Bendigo Secondary College, in regional Victoria, will host an online program which will allow disadvantaged young people to study from home and at their own pace. Netschool will be available to 15–18 year olds, and will seek to re-engage young mothers and students who had difficult schooling experiences with education. For more information see Media Release, 27 May 2005.
Eight would-be mature age students have had their applications to study in Queensland schools rejected due to their criminal pasts. Legislation passed by the Queensland parliament earlier this year improved the vetting of mature student applications, so that those who had committed serious criminal offences could be excluded from school campuses. For more information see Ministerial Media Statements, 10 June 2005.
Capital funding in next fiancial year's education budget in Queensland will increase by 43.9 per cent. Much of this outlay will be spent on replacing more than 1,100 state school roofs, which will avert a possible asbestos hazard as those structures age. The Better Behaviour, Better Learning package will receive an extra 3 million dollars, while 45.8 million dollars have been allocated for the establishment of two new Queensland Smart Academies. For more information and a detailed summary of the budget, see Ministerial Media Statements, 7 June 2005.
The Tasmanian Education Department, Tasmanian Principals Association and the Australian Education Union have formed a working party to discuss issues around the State's Essential Learnings framework. The working party will focus on the readiness of schools to assess and report on Essential Learnings by the end of 2005. A schools’ audit earlier this year revealed that teachers were confident to implement some elements of the framework, but other elements are likely to require a more extended period of consultation. See Ministerial media release 14 June 2005.
The Department of Education and Training (NSW) is currently hosting a competition which invites school students to choose and critique the anti-smoking advertisement that they find most effective. Primary and secondary classes are invited to submit their entries. The closing date for the primary category is 22 July 2005, and 19 October 2005 for secondary schools. For more information, and ideas for classroom use, see the Critics Choice section of the Department of Education and Training website.
The New South Wales Government is to bring in new reporting mechanisms next year. The reports will be required to compare each student's performance to others at their year level, and to identify the student's strengths and areas in need of improvement. See Ministerial media statement 1 June 2005.
The week 20–24 June has been designated Drug Action Week. The Alcohol and other Drugs Council of Australia (ADCA) has produced a Drug Action Week Kit, which can be used to educate young people about the effects of drugs and alcohol. For more information visit the Drug Action Week and ADCA websites.
The Tasmanian Education Department has undertaken a range of initiatives around student health and wellbeing. It has recently released the Fruitful Fundraising Directory. The Directory is the work of Government and community agencies and includes nutrition-conscious ideas for school fundraisers, such as selling corn on the cob, and having smoothie milkshake days and ice-skating days. Other initiatives are the $5m Playground Blitz project promoting physical activity, and the School Canteen Accreditation program. See Ministerial media release 16 June 2005.
The Victorian Institute of Teaching has cancelled the registration of a teacher, due to poor student supervision and inconsistent school assessments. The teacher is the first to lose teaching rights for incompetence under Victoria's new teacher registration system. See report in The Age 17 June 2005.
Victoria is to introduce statewide standards testing to assess the English and maths ability of students in Year 9. The examination will begin next year in all schools, as an extension of the AIM tests. Students will sit the exam in March or April next year. See report in The Age 17 June 2005.