During National Safe Schools Week 25 May - 1 June schools are encouraged to demonstrate their commitment to student wellbeing, showcase initiatives and implement new programs. Three national forums are being held so that teachers, students and parents can share their ideas and experiences in creating safe learning environments. See media release by the Australian Government Minister for Education, Science and Training, Julie Bishop 24 May 2007.
Australian secondary schools are invited to participate in Enrol to Vote Week, to help 17- and 18-year-old students complete electoral enrolment forms.
The ABC's podcasting service EdPod 'presents a mix of education stories, from early childhood to the end of secondary school. It's a jargon-free look at the experience of educators, researchers, parents and students.' Amongst the items currently available is a podcast celebrating Monstessori education's first centenary. Italian doctor Maria Montessori established a pre-school for disadvantaged children in Rome, where students became highly engaged in constructive learning. The Montessori approach emphasises the individuality of each child. Its features include child-sized furniture in classes, no homework and mixed-aged classes.
In Western Australia, ‘sweeping changes’ will be made to teacher recruitment practices at the Department of Education and Training as a result of a new report, the Review of Teacher Recruitment Practices, prepared by international recruitment company, Gerard Daniels. The State Government has also announced urgent steps to prepare for the 2008 school year, including recruitment of teaching graduates in June, six months earlier than previously; a package to attract retired teachers back into the workforce; and continuing efforts at overseas and interstate recruitment. See media statement by Education and Training Minister Mark McGowan, 24 May 2007. See also commentary in The Australian 25 May 2007
In Western Australia, Year 7 students with special interests and talents are being encouraged to apply for specialist programs next year. Education and Training Minister Mark McGowan has announced 23 specialist programs on offer at selected public schools across the State, ranging from aeronautics to science, and marine studies to hockey. Enrolment applications close on Friday 8 June 2007. See Minister's media statement 18 May 2007.
New South Wales Minister for Education and Training, John Della Bosca, has declared that school principals are using their increased powers to deal with misbehaving students more effectively. Releasing the annual school suspension and expulsion data, the Minister said recent changes to discipline procedures are resulting in safer, more cohesive classrooms. See Minister's media release 18 May 2007.
Victoria's Minister for Education Services, Jacinta Allan, today announced that all Victorian government schools will be required to include strategies to prevent and address cyber bullying in their updated Student Codes of Conduct. See Minister's media statement 17 May 2007.
Queensland's State Education Week will run from 28 May - 1 June 2007. Aiming to recognise the work of students and teachers in State schools, the week features a 'My favourite teacher' competition, a 'Back to School' day for past pupils and Creative Generation school stage performances.
State schools under level 5 water restriction areas in South East Queensland are invited to join the H2O Challenge. Groups of Year 5-9 students can take the challenge by designing water efficiency plans for their school, and may win up to $5,000 towards implementation. See Ministerial media release, 25 May 2007.