A research team at the University of Western Sydney is collaborating with nine New South Wales high schools to prepare professional development models for secondary school maths, science and technology teachers. Current UWS Master of Teaching students are working with teachers to share knowledge, skills and experience, including ways to integrate technologies such as interactive whiteboards, into classrooms. The project also encourages schools to form partnerships with industry, science organisations and universities. See UWS media release 17 August 2007.
Australian Government Minister for Communications, Information Technology and the Arts, Senator Helen Coonan has released Government commissioned, independent research into the attitudes of parents and children towards the internet, and how young people behave online. The research is part of the NetAlert—Protecting Australian Families Online education and information campaign. See Minister's media release 7 September 2007. In South Australia, State Education Minister Jane Lomax-Smith has announced that the new Keeping Safe child protection program will begin in the State’s schools next year. See Minister's statement 30 August 2007.
The South Australian Government has adopted a ‘traffic light’ guide that rates groups of foods and drinks according to their nutrient content. State Education Minister Jane Lomax-Smith and Health Minister John Hill have launched the new Right Bite guide ahead of a ban on 'junk' foods in school canteens from the start of next year. See Ministers' joint media release 13 September 2007.
All young South Australians will need to be learning or earning until they turn 17 from 2009, under new school leaving age legislation introduced into the State Parliament. The move is part of the State Government’s School to Work reforms to better prepare students for further education and job opportunities in South Australia. The reforms include a new South Australian Certificate of Education (SACE), to be awarded from 2011, and establishment of 10 Trade Schools for the Future. The new ‘leaving age’ will require all young people to be in school, training or full-time work until they turn 17 or achieve the SACE or an equivalent qualification. Under the new leaving age, ‘schooling’ for 16 year-olds could include traditional school lessons, TAFE courses, part-time work, apprenticeships, university studies, alternative education programs and community work. See Ministers’ media release 12 September 2007.
Bankstown Senior College, a senior secondary school in New South Wales, has obtained approval from the State Government to move to a four-day week next year. The change is designed to provide more flexibility to students completing their HSC. Approval for the change follows the successful trial of the program at Illawarra Senior College. See report in Sydney Morning Herald 9 September 2007.
The Queensland Government has announced increased financial assistance for geographically isolated families with children who travel between home and boarding locations for study. State Education and Training Minister Rod Welford has said that the Remote Area Travel Allowance, which is part of the Government's Living Away From Home Allowances Scheme, would increase from the start of the 2008 school year. The Allowance is aligned with the State Government's Blueprint for the Bush, a 10-year plan to build a sustainable, liveable and prosperous rural Queensland. It is also featured in the department's Rural and Remote Education Framework for Action 2006-2008. See Minister’s media release 11 September 2007.
Applications are now open for the inaugural Summer Schools for teachers, initiated by the Australian Government. Successful applicants will receive a $5000 bonus upon completion of the Summer School. Applications close 17 October 2007. See media release 13 September 2007 from Australian Government Minister for Education, Science and Training, Julie Bishop.