The results of the 2004 National Education Monitoring Project (NEMP) show that, overall, Year 4 and Year 8 students in New Zealand have improved their performance in reading, speaking, music and technology when compared to the results of the Project in 2000. Furthermore, the gap in the outcomes between Pakeha and Maori students and Pakeha and Pasifika students has decreased. The National Education and Monitoring Project is conducted every four years. For more information see the Ministerial media release 9 September 2005.
The Western Australian Government has established football academies at some public schools to help enagage Indigenous students in their schooling. It is anticipated that the academies will foster students' self-esteem and contribute to their acquisition of life skills. For more information see Ministerial media statement 8 September 2005.
The Queensland Government has recognised the work of teacher aides by awarding professional learning grants of $1,000 to forty of their number. Teacher aides are responsible for providing a range of support services in schools and classrooms across the State, from catering to individual students' educational needs to organising vocational learning and training. For more information see Ministerial Media Statement 2 September 2005.
A Year 12 retention program is currently being trialled in South Australia. Under the program, Year 12 students who are in danger of not completing their studies are able to have access to tutoring, mentoring and counselling for health and personal issues, and teachers will receive professional development to assist them to support students through their final year of schooling. For more information see Media Release 7 September 2005.
South Australian schools have the opportunity to become lighthouse schools for the promotion of healthy eating, if they are able to discourage the consumption of junk food among their students. 'Healthy Eating School' status will be afforded to schools that introduce food preparation and nutrition in their curriculum, integrate supervised eating breaks in their schedules, promote the consumption of fresh food and water, limit the sale of food with low nutritional value and refrain from using food as part of reward and punishment regimes. For more information see Ministerial media release 6 September 2005.
The crisis in boys' education has been linked to a shortage of male primary school teachers. However, Chris Johnston reports in the Guardian on a study that found no correlation between boys' educational performance and the gender of the teacher. The study, conducted by two British educational researchers, examined the educational performances of 9,000 11-year-olds, and found that while students taught by female teachers had better attitudes to school, there was no evidence for claims that students' performances are influenced by the gender of their teacher. See the article in the Guardian 9 September 2005.
Shane Green, in The Age, foreshadows the Victorian Govenrment's white paper on education, claiming that all Victorian schools will be required to meet minimum standards in student welfare, teacher qualifications and enrolment in order to gain registration in the State. The new regulatory and quality assurance regime will be administered by the Victorian Qualifications Authority, which is to become the Victorian Qualifications and Registration Authority according to the white paper. See Massive revamp plan for schools in the The Age 12 September 2005.
Rosalyn Arnold, University of Tasmania Professor and Dean of Education, has strongly endorsed Tasmania’s new Essential Learnings curriculum, following criticism of it from sections of the school education community. See report in The Mercury 10 September 2005 and update article 12 September 2005.
A new curriulum, centred on 'essential learnings', will be trialled in the ACT next year, according to Elizabeth Bellamy in the Canberra Times. Students from P–10 will be affected by the changes, which will seek to ensure that learning outcomes include fostering the development of the 'whole child' – morally, physically, socially and intellectually – beyond the basic literacy, numeracy and discipline-based skills. The trial has attracted criticism. See the article in the Canberra Times 10 September 2005.