New South Wales Minister for Education and Training, John Della Bosca, announced primary school literacy, numeracy and writing standards were at a record high following the release of the 2007 Basic Skills Test (BST) results. See Departmental media statement 22 October 2007.
The NSW Minister of Education recently announced that an additional $60 million will be distributed to schools for maintenance projects and new facility upgrades. (See news from NSW DET, 10 September 2007.)
Up to one in three Higher School Certificate students are now studying vocational courses such as hospitality and business studies. The number is expected to rise again next year. See report in Sydney Morning Herald, 15 October 2007.
The number of welfare counsellors in public schools is 'woefully inadequate' according to a youth mental health expert. See article in the Sydney Morning Herald 30 September 2007.
A new website, Study Queensland, has been created to attract international students to the State. The site offers comprehensive information about study options and life in Queensland, as well as useful links to regional websites, industry sectors, safety information and student testimonials. In New South Wales, a report in the Sydney Morning Herald (9 October 2007) states that schools 'are employing marketing consultants to help recruit more full-fee paying students from overseas' and that 'the NSW Department of Education has generated more than $93 million in fees from overseas students at public schools since 1993.'
Queensland Education and Training Minister Rod Welford has clarified election caretaker conventions for Queensland state schools. See Minister's media release 25 October 2007.
Victoria's School Design Awards, now in their second year, promote innovation in design in Government primary and secondary schools. The 2007 awards have been announced in an 11 October media statement by State Education Minister, Bronwyn Pike.
The NZEI will lobby the New Zealand Government for guidelines that set out teachers' rights in regard to the physical restraint of students. Several teachers have recently been charged with assault when restraining students. (See article from The Dominion Post (stuff.co.nz), 26 October 2007.)
All South Australian schools, preschools and education offices are preparing to meet State Goverment targets for water and energy use next year. State Education Minister Jane Lomax-Smith has announced 'Green kits', with tips on saving energy and water, are being prepared for distribution to schools and preschools during Term 4. There will be audits for schools that use the largest amounts of water and energy. Annual ‘Green School’ grants, awarded to 78 schools in June, are now being used to implement initiatives that save on water and energy use. Meanwhile the SA Solar Schools program will be contributing solar energy in 112 schools and preschools - among them, two schools that signed up to the program last month. From 2008, all education sites will be required to reduce water use by 10% and energy use by 25%, in accordance with targets in South Australia’s Strategic Plan. See Minister's media statement 24 October 2007.
A program at Unley High School, South Australia is 'putting teaching students to work in the classroom - before they graduate'. Unlike a standard practicum education, students from Tabor College are working one-on-one to improve the literacy skills of Year 8 students at the school. Tabor is a Christian education centre accredited for tertiary students. See report in AdelaideNow 28 September 2007.
The Western Australian Government will offer 240 new scholarships to the State’s 6,565 education assistants (EAs) and 579 Aboriginal and Islander education officers (AIEOs) to retrain as early childhood or primary school teachers. See Minister's statement 21 October 2007.
Art Education 2.0 is for art educators at all levels who are interested in using digital technologies to enhance and transform teaching and learning in their classrooms. The aim of Art Education 2.0 is to explore ways of using technology to promote effective art education practices, encourage cultural exchanges and joint creative work, and support artistic projects and curricular activities deemed important by members.
A study by researchers at the University of Western Sydney has concluded that schools 'can unwittingly encourage girls' anorexic behaviours'. See UWS media release 2 October 2007.