In New Zealand an initiative to promote healthy, active children and reduce obesity in schools has been launched by the Education Minister Steve Maharey. The government-wide Mission On campaign is a broad range of programs to improve nutrition and make children more active. See Ministerial media release, 29 March 2007.
The NEiTA Foundation and the Australian Scholarships Group have recognised the 'exceptional contribution' of 50 school and early childhood teachers in the 2007 NEiTA State and Territory Teaching Excellence Awards. See media release, 19 March 2007.
The New Zealand government has secured a multi-million dollar computer contract to provide software and licensing to all state and state-integrated schools. The contract covers the supply of Apple and Kid Pix software, anti-virus and anti-spyware software from IBM and negotiations have also been held with Microsoft and Novell to renew their contracts for another three years. See Ministerial media statement, 4 April 2007.
In New Zealand there has been a call to establish compulsory national testing in New Zealand primary schools. The proposed policy has been criticised by Cathy Wylie, chief researcher at the New Zealand Council for Educational Research. See NZCER media release 2 April 2007 (scoop.co.nz 4 April 2007)
Five organisations in New Zealand have called for a reconsideration of the proposed draft technology curriculum being developed by the Ministry of Education. The organisations involved are the Post Primary Teachers’ Association (PPTA), the Education Forum, the Industry Training Federation, Business New Zealand and the Mayors Taskforce for Jobs. The groups have said that technology teaching in New Zealand schools faces problems including low status, inadequate resourcing, staff recruitment difficulties and lack of a practical focus. See joint media statement, 4 April 2007. (scoop.co.nz)
The South Australian branch of the Australian Education Union has urged its members to focus on curriculum development and lesson planning, marking, assessing and reporting to parents, and to work with their principal to limit workload by resisting participation in other activities deemed as inessential. See AEU media release, 2 April 2007 and article 'Teachers refuse to increase workload' in The Advertiser, also 2 April 2007.
Queensland's 2006 school reports on Year 12 outcomes have been published, and have appeared in Queensland metropolitan and regional newspapers. The data provides a snapshot of school outcomes for students who finished Year 12 in 2006. The public release of this data is part of the Queensland Government's Changes to School Reporting initiative, announced in October 2004. It has been compiled from data provided to the QSA from Queensland schools and the Queensland Tertiary Admissions Centre. See also article in the Courier Mail 2 April 2007.