Cheryl O'Connor, CEO of the Australian College of Educators, has called for revisions to the the Australian Government's process for allocating funds for upgrades to school facilities. She has suggested that a number of factors can lead to relatively privileged schools receiving more funding than disadvantaged ones. See article in The Age 23 February 2009. See also article in Canberra Times 22 February 2009.
A new study from the University of Sydney has found that children's academic progress could be being hindered by the differences between the way childcare centres, preschools and schools manage behaviour. The analysis of policy documents from 40 childcare centres, preschools and schools in Sydney found a sharp shift from gentle guidance of children at childcare centres to a system based on rules, discipline and rewards at schools. See news release from the University of Sydney, 20 January 2009.
An article in the Herald Sun 25 February 2009 reports that some Victorian public schools are now including commercial advertisements on their websites in return for free website maintenance or financial support from the companies involved.
The Northern Territory Government has released the first progress report on the implementation of its $300 million initiative to close the gap on Indigenous disadvantage. Chief Minister Paul Henderson has noted that there are now additional teachers in remote areas, new classrooms and more student counsellors, but has stressed the ongoing need to improve rates of school attendance. See item on ABC News 25 February 2009.
Western Australian students from Cannington Community College, Como Secondary College and Aranmore Catholic College have issued a call to action on cyber-bullying. Their declaration, delivered to State Education Minister Liz Constable, contains a list of recommendations on how young people, families, schools and Government can increase cyber-safety and reduce cyber-bullying. See Minister's media release 26 February 2009.
Western Australia's Education Minister Liz Constable has officially opened the new $37.6 million state-of-the-art Atwell College. The new college caters for mainstream students from Years 7 to 9 and high-needs education support students in the college’s Kim Beazley Learning Community. The college is Western Australia’s first fully inclusive secondary school for both mainstream students and those with disabilities. See Minister's media release 27 February 2009.
Sharyn O'Neill, Director General of Western Australia's Department of Education, has reaffirmed the State's policy banning students' use of mobile phones in class. She has also indicated that the Department will support schools that decide to ban students' use of mobile phones elsewhere on the school premises. See article in Perth Now, which also comments on recent video recordings of organised fights between school students.
Edith Cowan University (ECU) is set to undertake a major review of Australian and international research on cyber-safety. The project will be led by ECU's Professor Donna Cross. The project will be undertaken through ECU's Child Health Promotion Research Centre, and will review current research on matters such as the nature and prevalence of cyber-safety issues, including cyber-bullying, online predators and the disclosure of personal information. See ECU media release and article in the West Australian, both 26 February 2009.