A budget speech by John Stanhope, Australian Capital Territory Chief Minister, has set out education spending in the ACT for 2006–07. The ACT education program will see a number of schools closed and upgrades of remaining schools.
Lower school age 'to boost productivity'
Setting a lower age for children to start school would boost economic productivity as well as increase the number of students completing Year 12, according to a report to be considered next month at a meeting of Australian, State and Territory education ministers, who will discuss a plan to set a uniform minimum age for starting school at 4 and a half years. The plan will be put to the ministers by Australian Education Minister Julie Bishop, who argues that younger students and common minimum starting ages across the country will increase school retention rates. At present, there are five different starting ages in the states and territories. See report in The Australian 5 June 2006. See also report in The Mercury and article in Canberra Times 5 June 2006.
Changes to proposed senior school curriculum in WA
West Australian Premier Alan Carpenter has announced modifications to the proposed outcomes-based education (OBE) curriculum for senior secondary schooling in the State next year. See report in The Australian, 8 June 2006.
Queensland State Education Week 2006
Queensland is celebrating State Education Week 4–10 June 2006. As well as organising their own school-based activities, schools and their local communities are encouraged to take part in a series of official events.
Plan to close undergraduate teacher education course at University of Melbourne
A plan to recast the
Success for boys: new grants available
The Success for Boys professional learning program provides individual schools and school clusters with grants of around $10,000 per school to undertake a professional learning program on boys’ education. The program is funded by the Department of Education, Science and Training and managed by Curriculum Corporation. This year in Round I, 800 schools are implementing the program. On 3 July 2006 applications for Round II will open for funding for the 2007 school year. Schools funded for 2006 are not eligible to apply. Applications must be lodged by the applicant school using the online facility between 3 July and 21 August 2006. The Success for Boys professional learning materials consist of five printed learning guides and an accompanying CD-ROM with activity sheets, slides for group presentation and related resources and readings. For further information, or to order an advance copy of the materials, email firstname.lastname@example.org. Further information can also be obtained from www.successforboys.edu.au or by calling the help desk on (03) 9207 9600 during business hours.
Learning and Thinking, Perceptions and Practices Conference, South Australia
The Computers in Education Group South Australia (CEGSA) will hold their annual conference on 20–21 July 2006 at the Education Development Centre, Hindmarsh. The conference will focus on online learning, emerging technologies, the classroom context and the senior secondary school, as well as ICT and Indigenous students. See the CEGSA website or Curriculum Leadership calendar for further details.
Lukewarm reception to 'literacy squads' in Victoria
Victorian Education Minister Lynne Kosky had said that the State Government will establish 'literacy improvement teams' to work with teachers in government schools next year. Under the $11.7 million scheme, 45 literacy specialists will be hired to visit schools where Grade 3 to Year 8 students have fallen behind in their reading and writing. The teams will provide advice on improving literacy, mentor teachers and develop classroom material. A panel of prominent literacy experts will also be appointed to provide advice to all schools. However the announcement on the literacy squads has received a lukewarm response from principals and a prominent reading expert. See article in The Age: Education, 5 June 2006.
On Track survey shows destinations of Victoria's 2005 Year 12 school leavers
Queensland Education Minister Rod Welford has announced a one billion-dollar, five-year program to modernise
E-learning grants available to primary schools
All primary schools throughout
Financial literacy grants for secondary schools
The Commonwealth Bank Foundation Financial Literacy Grants are open to all secondary schools across Australia to help develop the financial literacy skills of students in Years 7 to 12. The Foundation invites schools to apply for a grant of $3,500 each to develop student programs to create awareness, skill and understanding in financial literacy. One hundred grants are available Australia-wide. Schools must submit their applications online via the 2006 Application e-form by 4 August, 2006. Register your school online to receive your Commonwealth Bank Foundation Grant Application Guide. The Guide contains everything your school needs to organise and lodge your application online, including the judging criteria and tips for submitting a winning idea.
Racial tension in schools
Australian schools must not become complacent about the need to improve racial harmony among students, an international schools accreditor has warned. David Styan, from the Council of International Schools, says that playground practice, classrooms, and friendship groups remain ‘quite sharply differentiated racially’. See report in The Age: Education, 5 June 2006.
Graduate employment survey finds visual and performing arts jobs scarce
The report Grads, Jobs and Dollars 2004 found that visual and performing artists had more difficulty than any other group of graduates in obtaining full-time work. Only 56 per cent of graduates available for full-time work in these fields were able to find it. The report identifies career opportunities across industries and notes that women continue to receive lower pay. See 'Gender pay gap still exists' in the Australian Financial Review, 5 June 2006 p 37 (fee-based access).
New South Wales budget