High performing principals from Australia and overseas will be offered performance-based contracts to move to struggling public schools in Victoria. See article in The Age 8 May 2008.
An agreement on teachers' pay has been reached between the Victorian Government and the Australian Education Union (AEU). See report 7 May and earlier articles 6 May 2008 in The Age; commentary by Kevin Donnelly 7 May 2008 and earlier articles 6 May in The Australian; and media release 5 May 2008 from the AEU.
The Victorian Government has allocated over $592 million to replace or upgrade facilities across the State. The funding will allow 128 schools to be rebuilt, fixed or extended. It also provides for 11 schools to be built in city growth corridors, along with two new selective schools and a science secondary school at Monash University. See report in The Australian 7 May 2008.
South Australia’s schools are to receive $1m in Green School Grants from the State Government this year. The grants will be awarded to 97 schools and range from $5,000 to $70,000. Every school in the State has been set a target for reductions in energy and water consumption, and these grants will help them meet this requirement. Schools will be able to use the funding to audit their energy use, hold training sessions, develop energy management plans and install energy-saving devices. See media release 8 May 2008 from Jane Lomax-Smith, Minister for Education and Children's Services.
An increasing number of city parents are sending their children to boarding schools to cope with pressures of work and transport. See report 7 May 2008 and opinion piece by Sydney principal William McKeith 6 May 2008, in the Sydney Morning Herald.
Walk Safely to School Day is an annual, national event when primary school children are encouraged to walk safely to school. Up to 8,000 schools around the country participated this year. It is an opportunity for parents to walk with their children and teach them safe pedestrian behaviour. See media release by Queensland Minister for Education and Training Rod Welford 2 May 2008.
The results of a Harris Interactive Poll conducted last year suggest links between childhood music education, academic achievement and career success. The poll surveyed 2,565 adults of varying ethnicities and educational backgrounds. As well as being linked to higher educational achievement and increased household income, the majority of poll respondents also agreed that music education equips people to work better in teams and to effectively manage job tasks. The poll results suggest that the ongoing reduction in funding for school-based music education should be reconsidered. Findings are summarised in Teaching Music, February 2008.
The Victorian Parliament is considering legislation proposing the creation of a register of all primary, secondary and TAFE students. The register would contain their name, date of birth, gender and enrolment details. The information would be used by the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority and the Victorian Registrations and Qualifications Authority and other Government agencies. Privacy concerns have been expressed about the register. See report in the Herald Sun 7 May 2008.
Education commentator Geoff Maslen has written an article in The Age 5 May 2008 opposing calls for increased class sizes.
Parlo Singh, head of the school of Education and Professional Studies at Griffith University, has supported moves towards a national curriculum in a commentary on the ABC News 5 May 2008.