The Victorian Schools Innovation Commission is to cease operation, with its functions to be taken over by the Victorian body advising on innovation. See report in The Age 21 June 2005.
The Victorian Government has released data tracing the career and study paths taken by last year's VCE graduates in the months after they left school. The figures are from the latest survey undertaken through the Government's On Track program, with 72 per cent of graduates taking part. The figures show a rise in the take-up of apprenticeships and traineeships. See Ministerial media statement 20 June 2005 and article in The Age 21 June 2005. For background about On Track see Curriculum Leadership feature article 15 October 2004.
The Sydney Morning Herald reports that the Australian Government's move to establish 24 Australian Technical Colleges has 'stalled' amid disputes over fee charging and funding. Since the federal election, the Government has revised its funding arrangements for the colleges from $289 million over four years to $351 million over five years. See article 17 June 2005. See also earlier report in Sydney Morning Herald 14 June 2005.
More children are being driven to school in Brisbane's newer suburbs because their parents fear they are not safe, a new survey has found. Nearly three quarters of children are driven to school, while 21 per cent walk and 4.7 per cent ride bikes, according to the results of a survey by Griffith University's School of Environmental Planning. See report in Herald Sun 22 June 2005.
NZEI RouRou reports that a study, Teachers in Debt, conducted among beginning primary and early childhood teachers by the New Zealand Educational Institute and the New Zealand University Students Association, has found that student debt is a major determinant of lifestyle and life choices. Those surveyed in the study confided that their student debt was a source of stress, affected their decision to start a family, and impacted on their ability to provide for their children. Many were also considering emigrating because of their debt. See the article in NZEI RouRou, 11 May 2005.
New guidelines for school staff interactions with students have been designed by the Government, Catholic and Independent sectors in South Australia. The guidelines, entitled Protective Practices for Staff, advises staff on maintaining professional boundaries, and contains examples of breaches of professional conduct. Protective Practices for Staff will be distributed to all South Australian Schools. For more information see News Release, 19 June 2005.
Teachers in Queensland have until 8 July to comment on the draft Education (Queensland College of Teachers) Bill 2005. When passed by the Queensland parliament, the legislation will allow for the establishment of the Queensland College of Teachers, and will require that teachers renew their registration with the College every five years. The changes that will be introduced in the Bill are outlined in the Ministerial Media Statment, 22 June 2005.
The South Australian Minister for Education and Children's Services, Jane Lomax-Smith, has announced that criminal history checks of South Australia's teachers has found that 80 per cent need no further action by the Teachers' Registration Board. Most of the remaining 20 per cent are expected to have a clear report from South Australia Police, or only minor offences on their police record. For more information see News Release, 17 June 2005.
Changes to New Zealand's secondary school year, including removing the sports tournament week as a school holiday, have been announced by Education Minister Trevor Mallard. Mr Mallard said that last year, at the request of secondary principals concerned at the impact national sports tournaments were having on schools, he had agreed to create a week long break in the third term for national tournaments. See report from New Zealand Press Association (stuff.co.nz).
The Tasmanian Government's Guaranteeing Futures initiative makes it possible for Year 10 students who are at risk of not completing school or finding employment to receive assistance from Youth Learning Officers. Last year, 268 students received assistance from Youth Learning Officers, and more than two hundred of them have either continued in education and training, or are in employment. For more information see media release, 15 June 2005.
A number of new student retention programs are due to be trialled in Western Australia. The State Government has provided $1.5m in additional funding across educational districts. The programs cover TAFEWA, schools, community organisations and employment agencies in collaborative development of programs which include experience placement, mentoring, counselling, online learning, literacy and numeracy and leadership programs. The programs are being managed by Barrie McMahon, from the new retention and transition directorate at the Department of Education and Training. See report in School Matters 27 May 2005.