Broadband upgrade welcomed
The Australian Government's plan for a fast-access, national fibre-to-the-home broadband network has been welcomed by economists, service providers and educators. See report on ABC News 8 April 2009.
National school maintenance program
The Australian Government Minister for Education, Julia Gillard, has announced that 5965 Australian schools will receive $828.16 million in funding for minor infrastructure and refurbishment projects under Round One of the National School Pride program. See Minister's media release 5 April 2009, media statement 5 April 2009 from New South Wales Minister for Education and Training, Verity Firth and Victorian Government media statement 6 April 2009. See also commentary 9 April and earlier report 6 April 2009 in the Sydney Morning Herald, article in The Australian 6 April 2009 and report on ABC News 6 April 2009.
Community festivals support Indigenous schooling
The Community Festivals for Education Engagement program supports events that encourage school attendance, retention and healthy lifestyles for all young Australians, in particular Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students in regional, rural and remote communities. Fourteen Community Festivals will be held across the country in 2009. For details of the festivals see media statement 8 April 2009 from Julia Gillard, Australian Government Minister for Education.
Funding for school safety projects announced
The Australian Government Minister for Home Affairs, Bob Debus has announced that 20 schools across Australia would share $5 million in the first round of funding under the Secure Schools Program. The funding will be used to provide structural improvements such as security fencing, glass protection, lighting, CCTV, alarm systems and security training. See Minister's media release 7 April 2009 and article in the Sydney Morning Herald 6 April 2009.
School anti-bullying policies not being implemented effectively: psychologist
Psychologist Dr Michael Carr-Gregg has called for more effective implementation of existing school policies against bullying. Speaking on the ABC's Four Corners program, Dr Carr-Gregg also argued that young people need to be involved in drafting anti-bullying policies, which should be supported through the curriculum and appropriate staff development. See report on ABC News 6 April 2009.
NSW principals call for more support to special needs students
A survey of more than 800 principals conducted by the Public Schools Principals' Forum (PSPF) in New South Wales has found that more than 2500 students receive 'nil or seriously inadequate' levels of funding. The principals will seek legal advice on whether they can take action, arguing the Department of Education and Training has breached anti-discrimination laws over its treatment of special needs children. See media release 3 April 2009 on the PSPF website.
Clearer protocols needed on student fights, says tribunal
The Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal has called for clearer protocols to guide school staff confronted by serious student brawls. See article in The Age 8 April 2009.
Dealing with school truancy in Queensland
An article in the Courier Mail 9 April 2009 discusses approaches taken by school staff in south-east Queensland toward students who are absent from the school grounds during school hours.
Sex education on Queensland 'needs curriculum framework'
An editorial in the Courier Mail 8 April 2009 calls for 'a carefully thought-through and centralised curriculum dealing with sex and human relationships'. See also related article in the same edition of the newspaper.
Parents in Scotland occupy threatened schools
In a move that has attracted widespread public attention, parents in Scotland have occupied two primary schools threatened with closure. See report on BBC News 3 April 2009.
Test pressures and lack of play harming students, say teachers in England
The wellbeing of students in England and Northern Ireland has suffered from the pressure of assessments and reduced time available for play, according to 700 teachers surveyed by the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL). See ATL media statement 7 April 2009.
New website for books published by non-Caucasian authors
thebrownbookshelf.com is a US-based site aiming to increase awareness of books published by non-Caucasian authors. In particular, the site seeks to provide information about the wide range of available fiction relevant to young African-American readers.