Over the past year the Australian Government has allocated $1 billion to programs designed to close the gap in the educational attainment and employment participation of Indigenous Australians. For details of the spending see media release from the Minister for Education, Julia Gillard, 12 May 2009.
The Western Australian Minister for Education, Elizabeth Constable, has announced provisions for school education in the recently delivered State Budget. Spending covers a major program of improvement to schools' assets, behaviour management and pastoral care as well as measures to improve numeracy and literacy. See Minister's media release 14 May 2009. At the same time, almost $394 million in cutbacks has been announced for the State Department of Education budget, including a 10 per cent reduction in staff and operations at central and district offices.
Students in teaching education courses are to incur higher fees, which are due to rise by approximately $1000 a year. However, the repayments that graduate teachers will be liable for once employed in the profession are to be reduced, as part of changes to the Higher Education Loan Program. See article in The Australian 13 May 2009.
The South Australian branch of the Australian Education Union (AEU) has expressed concern at the State Government's procedures regarding the amalgamation of 44 regional schools and preschools. See union media release and report on ABC News, both 14 May 2009.
Members of the Queensland Teachers Union (QTU) are taking strike action on 19 May in support of a pay claim. See QTU media release 11 May 2009. Teachers in independent schools are to hold meetings to consider motions to support the strike. See information page from the QIEU and article in the Brisbane Times 15 May 2009. For the State Government's response see media release 14 May 2009 and earlier media release of 11 May 2009, from Geoff Wilson, Minister for Education and Training.
New South Wales Minister for Education and Training, Verity Firth, has announced the appointment of Tom Alegounarias as the new President of the New South Wales Board of Studies. Tom Alegounarias is currently Chief Executive for the Institute of Teachers. See Minister's media release 13 May 2009.
The topic of the 2009 conference of the Australasian Boys Education Network will be Boys & Learning: Developing Emotional Intelligence and Engagement through the Understanding of Behaviour. The conference will be held on 25 May in Sydney, and 26 May in Melbourne. Keynote speakers include Andrew Fuller, Julian Dooley and Jane Burns.
A new language scholarship program will provide aspiring language teachers in South Australia with support to learn a language or undertake an education degree. The Smolicz Award Languages Teaching Scholarship will be offered to up to 15 recipients each year over five years. See Government of South Australia media release 8 May 2009.
On 2 September 2009 Indigenous Literacy Day will raise funds to address the literacy crisis in remote Indigenous communities. Participating bookshops and publishers will donate a percentage of their profts to the cause, supported by the Indigenous Literacy Project in conjunction with the Fred Hollows Foundation. See website for more details.