Schools selected for this year’s Educational Lending Right (ELR) survey are strongly encouraged to participate as soon as possible. Please complete the survey and send or email the results to ELR at your earliest convenience. If you have any questions or problems, please telephone 03 9207 9600 or 1800 337 405, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Schools Assistance Bill 2008 covers Australian Government funding for non-government schools for 2009–2012. It is currently being considered by the Senate Standing Committee on Education, Employment and Workplace Relations for report by 27 November 2008. For media commentary on issues surrounding the Bill see articles in the Australian Financial Review: 'Teacher unions offended as private schools are befriended', 19 November 2008 pp 68–69 (currently available online) and 'Private schools fear beat-ups over funding', 20 November 2008 p 6 (subscription access). See also commentary in The Australian 21 November 2008, report on ABC News 19 November 2008 and commentary by Lyndsay Connors and Jane Caro in Sydney Morning Herald 19 November 2008.
Leading figures in the Independent school sector have expressed concern that the forthcoming national curriculum may be accompanied by unduly restrictive conditions for receiving Australian Government funding. One concern, raised by Robert Johnston of the Australian Association of Christian Schools, is that new funding arrangements could compromise the teaching of Intelligent Design in schools. See article 19 November 2008 and subsequent article 20 November 2008 in The Age.
The academic excellence being achieved by some rural public schools around Australia is discussed in a podcast presented through ABC Radio's EdPod service, 20 November 2008.
The entire workforce of the New South Wales Department of Education is to be provided with up to 10 hours learning about Indigenous culture under a new Aboriginal education policy in the State. See report in the Sydney Morning Herald 18 November 2008.
Victorian Education Minister Bronwyn Pike has presented Performance and Development Culture Accreditation awards to more than 320 Victorian schools, in recognition of their commitment to nurturing and developing excellent teachers. The Victorian Government is also establishing the Victorian Institute of Educational Leadership in North Melbourne, a world-class centre with resources dedicated to help develop the best principals and the next generation of educational leaders in Victoria. The VIEL will provide professional development for existing and aspiring principals and school leaders across Victoria. See Minister's media statement 19 November 2008.
A survey of university staff in Victoria has found low morale and worries that the quality of educational provision has declined in the last five years. See media release from the National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) and report in The Age, both 20 November 2008.
A new report from the Centre for Independent Studies (CIS), Making the Grade: School Report Cards and League Tables, advances an argument for the publication of school results. 'International research shows that students in schools that publish their results publicly perform better than students in schools that do not. It is time for Australian schools to be accountable too. If school performance is to improve, there must be incentives for good performance and penalties for poor performance,' according to a statement from the CIS. See commentary in The Australian and commentary in The Age, both 20 November 2008.