The Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) is inviting feedback on its recently published Senior Secondary Years Curriculum Position Paper (version 0.6). The paper proposes guidelines for national curriculum development in English, mathematics, history and science for the senior years of schooling. Comments will be received until 30 September 2009. Feedback can be sent via email to firstname.lastname@example.org or posted to the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority, PO Box 177, Carlton South, VIC 3053. See also article in the Sunday Herald-Sun 30 August 2009.
The Australian Industry Group has launched a national project, with the support of the Australian Government Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations, to examine the impact on businesses of low literacy and numeracy and to 'road-test solutions'. See AIG media release and article in The Age both 31 August 2009.
A nationwide campaign has been launched to make music classes compulsory in all primary schools. See article in The Sydney Morning Herald 3 September 2009 and earlier abstract in Curriculum Leadership 31 July 2009.
The Australian Government's program for funding school infrastructure, part of its national economic stimulus package, has generated further public and media discussion this week. See transcripts of interviews with Minister for Education Julia Gillard, between 28 August and 3 September 2009; article in The Australian and report in The Brisbane Times, both 3 September 2009; and article in The Age 4 September 2009. The New South Wales Government has set up a website to cover its ongoing involvement in the program: see media release 30 August 2009 from Verity Firth, New South Wales Minister for Education.
The 40th WorldSkills Competition in Calgary, Alberta, Canada is currently focusing attention on 900 of the best skills, trade and technologies professionals under the age of 23, from 51 countries/regions, competing against each other in 45 skill categories. The competition is run by WorldSkills International (WSI), a not-for-profit association open to agencies or bodies which have a responsibility for promoting vocational education and training in their respective countries/regions. See WSI media information pages for updated information.
The New South Wales Government has moved to abolish a $55,000 fine on newspapers that publish school 'league tables'. See report in The Sydney Morning Herald 1 September 2009.
A $7 million wireless access upgrade will improve the network capacity and coverage of Victorian primary schools. Part of the VicSmart initiative to equip students with 21st century skills, the upgrade will see up to 7,300 access points installed by 2010. See Victorian Government media release 1 September 2009.
The minimum school leaving age in Victoria will be raised from 16 to 17 from 2010. The reform, designed to improve young people's eventual employment outcomes, will require all students to complete Year 10, and to remain in some form of education, training or employment until the age of 17. See Victorian Government media release 1 September 2009.
Year 11 science teachers in South Australia are being encouraged to place more emphasis on the role of science in everyday life in their teaching, as a means to prepare young people for science-related jobs. The training is part of statewide preparation for the introduction of the new South Australian Certificate of Education. See article in The Advertiser (AdelaideNow) 3 September 2009.
The Tasmanian Government is introducing a new education system, called the Polytechnic and Academy system, for the post-compulsory years. The government has reported that enrolments at schools which have already transferred to the new system have risen by 12 per cent. See report on ABC News 3 September 2009.
Western Australia Education Minister Liz Constable has announced the release of two numeracy resources designed to help parents and carers in WA assist their children in learning mathematics. The booklets, Counting on you 2, aimed at K–3 children, and Helping your child with maths really adds up, for parents of children in Grades 4–7, are also available online. See Government of Western Australia media statement 3 September 2009.
The Government of Western Australia has provided $1.4 million to train psychologists to implement a program designed to improve parenting skills. Part of a wider strategy to improve school behaviour, the Positive Parenting Program will be offered to parents of three- to five-year-olds in Western Australia. See Western Australia Government media release 29 August 2009.
Queensland Education and Training Minister Geoff Wilson has vigorously supported the Scripture Union Queensland's campaign to find more funding for school chaplains in the State's public schools. There are currently more than 500 chaplains in Queensland government schools. See Minister's media release 2 September 2009.