New Australian Government Education Minister
The Deputy Prime Minister elect, Julia Gillard, had been appointed to the portfolios of Education, Workplace Relations and Employment in the new Australian Government. Maxine McKew MP has been appointed as Parliamentary Secretary to Prime Minister elect Kevin Rudd, with responsibility for early childhood education and childcare. See article in The Australian, 30 November 2007.
Queensland Certificate of Education approved
The new Queensland Certificate of Education will take effect next year. The senior school certificate recognises school-based academic performance and workplace, university and community achievements. It will replace the existing Senior Certificate. Students can begin accumulating credits towards their senior school certificate from the start of Year 10. The new certificate means students can have certain achievements from community or sporting activities taken into account for their senior qualification. Vocational education and training, including school-based apprenticeships and traineeships will continue to count towards the new senior qualification. The new certificate allows results from workplace learning projects, self-directed learning projects and university subjects to be recorded. It also requires literacy and numeracy standards to be met. Senior students who have not been awarded a certificate by the end of Year 12 will be able to continue their studies to accumulate credits. The Queensland Studies Authority will oversee the QCE implementation. See media statement by State Education and Training Minister Rod Welford, 2 November 2007.
SACE legislation passes through South Australian Parliament
The new South Australian Certificate of Education (SACE) has been approved by State Parliament. Under the legislation, all young South Australians will be legally required to attend school, training or full-time work until they turn 17. The certificate and requirements will take effect from 1 January 2009 in Government, Catholic and Independent schools and training providers. See media release by State Education Minister Jane Lomax-Smith, 22 November 2007.
New P-10 curriculum in the ACT
The Australian Capital Territory (ACT) Minister for Education and Training Andrew Barr, has launched the new curriculum Every Chance to Learn, Curriculum Framework for ACT Schools, Preschool to Year 10. From 2008, all public and non-government schools in the ACT will use the framework. See the Minister's media release 27 November 2007. See also background information from the Department of Education and Training, and the article in the St Mary's Mt Druitt Star, 27 November 2007, sourced from the Canberra Times, and report on ABC News 28 November 2007.
New materials for Values Education
Freely available to Australian primary and secondary schools, Building Values Across the Whole School: A Resource Package includes teaching and learning units and a professional learning program. Developed by Curriculum Corporation, the materials show how to integrate values education across the curriculum, and can be accessed by schools and school systems from the values education website. A letter with the access code to enter the website was sent to principals by the Minister for Education, Science and Training in October 2007. For more information about access to the resources or the code, please contact Jason Rutgers at Curriculum Corporation on (03) 9207 9600.
School building projects in Victoria
The Victorian Minister for Education, Bronwyn Pike, has announced funding of $7.4 million for works to build better classrooms, toilets, staff rooms and IT facilities at 16 schools across the State. See Minister's media release 27 November 2007.
Transition initiatives in Tasmania
Six Tasmanian high schools and colleges have received grants worth more than $40,000 for innovative projects designed to help students further their education and training. The recipients received the funding under the Innovative Transition Grants program, a key initiative of the recently launched Southern Tasmanian Area Taskforce. See media release 21 November 2007 from Tasmania's Minister for Education, David Bartlett.
International recognition for WA education project
The Schools Online Curriculum Services (SOCS) project, developed by Department of Education and Training (DET) Western Australia, has been selected as a finalist for the 2008 International IMS Global Learning Consortium Learning Impact Awards. SOCS is an online system that allows teachers to create lesson plans, access resources, collaborate with educators and parents, work with students and undertake professional development. The pilot project will be extended to all public schools in Western Australia by 2012. See Ministerial media release, 19 November 2007.
Professional development: Unlock the pleasures of reading, Victoria
Developed for primary and lower secondary teachers by the School Library Association of Victoria (SLAV) and Curriculum Corporation, this workshop will explore how pleasure reading can support literacy development. Current research, practical strategies and examples from practice will be outlined by children's literacy academics and practitioners Pam Macintyre and Susan La Marca. The workshops will be held in Melbourne, 4-5 December 2007. See website for further information or contact SLAV on (03) 9349 5822.
AEU continues calls for further public school funding
The Australian Education Union (AEU) has announced that it will continue to campaign for more funding to public education under the new Australian Government. During the recent federal election, the AEU called for public school funding to be boosted by $2.9 billion a year. See report in The Australian, 27 November 2007. See also ABC News report updated 22 November 2007, regarding education funding for the Northern Territory.
$10 million pilot to encourage Indigenous students' successes in Queensland
State and non-state schools in five regional areas of Queensland will benefit from the State Government's new $10 million four-year pilot program which aims to enhance Indigenous students' educational achievements. Education and Training Minister Rod Welford has said that the Indigenous Education Support Structures pilot program will operate in the Mount Isa, Cairns, Rockhampton, Ipswich/Inala and Cunnamulla and Charleville education cluster sites. See Minister's media release 23 November 2007.
Preschool role for business urged
Frank Oberklaid and Tim Moore of the Centre for Community Child Health at Melbourne Children's Hospital, have urged business to play a role in establishing good early childhood education. See article in The Australian, 28 November 2007.