A statement on the national curriculum has been issued by the national professional associations representing English, Science, Mathematics and History teachers.
In a speech delivered 18 July 2008, Australian Government Minister for Education Julia Gillard addressed the topics of balance between different educational sectors, the need for more school-level data to identify student needs and excellent examples of teaching and school leadership, and measures to ensure the recruitment of adequate numbers of high-quality teachers. See also editorial in The Age 21 July 2008.
The Australian Government Minister for Education, Julia Gillard, is encouraging all eligible schools in Australia to be part of the second round of the Government’s National Secondary School Computer Fund. See Minister's media release 14 July 2008. See also article in The Australian 18 July 2008.
Secondary schools are invited to apply for funding to create trade training centres in the second round of the Australian Government's Trade Training Centre in Schools Program. See transcript of the radio interview with Australian Government Minister of Education Julia Gillard 17 July 2008, and the earlier transcript of her doorstop interview held on 16 July 2008. See also article in The Age, 15 July 2008.
In a widely reported speech, the incoming President of the American Federation of Teachers, Randi Weingarten, has called for schools in disadvantaged areas to become community centres integrating classroom education with homework assistance, recreation activities, child care, health and counselling clinics, language instruction and legal help. Other topics in her address included curriculum and assessment under the USA's No Child Left Behind law, teacher pay and teacher professional development. See article in the New York Times and article in the Chicago Tribune, both 15 July 2008, and union media release 14 July 2008.
The Western Australian Government and the State School Teachers’ Union (SSTU) Executive have reached an agreement on a salaries and conditions package for more than 21,500 public school teachers and administrators. The proposed agreement is to be considered by the union's members. See media release 21 July 2008 by Mark McGowan, Minister for Education and Training Western Australia. See also report from Perth Now 24 July 2008, and article in The Australian 22 July 2008.
Candidates for levels 4, 5 and 6 principal positions in Western Australia can now apply online through the State Government's jobs website. Candidates can also email DETPrincipalRecruitment@det.wa.au or tel: 08 9264 8503.
The Victoria Statewide Schools Science Video/Animation Competition 2008 is now open. Victorian science teachers in nine regions have the opportunity to win $1,000 each by videorecording a class experiment, editing it to 30 seconds in Windows Movie Maker, and submitting it by 24 October 2008. Applicants can register online through the Hume Region of the Department of Education & Early Childhood Development. The deadline for online registration is 17 September 2008. Information, examples, tips and tricks are available through the competition Web page.
Interfaith education initiatives at the Australian Catholic University are helping counter religious stereotypes and intolerance among school children. See ACU media release 19 June 2008.
The Queensland Government has selected the first 10 state schools to have solar panels and other energy-efficiency measures installed under its $60 million Solar and Energy Efficiency Program. The schools are of varying sizes and in different regions of Queensland. The program will be introduced progressively in other schools across the State. See media release 17 July 2008 from Queensland Minister for Education Rod Welford.
A research team at Edith Cowan University (ECU) is developing materials to assist teachers and parents deal with cyber bullying and other harmful aspects of social networking technologies, such as mobile phones and the internet. See ECU media release 18 June 2008. One issue of current concern is that some young people are using mobile phones to send intimidating or compromising sexual images. See article in The Age 10 July 2008.
An article in the Courier Mail 6 July 2008 reports widespread bullying and violence in Queensland schools. The article also notes calls from Queensland principals for teachers to receive more training in behaviour management.
The Queensland Government has shortlisted four groups to bid for the SEQ Schools Public Private Partnership (PPP) project, which will deliver seven new schools to the South-East region of the State. Construction is still set to start early next year, with four schools to commence from the start of 2010. See media release 9 July 2008 by State Education Minister, Rod Welford.