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Curriculum & Leadership Journal
An electronic journal for leaders in education
ISSN: 1448-0743
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Universities call for urgent action to halt declines in maths, science enrolments

The Group of Eight (Go8) coalition of Australian universities has released a report titled Review of Education in Mathematics, Data Science and Quantitative Disciplines. The review reports that 'the state of mathematical sciences in Australia has deteriorated to a dangerous level'. Its recommendations include closer links between Faculties of Education and Mathematics Departments to develop the mathematical knowledge of future teachers; programs to raise awareness of mathematics and science in the community and all years of high school; and a focus on developing knowledge of statistics. See Go8 statement March 2010. See also article in The Australian, article in The Age, and article in The Advertiser (AdelaideNow), all 10 March 2010.

Various perspectives offered on draft science curriculum

An article in The West Australian 8 March 2010 covers comments about the draft national science curriculum from Nobel Prize laureate Barry Marshall, and from Grady Venville, Professor of Science Education at the University of Western Australia. Other articles this week discuss the draft science curriculum in relation to the teaching of creationism and intelligent design theory, and the place of stories about the Aboriginal Dreamtime. See report 4 March 2010 and earlier report 3 March 2010 in The Sydney Morning Herald.

Further discussion of draft national curriculum

The draft national curriculum has been discussed this week in articles on 7 March, 8 March and 12 March 2010 in The Sydney Morning Herald. See also related news items on this page.

National literacy and numeracy tests may be extended

The CEO of ACARA, Dr Peter Hill, has indicated that he is 'quite keen' to investigate an extension of the national literacy and numeracy (NAPLAN) tests to cover students in their prep, or reception, year. See article in The Advertiser (AdelaideNow) 12 March 2010. 

Victorian Institute of Teaching to acquire new investigative powers

Following an external review, the Victorian Institute of Teaching (VIT) is to be empowered to initiate investigations into 'claims of incompetence, misconduct or lack of fitness to teach' against a teacher without having to wait for a formal complaint to be made. The VIT will be able to examine claims of minor misconduct currently handled by the Department of Education. See article in The Age 8 March 2010.

Bullied teenager receives $290,000 in compensation

The Victorian Government has been required to pay $290,000 in compensation to a teenage girl who experienced severe bullying at a Victorian high school. Other parents of students at the school have since come forward with complaints of bullying. See article in The Age and related article in The Herald Sun, both 11 March 2010.

Queensland Schools Alliance Against Violence

The Queensland Schools Alliance Against Violence is a coalition to prevent bullying. It includes representatives from the independent, Catholic and state school sectors, and from parent groups, teacher organisations and principal associations. Griffith University vice-chancellor Ian O'Connor has been appointed as the new chair of the organisation. See statement by Education and Training Minister Geoff Wilson 10 March 2010.

Women in Science program in NSW in celebration of International Women's Day

In celebration of International Women's Day on 8 March, NSW students in Years 10–12 recently attended a series of seminars led by notable female scientists. The Women in Science seminars were part of the broader NSW Rediscovering Science initiative. See statement by NSW Minister for Education and Training Verity Firth, 8 March 2010.

Funding initiative to support children and young people in care

NSW Minister for Education and Training Verity Firth and NSW Minister for Community Services Linda Burney today announced funding of $25 million as part of the Keep Them Safe initiative, designed to support the education of children and young people entering care. See Ministers' statement 11 March 2010.

School principal in Brisbane investigated over bullying allegations

A primary school principal in Brisbane is being investigated over allegations of bullying. The principal has twice been removed from other principalship positions after similar complaints. See article in The Courier-Mail 12 March 2010.

Allergy treatment program initiated in Tasmania

The Asthma Foundation Tasmania is implementing a school-based program in response to a five-fold increase in hospitalisation of young children experiencing allergic reactions. The program includes comprehensive training for teachers and school staff. See article in The Mercury 12 March 2010.

ACCC referral for school allegedly failing to disclose Scientology links

A school in Sydney has been referred to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission for producing advertising that allegedly failed to disclose the school's links with Scientology. See article in The Sydney Morning Herald 9 March 2010.

Discussion of CAL's role and procedures

An article in The Australian 10 March 2010 discusses the role of Copyright Agency Limited (CAL), and its processes for collecting and distributing payments, and considers implications for the availability and use of digital media.

Call to stagger school starting times in NSW

The NSW Business Chamber has called for schools to stagger their starting and finishing times to reduce local traffic congestion during peak hour. See article in The Sydney Morning Herald 11 March 2010.

Victorian secondary college bans bikes

Hume College in Melbourne has banned students from riding to school, citing concerns about student safety and insufficient facilities to store bikes, according to an article in The Herald Sun 11 March 2010.

Call for schools to be given more IT support

Leading educators in South Australia and Western Australia have called for more IT support in schools. See article in The Australian 10 March 2010.