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Curriculum & Leadership Journal
An electronic journal for leaders in education
ISSN: 1448-0743
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Australian Budget's impact on school education

For general coverage of the Australian Budget's impact on school education see statement 10 May 2011 by Australian Minister for Education Peter Garrett. See also article in The Australian, article in The Sydney Morning Herald, article on PerthNow, article in the Daily Telegraph and report on Ninemsn, all 11 May. The Budget's funding for ICT in schools is discussed in an article on ZDNet 10 May, while the changes to the National Broadband Network are discussed in a report on CIO also 10 May. On funding for Indigenous students, see the statement by Australian Minister for Education Peter Garrett 10 May and an article in The Sydney Morning Herald 11 May. The impact on solar and carbon capture programs is discussed in an article in The Sydney Morning Herald 11 May. See also an article 11 May in CN: CathNews for the budget's impact on Catholic schooling. Foreign aid education is discussed in a news.com.au report 11 May and in an article on Australia Network News also 11 May 2011.

Budget funds performance bonuses for teachers

The Australian Government's 2011 Budget commits $425million to fund performance bonuses of up to 10 percent for teachers deemed to be in the top 10 percent of the profession. See interview with Julia Gillard on ABC radio 2 May 2011. See commentary (video and transcript) on the ABC's 7.30 Report, from visiting US expert Linda Darling-Hammond, Queensland Education Minister Cameron Dick, Australian Government Minister for Education Peter Garrett, and Sheree Vertigan, President, Australian Secondary Principals Association. See also article in The Canberra Times 11 May, article in The Sydney Morning Herald 3 May 2011, and article in the Courier Mail 2 May 2011.

Draft National Professional Standard for Principals available on ipad, itunes

The Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL) has been working closely with key education stakeholders to develop the National Professional Standard for Principals during 2010 and 2011.The Standard is a public statement which sets out what principals are expected to know, understand and do to achieve in their work. Pilot studies to test the exposure draft of the Standard are being conducted across Australia until late May, and will help to inform the finalisation of the Standard by mid 2011. The draft is now available free of charge from the Apple itunes store, for use on both the iphone and ipad. Adapted from AITSL statement 13 May 2011.

New website for the National Professional Standards for Teachers

There is now a dedicated website for the new National Professional Standards for Teachers. The Standards are designed to promote excellence in teaching and provide a nationally consistent basis for recognising quality teaching. They make explicit what teachers should know and be able to do, and what is expected of effective teachers across their career.

Commentary on current NAPLAN testing

In the last few days students in Years 3, 5, 7 and 9 have been taking NAPLAN tests in Reading, Writing, Language Conventions and Numeracy. See ACARA Update 22, 10 May 2011.  See commentary (video and transcript) on the ABC's 7.30 Report, 6 May 2011, including remarks by US expert Linda Darling-Hammond, Queensland Education Minister Cameron Dick, Australian Government Minister for Education Peter Garrett, and Sheree Vertigan, President, Australian Secondary Principals Association. See roundup of articles on this topic in Notepad (Australian College of Educators), Issue 3 2011. See also article in the Advertiser, 9 May 2011, opinion, 9 May 2011 and article, 7 May 2011 in the Sydney Morning Herald, article in the Daily Telegraph, 7 May 2011 and report on Ninemsn, 9 May 2011. Allegations that some schools are stopping underperforming students from sitting NAPLAN tests are described in an article in the Herald Sun, 9 May 2011.

Budget provides added funding for National School Chaplaincy Program

The National School Chaplaincy Program is to receive increased funding to provide for chaplains in up to 3700 schools until 2014. See statement by Australian Minister for Education Peter Garrett 10 May 2011 and article  in The Sydney Morning Herald 11 May 2011. See also report on ABC News and commentary on ABC's The Drum program, both 12 May, and  article in the Herald Sun 13 May  2011.

Controversy over religious education provider in Victoria

The Age newspaper reports that Access Ministries in Victoria is to be investigated, in the the light of remarks in 2008 by its CEO which 'appear to breach guidelines governing school religious programs'. Access Ministries provides chaplains to 281 Victorian schools and operates almost all special religious instruction classes in the state's primary schools. See article 13 May, and an earlier article 6 May that describes the controversy over an online comic strip which was temporarily available from the Access Ministries website. See report on ABC News 13 May. See also article in The Melbourne Anglican 12 May 2011, which includes commentary from Archbishop Philip Freier defending Christian Religious Education in state primary schools, and describes Access Ministries' state-mandated role.

More support urged for school music

An article in The Age 9 May 2011 urges more support for music programs in Australian schools. The article also describes the Victorian Opera's education program.

Australian education policy challenged

Anna Patty, the education editor for The Sydney Morning Herald, offers a critical commentary on Australian education policy in an opinion piece 2 May 2011.

Profile of NSW Education Minister Adrian Piccoli

An article in the Sydney Morning Herald 9 May 2011 profiles New South Wales' new Minister for Education, Adrian Piccoli.

WA students struggle to meet state standards in some subject areas

An article in the West Australian 9 May 2011 reports that over half the state's students in Years 5 and 9 'failed to achieve the so-called "test standard" in science and society and environment exams last year'. The Monitoring Standards in Education tests, undertaken by West Australian students in Years 5, 7 and 9, complement the national NAPLAN tests.

Film competition encourages secondary students to engage with homelessness

THE OASIS: Homeless Short Film Competition is offering $25,000 prize money for secondary school students to raise awareness about homelessness in the community. The program's OASIS Schools Curriculum Resource is linked to the Australian English Curriculum, with modules that can also be taught across other key learning areas. The OASIS initiative was launched in 2008 with the premiere of the AFI award-winning documentary THE OASIS on ABC Television. See details on the OASIS Education and Outreach page.

Call to school kids in use of social media

Soraya Darabi, social media correspondent for ABC America, has called for Australian schools to educate students in the use of social media, starting from primary school level. See article in The Australian 29 April 2011.

Queensland schools cracking down on drugs

Queensland's Minister for Education, Cameron Dick, has endorsed a 'zero tolerance approach' to drugs in schools. See Minister's statement 8 May 2011. See also article in the Courier Mail and article in the Brisbane Times, both 8 May, and article on Sunshinecoast.com.au 9 May 2011.