The Australian School Education Minister, Peter Garrett, has announced that 'the best teachers in Australia will be recognised through a staged implementation of the reward payment scheme linked to the first National Professional Standards for Teachers. Under improvements to the Reward Payments for Great Teachers initiative, teachers who are accredited to the highest level of the standards will be rewarded with $7500 for Highly Accomplished teachers and $10,000 for teachers who achieve the Lead Teacher level'. See article in The Age 25 November 2011.
The Australian Government's Empowering Local Schools initiative continues to attract widespread attention and discussion. See transcripts of Peter Garrett's interview 22 November and earlier interview 21 November; preliminary response from Tasmanian Minister for Education and Skills, Nick McKim, 21 November; article in the Courier-Mail and report on Ninemsn both 21 November; article in The Advertiser (AdelaideNow) and ABC News report both 20 November, and comment 15 November 2011 from the NSW Teachers Federation.
All Australian students will be entitled to learn a language other than English under the new Australian Curriculum, with curriculum for Chinese Mandarin and Italian the first to be developed. The newly released Shape of the Australian Curriculum: Languages outlines how languages other than English will be taught in schools as the new curriculum is introduced. The shape paper is written on the assumption that all Australian students will learn a language in primary and secondary school. See statement by Australian Minister for Education, Peter Garrett, 21 November 2011. See also article in the Sydney Morning Herald and article and commentary in The Age, all 22 November 2011.
On the occasion of President Barack Obama's November 2011 visit to Australia, US Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan, and Australian Minister for School Education, Early Childhood and Youth, Peter Garrett, reaffirmed their commitment to US-Australian engagement in education.
An article in The Age 24 November 2011 comments on the performance of the Victorian Government with regard to school education over the course of the year.
An innovative individual learning program is helping disengaged young people reconnect with education. NotSchool is an online, individualised learning program widely adopted in Britain, Europe and the USA for young people who are disengaged from classroom learning. See Tasmanian Government statement 14 November 2011.
A new report by Deloitte Australia urges employers to build relationships with potential future employees while they are still school students, according to an article in the Courier Mail 20 November 2011.
A discussion paper early next year will consider the inclusion of religion and secular ethics within the civics and citizenship component of the Australian Curriculum, according to Barry McGaw, chairman of the Australian Curriculum Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA). See article in The Age 21 November 2011.
Chris Bourke has been confirmed as the Australian Capital Territory's new Minister for Education. See article in the Canberra Times 22 November 2011.