A range of measures have been announced as part of the Australian Government's 2007-08 Budget and the associated Realising Our Potential schooling package. See Ministerial media release 8 May 2007 (BUBD 20/07), Ministerial media announcement (BUDB 19/07), also 8 May 2007, and related announcements.
Western Australia's Education and Training Minister Mark McGowan has announced a new package, Skills for Western Australia’s Future: Transforming the Training System, that includes a new $12 million training centre for building, construction and electrical trades. It will form part of West Coast TAFE and will be co-located with Clarkson Community High School. See Ministerial media release 5 May 2007.
South Australian Premier Mike Rann has announced wide-ranging measures to ensure all young South Australians are in school, training or work. They include three high-tech trade schools and a new high school certificate designed to enable more students to learn at school and beyond school, from 2011. See Ministerial media release 2 May 2007. See also earlier Ministerial statement on school-based apprenticeships and traineeships, 23 April 2007.
South Australian Year 9 students have been tested Statewide on their literacy and numeracy skills for the first time, through a new ‘early warning’ diagnostic test. State Education Minister Jane Lomax-Smith says the test will pinpoint students who need extra help prior to undertaking their South Australian Certificate of Education in Years 11 and 12. Year 9 students from Government, Catholic and many Independent schools undertook the test. The numeracy test includes questions about numbers, measurement and spatial concepts, and some algebra. The literacy test covers reading, writing, spelling, punctuation and grammar. See Ministerial media release, 8 May 2007.
National achievement tests in math and Japanese were recently completed by Grade 6 and third-year middle school students in Japan for the first time since 1964. The tests were introduced after an OECD program revealed that reading comprehension and writing standards had deteriorated. Results will be announced in September. See article from The Daily Yomiuri, 25 April 2007.
Teacher work stress claims for New South Wales public schools have fallen by over 40 percent in the past four years. Working days lost fell from 86,000 to 13,000. See Departmental media release, 8 May 2007.