The Prime Minister's Apology to Australia's Indigenous Peoples speech 13 February 2008 includes an undertaking to provide early childhood education for Indigenous children in remote communities. The speech reads in part: 'Let us resolve over the next five years to have every Indigenous four-year-old in a remote Aboriginal community enrolled and attending a proper early childhood education centre or opportunity and engaged in proper preliteracy and prenumeracy programs. Let us resolve to build new educational opportunities for these little ones, year by year, step by step, following the completion of their crucial preschool year.' See also commentary in The Australian 14 February 2008.
The Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Education, Julia Gillard, has outlined additional measures by the Australian Government to support the education of Indigenous students in the Northern Territory. See Second Reading Speech - Indigenous Education (Targeted Assistance) Amendment (2008 Measures No. 1) Bill 2008 House of Representatives, 14 February 2008.
Northern Territory Chief Minister, Paul Henderson, has called for the stories of the Stolen Generations of Indigenous children to be included in a national history curriculum. Mr Henderson made the call during a motion of support for the Australian Government’s historic apology to the Stolen Generations. See media statement 13 February 2008.
The Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Education, Julia Gillard, has announced the appointment of Mr Tony Mackay as Deputy Chair of the Rudd Government’s new National Curriculum Board. The new National Curriculum Board will comprise representatives from each of the states and territories, and representatives from the Catholic and Independent sectors. The Board will oversee the development of a rigorous, world-class national curriculum for all Australian students from kindergarten to Year 12, starting with the key learning areas of English, mathematics, the sciences and history. The Board will draw together the best programs from each state and territory into a single curriculum to ensure every child has access to the highest quality learning programs to lift achievement and drive up school retention rates. See Minister's media release 8 February 2008.
Literacy professionals and classroom teachers in Australia and New Zealand can now access resources from the International Reading Association (IRA) exclusively through Curriculum Corporation. The International Reading Association is the leading international professional association for literacy teachers. IRA’s extensive range of resources enable classroom teachers to achieve best practice and meet the challenges of increasingly diverse, mixed-ability classrooms. These resources also provide leaders in professional learning and curriculum development with exceptional materials for establishing a school-wide approach to literacy teaching. See reviews of two of the titles Coaching for Balance and Leading a Successful Literacy Program. Visit www.curriculumpress.edu.au to explore the list of International Reading Association publications, or contact the sales team on 03 9207 9600, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Public school teachers across Victoria attended stopwork rallies in Melbourne and Mildura on 14 February 2008 as part of a campaign to address widespread teacher shortages, lower class sizes and to lift teacher salaries. For background information from the Australian Education Union see AEU media release 13 February 2008. See also Teachers to be lured to tough schools, The Age 9 February 2008, Trade holidays for pay, teachers told The Age 15 February 2008, and Teachers vote for strikes in pay dispute, The Australian 15 February 2008.
School children in South Australia will learn how to protect themselves from abuse and harm through a new Keeping Safe child protection program to be introduced in the State’s schools and preschools this year. Education Minister Jane Lomax-Smith says around 10,000 State school teachers have been trained in the program, which is the first update of the child protection curriculum in more than 20 years. See Minister's media statement 31 January 2008.