For discussion on the impact of the recent Australian Government budget on school education see the range of media releases 13 May 2008 by Australian Minister for Education, Julia Gillard. See also article in The Age and article and commentary in The Australian, all 15 May 2008.
For a commentary on the Australian Government budget's impact on arts education see article in The Australian 15 May 2008.
In the last week national tests have been held in literacy and numeracy for all students in Australia at Years 3, 5, 7 and 9. These tests replace State- and Territory-based assessments, as part of the National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN). See article 15 May and earlier article 13 May 2008 in The Age; article in the Herald Sun 14 May 2008; commentary in the Courier Mail 15 May 2008; and report on ABC News 13 May 2008. Issues concerning the dissemination of assessment data is discussed in an article in The Australian and article in the Courier Mail both 13 May 2008. The tests have been conducted as part of the wider National Assessment Program.
Victorian Education Minister, Bronwyn Pike, announced a $6.5 million package in the recent State Budget to support refugee students. Two new initiatives are funded to provide support with homework and at school. This investment is in addition to a $4.5 million package launched in March this year. See media release 9 May 2008. See also Victorian DEECD report Strengthening Outcomes: Refugee Students in Government Schools and the article on refugee education in this edition of Curriculum Leadership.
Applications are now open for the 2009 DEEWR Scholarships for Career Advisors. Two types of scholarships are available to career advisors at Australian schools, TAFEs and universities. Industry Placement Scholarships provide $10,000 for a short-term industry placement and Study Scholarships provide $5,000 for postgraduate study in career education. Applications close 11 July 2008.
How do we help students navigate their way through a world of rapidly changing knowledge and the demand for new and adaptable skills? All the Possibilities is an event jointly organised by the School Library Association of Victoria (SLAV) and Curriculum Corporation. Educators are invited to take part in the discussion with keynote speakers Doctor Ross Todd and Professor Stephen Dinham. A series of lectures and workshops will explore both research and practice, and provide participants with the frameworks and strategies for designing and implementing inquiry-focused learning. Themes being addressed include strategies and processes for supporting evidenced-based practice; the essential need to support teacher learning for improved student outcomes; ways of responding to diverse and changing student learning needs, including the use of technology; and combining VELS domains for holistic teaching and learning. The event will take place on Thursday 19th June 2008 in the Victory Room North, Telstra Dome, Docklands, Melbourne.
The Australian Government's recently announced funding for Asian language education has been discussed by Kathe Kirbe, Executive Director, Asia Education Foundation; Robert Cribb, President, Asian Studies Association of Australia; and Ai Miyagawa, Japanese language teacher, on a recent program on Radio National (ABC). See transcript 14 May 2008.
An article in The Age 15 May 2008 comments on the the recent Victorian budget's implication for class sizes.
The Arts, English and Literacy Education (AELE) Research Network at the University of Sydney is holding a symposium titled A National Curriculum in English: Perspectives, Principles, Possibilities. The symposium, to be held on 7 June 2008, will provide a forum for discussion for English in Education academics; scholars and researchers in the field of English who are in faculties other than Education; teachers from the Government, Catholic and Independent sectors; policymakers and public servants working in the English curriculum field, as well as their counterparts in the non-government sectors; and students.
Nominations have opened for the 3rd annual Victorian School Design Awards, which recognise innovative and sustainable design of government primary, secondary and specialist schools. This year the awards focus on new and refurbished buildings completed between January 2006 and August 2008. A submission handbook is now available. See also media release 12 May 2008 from the Victorian Minister for Education. Entries close 20 June 2008.
Forty-eight high schools in South Australia will trial new School to Work programs that boost the number of students entering university, highly skilled jobs and careers in science and mathematics. See media release from Minister for Education, Jane Lomax-Smith, 9 May 2008. See also article in Curriculum Leadership, 18 April 2008.
Queensland's Catholic schools have prohibited same sex partners at Year 12 'formals'. The ban follows a decision by Brisbane's Anglican Church Grammar School to ban male students from taking same-sex partners to the school formal. See report in The Courier Mail, 11 May 2008.
New South Wales Premier, Morris Iemma, has announced new measures to ensure children in the State are enrolled and attending school. Parents who fail to either enrol their children, or ensure they attend class, will now face court orders. Jail sentences for uncooperative parents have been introduced as a last resort. See statement from New South Wales Department of Education and Training, April 2008. In Queensland, new guidelines on truancy have been introduced for schools. See media release 14 May 2008 from Rod Welford, Queensland Minister for Education and Training, and article in The Courier Mail 15 May 2008.
School leaders and teachers are invited to inform parents of the Parents Victoria Online Conference 2008, an opportunity for Internet-based discussion and debate of issues relevant to parents of primary and secondary students. The conference will be held online from 6 am Monday 26 May to midnight Sunday 1 June. An interactive whiteboard will be awarded to the Victorian Government school with the highest participation on Wednesday 28 May. Discussion topics include student engagement, out of hours care, canteens, and the forthcoming Ultranet.To participate please register free online.