good condition, you can use it again as a prep sink. This way, you don’t have to buy a new one. Simply remodel it to suit the theme of your new kitchen. Choose a faucet with an aerator to save water. It has the same pressure, but uses less water.
These are only a few ideas to achieve an eco-friendly kitchen. Look for reliable contractors and suppliers to make sure that your kitchen renovation is going green.
The government of Paris decided to censor the political messages of a certain street art criticizing the local law against piracy “Hadopi,” a three-strikes law designed to protect artists.
The law automatically imposes fines against file-sharers, and it has drawn flak since it was enacted.
‘The bloodsucking Hadopi’
The cleanup dealt with a painting of a boy being chased by a mosquito with the caption “The Bloodsucking Hadopi.” The city workers removed the text in its entirety.
The artist behind it, Finnish artist Sampsa, expressed disappointment at the city government’s move, although he is glad for the public support he gained through his work.
“Creating street art is simply a tool for activism. I am glad people in France are upset about what happened in Butte aux Cailles – it shows at least someone is paying attention to certain lines that shouldn’t be crossed,” said the artist.
Sampsa, despite the setback he faced, is not stopping just yet.
“Now it is time to slide the conversation over to the next version of Hadopi that will almost certainly have a negative effect on the youth. File sharing won’t be made extinct by fines, nor by legislation – the French government can waste another few million euros on Lescure and his gang or face the problem head on. Solve file-sharing with direct artist funding. Create a model that the rest of the globe can use,” added Sampsa.Read More