The Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) has welcomed Dr Peter Hill's appointment as the authority's first Chief Executive Officer. Prior to his appointment Dr Hill was a Senior Adviser to the Hong Kong Examinations and Assessment Authority and an educational consultant on projects in Australia, Canada, the Middle East, the United Kingdom and the USA. See ACARA media release and statement by Australian Government Minister for Education Julia Gillard, both 9 September 2009. See also article in The Australian and report in the Brisbane Times, both 10 September 2009.
ABC Radio National's LifeMatters program has hosted a debate on the merits of the new Teach for Australia program, under which high-achieving university graduates undertake a condensed two-year teacher training program based in disadvantaged schools. See also article about the program in The Age 9 September 2009.
An article in The Australian 11 September 2009 describes debates in the New South Wales parliament over the publication of lists that rank schools by performance.
There has been continued discussion this week around issues related to the Australian Government's spending on school infrastructure. See transcript of interview with Australian Government Minister for Education Julia Gillard 10 September 2009. See also article in The Examiner 10 September 2009, and report in The Australian 9 September 2009.
Australian Government Minister for Education Julia Gillard has announched the launch of the Australia India Institute, a joint initiative between the University of Melbourne, University of New South Wales and La Trobe University. See report in the Times of India and commentary by Kama Maclean in The Age, both 7 September 2009.
South Australia's independent schools are seeking assurances of their continued autonomy, in response to State Government plans for a new system of regulation covering all education and child care service providers. See report on ABC News 8 September 2009.
The Western Australian Government plan to create 'Independent Public Schools' has attracted interest from 102 school communities. Applications for the first intake are currently being considered. Principals and staff at the schools are intended to have more local authority and freedom from central policies, procedures and compliances, while remaining accountable for performance. An induction program for principals, registrars and school councils (boards) will start in October. See media release 8 September 2009 from State Minister of Education Liz Constable.
The Queensland Government is to send flying squads of teachers to improve literacy and numeracy standards at low-performing schools. The program will be trialled at 10 schools in the Wide Bay/Burnett region this year, prior to a proposed rollout at 300 schools in 2010. See report on ABC News and article in the Courier-Mail both 8 September 2009. See also article in the News-Mail 10 September 2009, which includes commentary from union representatives and the local member of parliament.
A report by the British creative media body Skillset has highlighted a skills gap that could compromise graduates' success in the publishing and digital media industries. The creative media sector needs to ensure that employees have opportunities to develop critical skills in working with digital media. See Skillset press release 14 August 2009.
Maxine Morand, the Victorian Minister for Children and Early Childhood Development, has announced the release of a new booklet aimed at helping fathers become more involved in their children's lives. The booklet includes tips for communicating with children, suggestions for activities, and advice for staying involved after separation. Links to further information and services are also provided. Copies of the booklet will be available at ParentLine. See Victorian Government media release 3 September 2009.