The Australian Government Minister for Education, Julia Gillard, has announced funding of $46,000 through the School Languages Program (SLP), to extend and update the 2005–2008 National Statement and Plan on Languages Education in Australian Schools. The government has also approved SLP funding of almost $20,000 for Principals Australia to further develop their highly regarded Leading Languages education resource, which provides support for languages education in schools. See Minister's media statement 20 October 2009.
The Australian Government Minister for Education, Julia Gillard, has announced funding of $3 million for Make it Count, a numeracy project for Indigenous students. The project will be run by the Australian Association of Mathematics Teachers Incorporated (AAMT) and will research and develop new approaches to delivering mathematics education to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students. See Minister's media release 19 October 2009
Planned public reporting of schools' performance could pressure them to exclude low-achieving students from high-stakes tests, according to Trevor Cobbold, a former economist for the Productivity Commission and National Convener of Save Our Schools. See article in The Sydney Morning Herald 20 October 2009.
Former University of Melbourne Dean Brian Caldwell has described corporate involvement in schools, including the use of commercial branding in the school environment, as a 'small price to pay' for potential learning gains. See article in The Age 21 October 2009. He was one of several education experts at a conference in Melbourne who offered support for greater involvement of businesses in schools.
The South Australian Government has set up a Teacher Education Taskforce to examine the preparation of new teachers, the supply and demand of teachers and ways to attract high-quality candidates to the profession. The taskforce will consider long-term strategies to ensure the supply of teachers in government and non-government schools; teachers able to take specialist subjects such as languages, mathematics, science and physical education; and teachers well-prepared to work in a range of school settings, including regional areas. State Education Department Chief, Chris Robinson, is chairing the taskforce, which comprises senior representatives from the Catholic and independent education sectors, as well as the Deans of Education from the University of Adelaide, Flinders University and the University of South Australia. See media release 19 October 2009 by State Education Minister, Jane Lomax-Smith, which also describes other State Government measures to attract and retain quality teachers to work in South Australian schools.
The Queensland Government will fund long day care centres to provide kindergarten services for up to 9000 children in 2010, as a step toward universal access to kindergarten. The funding program will be piloted in up to 100 long day care centres. State Education and Training Minister, Geoff Wilson, has also announced that the government will establish up to 240 extra kindergarten services. See Minister's media statement 19 October 2009.
The Australian Capital Territory Education Minister, Andrew Barr, is considering options for the reform of the ACT's college system for secondary students. One possibility is the establishment of separate secondary colleges catering respectively for students oriented to tertiary education and vocational education. Another option is to offer separate streams of learning within colleges. See article in The Canberra Times 22 October 2009.
The Victorian Government has invited comment from education experts to help it ensure equity in the operation of the State's tertiary entrance system, ENTER. See media statement from State Education Minister, Bronwyn Pike, 20 October 2009.
The winners of this year's design awards for Victorian Government schools have been announced. The awards showcase innovative building design that reflects the 21st century learning occurring in Victorian schools. See media release from State Education Minister, Bronwyn Pike, 20 October 2009.