Opportunities for teachers to develop ICT proficiency
The Australian Government has committed $650,000 for professional development of teachers in ICT. Measures provided under the funding include two-day workshops on integration of ICT in urban, rural and remote locations, new online professional learning resources for teachers, and ICT-related master classes run by award-winning teachers. See media release by Australian Government Minister for Education Julia Gillard, 3 June 2008. See also abstract of EQ Australia article written by Julia Gillard.
National Awards for Quality Schooling
Winners of this year's National Awards for Quality Schooling are listed in a media release by Australian Government Minister of Education, Julia Gillard, 3 June 2008.
Uneven policing of NSW school speed zones
The Sydney Morning Herald has obtained figures on speeding fines imposed in school zones in Sydney, revealing that 95 per cent of the fines occurred at less than one per cent of schools. The uneven distribution of speeding fines has been attributed to the varying nature of police surveillance of school zones, and has led to calls for more covert police cameras, rather than reliance on high-visibility enforcement to discourage speeding. See article in the Sydney Morning Herald 29 May 2008.
New selective classes for western Sydney, regions
The New South Wales Government plans to introduce further selective classes at 14 comprehensive schools. The 600 new places would take the total number of selective places in the State's public schools to about 4,100. See article in the Sydney Morning Herald 26 May 2008.
Parents support comprehensive sex education: Sydney study
Research undertaken by a Masters student at the University of Sydney has found that most parents supported comprehensive sex education programs that include the emotional, relational and psychological aspects of sexual activity. Only a small minority of parents were found to support abstinence as the main focus of programs. See media release 19 May 2008.
Tensions in teacher-student relationships
An article in the US newspaper Austin American-Statesman 25 May 2008 describes tensions in teacher–student relationships. While teachers are sometimes advised that 'building stronger relationships will help school officials recognize struggling students sooner, thus improving academic performance and preventing some students from dropping out', teachers may need guidance in how to manage sensitive issues and protect themselves against accusations of misconduct. See also report on BBC News 27 May 2008 about teachers' interactions with students via social networking and other online forms of communication.
Queensland State budget measures for education
The Queensland Government has allocated $532 million to capital works on school buildings and $716 million to vocational education and training programs in the 2008–2009 State budget. There is also an extra $100 million over two years for the maintenance of state schools. Minister for Education Rod Welford also announced new measures for improving achievement and reducing truancy at disadvantaged schools. See media release, 3 June 2008 and further media releases on capital works, vocational education and training, state school maintenance and supporting disadvantaged schools.
Queensland to allocate funds for Indigenous arts, education and training grants
The Queensland Government will allocate $540,000 over three years for Indigenous arts, education and training projects. Schools, artists, training and art organisations can now apply for Indigenous project funding under the new Lighthouse Grants project. Applications for Lighthouse Grants close on 23 July 2008. See media release 4 June 2008 from Rod Welford, Minister for Education and Training.
Queensland to introduce regional LOTE plans
Regional students in Queensland will have more opportunity to study a language other than English (LOTE) with the introduction of New Regional Languages Education Plans to be introduced in 2008. See media release from Minister for Education and Training, Rod Welford, 3 June 2008.
WA education project wins international award
Western Australia's Schools Online Curriculum Services (SOCS) project has received a gold award at the recent 2008 International IMS Global Learning Consortium Learning Impact Awards in Texas. The project is designed to enhance the way public school teachers plan and teach lessons. See media release from State Education and Training Minister, Mark McGowan, 1 June 2008.
Gender gap in maths performance linked to wider inequalities
The results of a maths test given to children in 40 countries showed that boys performed better than girls, but that the gender gap was smaller where men and women have similar access to resources and opportunities. Iceland was the only country where girls did better than boys on the maths test. In reading, girls outperformed boys in every country studied. The reading gap was larger in countries where men and women are considered to have relatively equal opportunities. See article in USA Today, 30 May 2008.
Literacy and numeracy standards criticised in England
Christine Gilbert, the Chief Inspector of Schools in England, has outlined plans for 'tough new inspections of state schools'. The moves follows the publication of league tables last year showing that standards of literacy, numeracy and science among pupils had fallen compared to other developed nations. See article in the Telegraph 20 May 2008.