Britain's Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (QCA) has this month published two major reports. The Curriculum: Taking Stock of Progress assesses progress following changes to the curriculum that were implemented last year and looks at the work that will need to be done in the future. Monitoring Curriculum and Assessment covers questions commonly asked of each subject. The QCA has invited comment from parents, pupils, teachers and governors about their views on the curriculum, and in particular their views on the proposals, before the consultation closes on 30 April 2007. See QCA media release, 23 March 2007. See also BBC News report, 23 March 2007.
The New South Wales' Department of Education and Training has issued a media statement (1 March 2007) describing advances in its email system and ICT infrastructure, following criticism in a Daily Telegraph newspaper article.
New South Wales Education Minister Carmel Tebbutt has welcomed the release of a report by the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) into the State's Higher School Certificate (HSC) take-home assessment tasks. See Departmental media release, 1 March 2007, which describes a range of measures implemented in New South Wales to promote ethical scholarship.
The Australian Primary Principals’ Association (APPA) has called for a charter to provide greater direction for the nation’s primary schools, arguing that 'as more and more extra tasks are being pushed on primary schools, the essence of what constitutes a good primary school is being lost'. The President of APPA, Leonie Trimper, has said that 'the joy of working in primary schools is disappearing', and that primary schools have become too intense. 'Primary education is in danger of losing its special identity and importance. The curriculum has become too cluttered and primary schools are having to take responsibility for issues that should really be the domain of parents. Many schools are under-resourced, particularly those with the most challenging children and the least community support. Add to this the growing number of children with social and emotional problems, and the system is starting to falter', she has argued. See APPA media release. See also The need for a renewed charter, a paper from Professor Greg Robson of Edith Cowan University, commissioned and published by the APPA.
ABC Radio National is now providing a specialist education podcast service. Features will come from any ABC Radio National program that has recently covered an important educational topic. Edpod will cover ideas and issues arising 'in the classroom, the staffroom and at home' such as homework, home schooling, teacher testing and school curricula.
The December 2006 edition of History Australia has for the first time introduced a free video clip online, accompanying an article about the pianist Vera Bradford. More video clips and sound bytes are planned for future editions of the journal. For further information, email Sarah.Cannon@lib.monash.edu.au.
The Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) is asking secondary schools to encourage students to enrol and vote. Enrol to Vote Week, organised by the AEC, will run across the country from 28 May to 1 June. Within each school, principals are being asked to nominate a coordinator for the week’s events. Over 35 per cent of all secondary schools have already signed up to take part in the initiative. The Enrol to Vote Week initiative is being launched at a time when the AEC is preparing a new national curriculum resource – Democracy Rules – to be distributed in Term 2. Aligned with the national Civics and Citizenship Statements of Learning, the multimedia resource will be distributed to all Australian primary and secondary schools free of charge.
In New Zealand a program targeting Mâori students has resulted in a marked improvement in their performance at school. A newly released report about Te Kotahitanga, a research and teacher professional development program started in 2000, shows improvements in numeracy and literacy for Mâori students. See media release, 29 March 2007, from New Zealand's Associate Education Minister, Parekura Horomia.