Australian Government policy toward the government and non-government school sectors is discussed in a commentary by Shaun Carney in The Age 6 December 2008 and in an earlier commentary by Kenneth Davidson in The Age 5 December 2008.
How financially literate are you? What about your students? How well are they prepared to enter the workforce? Do they have the essential life skills to understand the use and management of money in their day-to-day lives and for a safe and secure financial future? An exciting, new, interactive resource for students in Years 9-12 is now available to address these questions. Your Money $tarter - Insurance and Super: a Financial Lteracy Resource for Secondary Schools, published by Curriculum Corporation on behalf of Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC), helps students make sense of the key areas of superannuation and insurance. It is mapped to State and Territory and National Consumer and Financial Literacy Frameworks. A hard copy of Your Money Starter, including a CD ROM has been sent out to Australian Secondary Schools. Schools can access the interactive tools supporting the resource through their State and Territory digital portals via ASIC’s FIDO website.
British Schools Minister Jim Knight, in Melbourne for an international education leaders' conference, has supported the Victorian Government's plan to improve public schools by demanding stronger leadership. He also commented that using test results as a means to increase accountability, as the Victorian Government intends, has raised standards in many British schools. See article in The Age, 5 December 2008.
Schools throughout South Australia will share more than $3 million in grants next year to prepare their staff to teach the new South Australian Certificate of Education (SACE). State Education Minister, Jane Lomax Smith has said that all Government, Catholic and Independent schools with students enrolled in Years 10 to 12 will receive a professional development grant in 2009. See Minister's media release 4 December 2008.
The South Australian branch of the Australian Education Union has contested Education Department regulations that confine teachers to letter grading in students' reports. There have also been complaints from parents about the lack of detail in the reports. See report on ABC News 12 December 2008.
Western Australian public school teachers have voted in favour of a new salaries and conditions package covering school teachers and school administrators. See media release 3 December 2008 from State Education Minister, Elizabeth Constable.
The Western Australian Government has announced a campaign to raise the status of teaching in the State's public schools. See media release 8 December 2008 from State Education Minister, Elizabeth Constable.
The New South Wales Board of Studies has found that Pacific Hills Christian School, alleged to be teaching the biblical view of creation in science classes, 'has met its requirements for teaching the science syllabus, including evolution' for Years 7 to 10, according to an article in the Sydney Morning Herald 9 December 2008. The school has recently been reviewed by its overseeing body Christian Schools Australia and inspected by the Board of Studies.
The New South Wales Land and Environment Court has approved plans for a new Islamic school for more than 1000 students in Sydney's south-west, despite widespread objections by local residents. See report in the Sydney Morning Herald 12 December 2008.
A bill recently passed in the Australian Parliament may see parents having their welfare payments suspended if their children fail to attend school. Trials in the Northern Territory and Western Australia are to start at the beginning of the first school term next year. See article in The Australian 5 December 2008.