The Australian Government Minister for Education, Julia Gillard, has announced that 896 secondary schools across Australia will receive funding for 116,820 new computers under Round One of the Government’s $1.2 billion Digital Education Revolution. Education authorities have up to two years to ensure the purchase and installation of the computers in the 896 schools. Round Two applications will open on 14 July, allowing all remaining schools across Australia to receive funding for a ratio of 1:2 by the end of the year. See Minister's media release 12 June 2008. See also commentary in The Age and article in The Australian, both 13 June 2008, article in the Courier Mail 12 June 2008, and article 'Private schools' PC boon' in The Australian Financial Review 13 June 2008 p10.
The Australian Government Minister for Education, Julia Gillard, and the Parliamentary Secretary for Early Childhood Education and Childcare, Maxine McKew, have announced $10 million of funding to improve access to high-quality early childhood education programs over the next year. See Ministerial media release and article in The Australian, both 9 June 2008.
The Australian Principals' Federation (APF) organised a four-hour stoppage by members on 4 June, in support of industrial claims covering pay and conditions. See report on ABC News 4 June, article in The Age 5 June, article in the Sydney Morning Herald 3 June, and statement from the APF 28 May 2008.
Monash University lecturer Baden Eunson has called for more emphasis on language, grammar, punctuation, spelling and usage within English courses, arguing that these issues have been neglected through an excessive focus on literature. See article in The Australian 11 June 2008. Speaking at a University of Sydney symposium on English in the curriculum, he also responded to earlier comments from Tim Wright, the principal of Sydney Church of England Grammar School, who had suggested that the English curriculum was too demanding for many students. See earlier report in The Australian 10 June 2008.
The National Conference for Teachers of English Literacy will be held at the Adelaide Convention Centre, South Australia, from Sunday 6 July to Wednesday 9 July 2008. The conference, titled Stories, places, spaces: Literacy and identity, will cover all aspects of English and literacy teaching in Australia. It is hosted by the Australian Association for the Teaching of English (AATE) and the Australian Literacy Educators’ Association (ALEA).
The Students Online website has been overhauled to offer 'a one-stop online study shop', a personalised experience for every Year 12 student. The site, provided by the Board of Studies NSW, features Higher School Certificate syllabuses, past exam papers, practice tests and other support materials. See announcement from the Board of Studies, 4 June 2008.
A practical maths course is planned for Year 12 students in New South Wales. The proposed course, targeted at students pursuing traineeships and apprenticeships, would cover topics that include the creation of scale drawings and house plans, household budgeting and 'the mathematics of the body', according to a report on ABC News 5 June 2008.
Tasmania's Premier and Minister for Education and Skills, David Bartlett, has announced funding for two new literacy initiatives as part of the State's 2008–09 Budget. The Raising the Bar and Closing the Gap initiatives, targeted to support primary school children with functional literacy and numeracy skills, will receive $32 million over four years. See Premier's media release 12 June 2008 and article in The Mercury 11 June 2008.
In Western Australia members of the State School Teacher's Union have warned that they may withhold hard copies of student report cards from primary and secondary school students as part of their pay campaign. See report 10 June and earlier report 9 June 2008 on ABC News. Meanwhile the Queensland Teachers Union has warned that 'a lack of money in the State Budget is likely to trigger further industrial action in remote far northern communities', according to a report on ABC News 4 June 2008.
Staff in the Department of Education and Children's Services (DECS), South Australia, are invited to participate in a statewide gender equity consultation. The consultation will take the form of an online survey and focus groups to be held later in the year. See notice on DECS website.
An article in The Advertiser 4 June 2008 reports on an analysis of the State's teaching workforce, conducted by the University of Adelaide for the State Department of Education and Children's Services. The analysis highlights the need for further recruitment of public school teachers to meet demand over the next four years.