The Australian Primary Principals Association (APPA) has released its draft Charter on Primary Schooling. National President of APPA, Leonie Trimper, has described the Charter as the result of a forum in Sydney in July where 35 of the nation’s leading educationalists, including academics, principals, teachers and parents examined the question of what primary schools are and their role in the education system. She said the forum felt it was essential that the curriculum, which is already overly cluttered, be simplified by making English, Mathematics, Science and History critical and essential elements. She said forum attendees believed these areas would enable children to successfully embrace a range of skills including learning, thinking, communication, self-management and technology. See APPA media release 1 August 2007; report and commentary in The Age and article in The Australian both 2 August 2007; editorial in the Sydney Morning Herald 3 August 2007; and response from Mark McGowan, Western Australia's Minister for Education, on ABC Online 2 August 2007.
The Victorian Government is establishing a new 'super department' to integrate children’s and education services across the State. Premier John Brumby has announced the Government would bring the Office for Children into the Department of Education, creating the new Department of Education and Early Childhood Development. The new Department will be led by two Ministers: the Minister for Education, Bronwyn Pike, and the Minister for Children and Early Childhood Development, Maxine Morand. See Premier's media release 2 August 2007 and report in The Age 3 August 2007.
The Australian Government's 2008 National Awards for Quality Schooling are now open. The awards cover beginning and established teachers, teacher leaders, principals, support staff, school improvement and family-school partnerships. Nominations close 15 October 2007.
Recently released, the first monitoring report under the Pasifika Education Plan reveals positive results. The report shows an increased number of Pasifika enrolments in early childhood education, modern apprenticeships and tertiary education, and that more Pasifika students are reaching success in NCEA qualifications. See Ministerial media release, 31 July 2007. Curriculum guidelines for vagahau
The New South Wales Teachers' Federation has launched a campaign seeking extra release time from classes in 2240 primary and secondary schools. See Teachers' Federation announcement July 2007 and article in the Daily Telegraph 3 August 2007.
The South Australian Secondary Principals Association President Jim Davies has said that a new approach to education is needed for the future of the State. The SASPA yesterday completed a two-day think tank to explore new ideas for secondary education and develop a blueprint for the future of SA's secondary schools. See report in The Advertiser 3 August 2007.
On 13 September 2007, a panel of experts will debate current challenges for education in Australia at the Great Education Debate. Attendance is free of charge. Bookings are required. The event is part of the Melbourne Forum: Kids in the City series, run by the University of Melbourne and Museum Victoria.