Australian Education Ministers in collaboration with the Catholic and Independent school sectors are developing a new National Declaration on Educational Goals for Young Australians that will set the direction for Australian schooling over the next 10 years. Education Ministers are inviting public feedback on the proposed declaration from interested individuals and organisations. The declaration, developed by the Ministerial Council for Education, Employment, Training and Youth Affairs (MCEETYA), proposes a range of actions, including the development of stronger educational partnerships with parents, the community and business; strengthening early childhood education and supporting effective transitions from early childhood to middle years’ development and pathways beyond; improving the quality of teaching and school leadership and developing world-class curriculums and assessment; improving educational outcomes for disadvantaged young Australians, especially those from Indigenous and low socioeconomic backgrounds; and increasing accountability and transparency. See media statement from Tasmanian Premier David Bartlett 11 September 2008.
The Australian Government's proposals to shorten teacher training times, and recruit graduates from other professions to teach in disadvantaged schools, have been challenged by the Australian Council of Deans of Education (ACDE). See article in the Sydney Morning Herald 8 September 2008.
The National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) Summary Report has been released by the Ministerial Council for Education, Employment, Training and Youth Affairs (MCEETYA). The report covers results in the first standardised national tests for literacy and numeracy results for Years 3, 5, 7 and 9. It provides information about what the student knows and can do in the areas of Reading, Writing, Language Conventions and Numeracy. It also provides information on how the student has performed in relation to other students in his or her year group, and against the national average and the national minimum standard. See media release by Queensland Government Minister for Education and Training Rod Welford, article in The Age and report on ABC News, all 12 September 2008.
South Australia will introduce new curriculum materials next year to give school students a deeper understanding of Aboriginal culture. The materials are part of a new Aboriginal cultural studies curriculum, which will expand on the Aboriginal culture studies already provided to students through Studies in Society and Environment. Ten State schools have helped to develop and trial the new Aboriginal cultural studies curriculum. See media statement 11 September 2008 from South Australian Education Minister Jane Lomax-Smith.
Verity Firth has been appointed Minister for Education and Training in New South Wales. Ms Firth is also Minister for Women. See her Ministerial profile.
The conference Getting It Together for Australia's Children: What role for parent–child centres? will be held in Melbourne from 15–17 February 2009. The conference is being organised by NIFTeY Australia and the Centre for Community Child Health (CCCH), based at the Royal Children’s Hospital, Melbourne. Papers are invited on four themes: 'What is the focus of parent–child centres?', 'Research and evaluation of parent–child centres', 'The workforce in parent–child centres' and 'The governance model for parent–child centres'.
The United Nations has launched the Media Literacy Education Clearinghouse, a website designed to foster international dialogue and debate on media literacy. See United Nations' media release 18 July 2008.