The Tasmanian Premier and Minister for Education and Skills, David Bartlett, has announced that School Improvement Reports will now be published online for all Tasmanian Government schools. He describes the reports as the most comprehensive set of educational performance data in Australia. See Premier's media release 31 October 2008. Australian Government Minister of Education Julia Gillard has strongly endorsed the publication of the reports. See article in The Australian 1 November 2008 and article in the The Sydney Morning Herald 31 October 2008.
Australian Government Minister for Education Julia Gillard has given the opening address to the Australian Primary Principals Association Annual Conference in Sydney. Topics covered in her speech included the Literacy and Numeracy Pilots Program as well as the Government's national reform agenda, educational equity, teacher quality and the forthcoming national curriculum. See transcript of Minister's speech 29 October 2008.
In Queensland, a mentoring program for beginning teachers is to be expanded after a successful statewide trial. Announcing the expansion on the eve of World Teachers' Day, Education and Training Minister Rod Welford said the Different People Working Together Pilot, currently involving 70 mentoring pairs, would increase pairs involved to 100 next year. See Minister's media statement 30 October 2008.
Children living in Aboriginal and Torres Strait communities will be better prepared for Prep and Year 1 under a major new early childhood education initiative in Queensland. State Minister for Education, Training and the Arts Rod Welford said Foundations for Success – Guidelines for an early learning program in Aboriginal and Torres Strait communities would help improve education outcomes for Indigenous children. See Minister's media statement 29 October 2008.
The Western Australian Government and the executive of the State School Teachers’ Union have reached a new agreement on a salaries and conditions package for more than 21,000 public school teachers and administrators. See joint media release 3 November 2008 from Premier Colin Barnett and Minister for Education Elizabeth Constable.
In Victoria the Auditor-General has strongly supported the CASES21 software used for administrative and financial operations in public schools. See media release from State Education Minister Bronwyn Pike, 29 October 2008.
Nominations are open for the 2009 Victorian Education Excellence Awards. See media release from State Education Minister Bronwyn Pike and the Minister for Children and Early Childhood Development Maxine Morand, 3 November 2008.
Solar panels being installed in South Australian State schools are helping to teach a new generation about greener sources of energy. Schools are also being encouraged to incorporate the introduction and management of their energy system into classroom lessons. See South Australian Government media release 28 October 2008.
Over $52 million has been allocated to new facilities for South Australian schools. Capital works projects are expected to be completed at 15 of the State’s schools by the start of the 2009 school year following extensive building work throughout this year. See Premier Mike Rann's media release 30 October 2008.
The Australian Government has changed child care tax rebates, with implications for after-school care, before-school care, vacation care and use of day care centres. See transcript of ABC radio interview with Julia Gillard, Australian Government Minister for Education, 29 October 2008. The Minister also describes the mychild.gov.au website, which includes information for parents on health issues for children and parenting issues, as well as details of local child-care centres and their fees.
A recent paper given at the University of New South Wales Social Policy Research Centre (SPRC) has explored aspects of motherhood and fatherhood in Australia, the USA, Denmark, Italy and France. Work and family policies in Australia, including family tax benefits and the absence of paid maternity leave, make it difficult for couples to share the parenting load equally. See flyer from the SPRC and article in The Australian, 20 October 2008.
An article by Christine James in On Line Opinion 22 October 2008 discusses current issues surrounding child abuse and neglect in Australia.
A new mobile phone-based game has been developed by Queensland University of Technology researchers to connect students and curriculum in everyday environments. The Mobile Learning Kit, or MiLK, is an SMS treasure hunt game that uses simple Web and mobile technologies. See QUT media release, 2 October 2008.