Australian schools win OECD recognition for building design
The OECD's Program on Educational Building (PEB) has included five Australian schools in its Compendium of Exemplary Educational Facilities. An international jury selected educational institutions from 20 countries based on how well buildings and grounds were used to enhance the quality of education. Recently refurbished and new buildings and grounds were considered, and awarded merit for their innovation in terms of safety, sustainability, meeting community needs and flexibility. See article in School Matters, August 2006, p 14.
South Australian country teaching scholarships are now targeted to subjects that are short of teachers
Aspiring high schools teachers who want to specialise in a particular subject area are being targeted through the South Australian Government’s Country Teaching Scholarships this year. More than 80 per cent of the 42 scholarships offered in 2006 are aimed at secondary subject areas where there is a demand for qualified teachers. These include mathematics, physics, chemistry, English, home economics and technology studies. See Ministerial media release, 20 September 2006.
School rebuilding program in South Australia
The South Australian Government has embarked on a school rebuilding program in partnership with private industry. See Ministerial media release, 20 September 2006.
Resources for New Zealand parents
The Team-Up campaign recently launched by the New Zealand Government is providing resources to parents to help them support their children’s learning. See Ministerial media release, 18 September 2006.
Plan promotes healthier lifestyles in schools in NZ
Promoting healthy eating and encouraging New Zealand children to become more active is the focus of a new action plan for schools and early childhood education services. The plan is part of Mission-On, a new government-wide campaign to tackle obesity. See Ministerial media statement, 21 September 2006. While the move has been widely supported, concerns have been voiced at the extent of the 'policing' role required of teachers. PPTA President Debbie Te Whaiti has expressed fears that teachers will have to check what students are eating. She says schools are being asked to address an increasing number of social problems that are ‘getting close to boundaries that perhaps should not be crossed’, according to a report on tv.co.nz, 22 September 2006.
Agreement to stop 'poaching' of teachers is challenged
An agreement has been reached between members of the Association of Heads of Independent Schools of Australia to stop the 'poaching' of teachers between member schools. However, the agreement is potentially in breach of the Trade Practices Act, according to some critics. See article in The Australian, 15 September 2006.
Community to debate primary school literacy and numeracy issues in Western Australia
Western Australia's Education and Training Minister Ljiljanna Ravlich has released the preliminary report of the State's Literacy and Numeracy Review, and has invited public comment. A taskforce chaired by educational research expert Professor Bill Louden, from the University of Western Australia, has developed a series of proposals to improve literacy and numeracy standards. See Ministerial media statement by Ljiljanna Ravlich, 20 September 2006.
School closures criticised in Australian Capital Territory
Dr Ian Morgan of the Save Our Schools campaign in Canberra has written an article in the Canberra Times (21 September 2006, p 17) critical of current school closures involved in the Towards 2020 school change program in the Australian Capital Territory.
State schools should pay more to good teachers: Julie Bishop
Australian Government Education Minister Julie Bishop has said that government school principals should be given the power to offer performance-based cash incentives to attract and retain teachers. She suggested that a system similar to that in the US could be adopted, where the US Federal Government offers an incentive fund to particular schools, which then identify teachers who deserve an increase in pay. She indicated that adoption of this policy by States and Territories may become a condition of Australian Government education funding in the future. See article in The Age, 21 September 2006.
AAMT seeks comments on standards
Members of the Australian Association of Mathematics Teachers (AAMT) are invited to comment on the standards for excellence in teaching mathematics in Australian schools, as part of the association's review of the standards. Comments can be submitted until mid-November, and will be considered in recommendations to the AAMT's council meeting in January 2007. An online survey will soon be available.
Human rights website has resources for teachers and students
The website of the Human Rights and Equal Opportunities Commission (HREOC) now includes sections with human rights information and resources aimed at secondary students and teachers.