The Australian and New South Wales Governments have signed the National Education Reform Agreement. Building on recent Federal and NSW reform directions, the agreement incorporates the National Plan for School Improvement. This will see the two governments work together to achieve: stronger requirements for entry to teaching courses and better induction and support for new teachers; higher teaching standards and annual teacher-performance appraisals; the Australian Curriculum from Foundation to year 12 in full; publicly available school-improvement plans and reports; empowered school leadership through greater local authority in staff selection and roles; school-readiness assessments for students on entry to school; a priority focus on reading instruction for students in kindergarten to year 2; and greater provision of Asian languages across all year levels.
The Chair of the Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL), Anthony Mackay, has welcomed the release by the Standing Council on School Education and Early Childhood (SCSEEC) of the Certification of Highly Accomplished and Lead Teachers: Principles and processes. The national principles and processes recognise and support excellent practitioners. Certification of Highly Accomplished and Lead Teachers is an important element in a broader teacher-quality strategy to develop, recognise and support excellent practitioners.
The Australian Government has extended the More Support for Students with Disabilities initiative into 2014. Funding provided through the initiative allows schools to coordinate with local health professionals to strengthen support for students with disabilities, as well as train teachers to build their skills in special education.
Geoff Masters, CEO of the Australian Council for Educational Research, has argued that school reports in the future 'must be less focused on judging and grading success, and more focused on communicating where individuals are in their ongoing learning and what progress they are making'. See opinion piece in The Conversation website 23 April 2013.
Principals are invited to complete a survey on the effectiveness of graduate teachers registered and teaching in Australia. This survey forms a major part of two studies. One is a three-year longitudinal study (SETE) being conducted in partnership by Deakin University, Griffith University, the Queensland Department of Education Training and Employment, the Victorian Department of Education and Early Childhood Development, the Victorian Institute of Teaching, and the Queensland College of Teachers. The other, LTEWS, is an 18-month national longitudinal study being conducted by Deakin University for the federal Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations.
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