The Ministerial Council for Education, Early Childhood Development and Youth Affairs (MCEECDYA) met on 8 July 2011. See Communiqué. See also statement 8 July 2011 from Australian Education Minister Peter Garrett. The Council made a number of major decisions in relation to national education reforms. Ministers endorsed a position paper from the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) on the whole curriculum, achievement standards and the provision of curriculum for students with disability. Ministers endorsed a National Professional Standard for Principals to support the professional preparation, development and self-reflection of aspiring and practising principals in all schools across Australia. See also statement from Australian Education Minister Peter Garrett. The release of the Standard is supported by the new Clearinghouse for school leaders. The Clearinghouse provides an interactive research repository and online tool designed to foster the exchange and development of the knowledge and skills of principals, deputies and department heads. It is a key reform under the Smarter Schools National Partnership. Ministers endorsed a framework for school-age care. See also statement from Australian Education Minister Peter Garrett. Ministers considered a number of proposals from ACARA, based on user feedback, to enhance the My School website. State and territory Ministers agreed to participate in Phase One of the Australian Government's Empowering Local Schools initiative, subject to the successful negotiation of a National Partnership and bilateral implementation plans with states and territories, and funding agreements with non-government education authorities. Other topics covered included the AusCivics project, the National Trade Cadetship initiative, the development of a National School Improvement Framework, and the Australian Government's Rewards for Great Teachers initiative.
Australia's Attorneys-General are considering whether parents should be assinged legal rights to check on their children's Facebook accounts. See report on ABC News 21 July 2011. Meanwhile, a report from the Daily Telegraph on 22 July states that minors from the age of 13 have access to online gambling via Facebook.
An article in the Sydney Morning Herald 21 July 2011 describes the range of tablets and e-readers currently being offered to Australian school students.
A scheme paying one-off bonuses to high-performing schools in New York City has not raised student performance above that found in other schools, according to a recent study. See article in The Australian 22 July 2011.
Victoria's Minister for Health and Ageing, David Davis, has released a new step-by-step guide to assist regional and rural Victorian schools in the safe management of drinking water. See Minister's statement 21 July 2011.
The ACSA biennial conference 2011, titled Leading Curriculum Change, will discuss the implementation of the new Australian Curriculum in schools and will focus on approaches to curriculum change. The sub themes for the conference are Leading and Learning, Leading and Pedagogy, and Leading and Assessment for, as and of Learning. ACSA members receive a discounted registration rate. Early Bird registration closes 31 July.
Curriculum Eye is a British-based platform for sharing innovations in curriculum content. It is updated daily. Curriculum Eye maps hundreds of educational websites, resource repositories, blogs, forums and practitioner case studies, as well as schools' virtual learning environments. It also allows users to save favourites and set up customised email digests.