Prime Minister Julia Gillard has encouraged children and parents to read together for an hour a week as part of a new national campaign to improve literacy. The 2012 National Year of Reading campaign will highlight the benefits of reading as a life skill and a catalyst for wellbeing through thousands of local community events held in libraries, schools and workplaces. See report and related report on ABC News, article on News.com, statement from Victorian Premier, Ted Ballieu, and statement from Tasmanian Minister for Education and Skills, Nick McKim, all 14 February 2012.
The Empowering Local Schools Initiative, introduced as a means to empower participating schools to make decisions at a local level, has received extensive media coverage over the past two weeks. See doorstop interview with Australian Minister for Education, Peter Garrett, article in The Courier-Mail and report on ABC News, all 11 February 2012. In The Daily Telegraph see articles 13 February and 14 February and editorial also 14 February 2012.
The report of the Review of Funding for Schooling, known as the Gonski review, is due to be published 20 February 2012. For commentary see article 13 in the Sydney Morning Herald, editiorial 13 February and article 12 February and related article 15 February in The Age, opinion piece 12 February 2012 in the Daily Telegraph. Update 20 February 2012: see interview with Australian Minister for School Education Peter Garrett, report in The Australian commentary in the Canberra Times.
The number of university students enrolling in agriculture courses has declined sharply, and the number of new graduates less than a quarter of the figure needed to meet industry demand. See report on Yahoo News 13 February 2012.
The new Schools Disability Advisory Council brings together parents, teachers, young people with disability and peak bodies to advise the Australian Government on issues affecting students with disability. See statement by Australian Minister Assisting for School Education, Brendan O'Connor, and article in The Age, both 14 February 2012.
Thirteen schools across a range of Asian countries have now adopted Western Australia's secondary school curriculum. See report in the West Australian (Yahoo.com.au) 13 February 2012.
Rising enrolments in NSW public primary schools have pushed up class sizes, according to a report in the Daily Telegraph 11 February 2012.
THE rate of suicide among Aboriginal girls is believed to have greatly increased since the Northern Territory emergency intervention was introduced five years ago to combat systemic child abuse and neglect. See article 11 February 2012 in the Sydney Morning Herald.