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Curriculum & Leadership Journal
An electronic journal for leaders in education
ISSN: 1448-0743
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Results announced for national survey of regional and rural education

The results of a major survey of rural education have recently been announced. The National Survey was conducted in 2005 by the National Centre of Science, ICT and Mathematics Education for Rural and Regional Australia (SIMERR). It covers responses from about 3,000 primary and maths/science secondary teachers and nearly 1,000 parents in 1,400 schools across all States and Territories. It found that rural and regional schools had a higher annual staff turnover than city schools, fewer opportunities for their teachers’ professional development, and a greater unmet need of resources and support. See SIMERR media release, 20 July 2006 and article in The Age: Education, 7 August 2006.

NSW teachers oppose cash for grades

In New South Wales, Australian Government proposals to pay cash bonuses to thousands of teachers for producing high-achieving students have been rejected by principals' organistions and the Teachers Federation. See report in the Daily Telegraph, 9 August 2006.

New learning centres for troubled students in Queensland

 The Queensland Government has announced plans to establish 'Positive Learning Centres' in Rockhampton and Toowoomba as part of its Better Behaviour, Better Learning package. They will cater for students who 'find difficulty with the classroom regime or whose behaviour might disrupt other students'. See Ministerial media statement by Education Minister Rod Welford, 7 August 2006.

New CEO for Department of Education and Skills, WA

Western Australian Education and Training Minister Ljiljanna Ravlich has announced the appointment of Richard Strickland as the chief executive officer of the Department of Education Services (DES). The department was created in 1996 to service non-government schools, the higher education sector, and full-fee paying international students and now also includes the office of the Training Accreditation Council. See Ministerial media statement, 8 August 2006.

Learning, Literacy and Leadership Conference

 The Learning, Literacy and Leadership Conference will be held in Queensland this November. It is a national event for all school leaders and educational policymakers and academics that explores issues in contemporary schooling and schooling futures. Attendees will be invited to participate in round table symposia set up to explore new challenges in learning and/or literacy and/or leadership for 'over the horizon' futures. Speakers include Professor Guy Claxton, Professor of the Learning Sciences, Graduate School of Education, University of Bristol, UK; Professor Allan Luke, Professor of Education, Centre for Learning Innovation, QUT; Professor Erica McWilliam, Centre for Learning Innovation, QUT; and Dr Chris Sarra, Director, Indigenous Education Leadership Institute.

Debate continues over A–E report cards

The organisations representing Catholic and independent schools in New South Wales have announced that they will comply with Australian Government demands to introduce a five point grade scale in Years 1 and 2 as a condition for receiving federal funding. In relation to Years 1 and 2, the New South Wales Government has expressed an intention to apply the five point grades only to English and maths. See report in the Sydney Morning Herald, 2 August and update, 6 August 2006. A request by South Australia’s Education Minister, Jane Lomax-Smith, to exempt junior primary students from the new A–E report card system has been rejected by her Australian Government counterpart, Julie Bishop. The AEU in South Australia has banned implementation of the report cards for students in Years 1–3. See report on AdelaideNow (news.com.au), 2 August 2006.

Children need 90 mins exercise a day: study

Children should undertake 90 minutes of physical activity each day to avoid obesity and heart disease, according to new research. Conducted in Europe, the research was based on 1,730 nine to 15 year olds. Nine year olds who undertook 116 minutes of activity per day, and 15 year olds who undertook 88 minutes yielded the lowest risk scores. Experts recommend that children could undertake 90 minutes of activity in smaller sessions throughout the day. The British Government is planning for school pupils to have two hours of physical education and sport each day. See report on BBC News, 20 July 2006 and article in Yahoo News, 20 July 2006.