A draft national curriculum for K-10 English, mathematics, science and history has been released for public comment. The draft curriculum, available online through the Australian Curriculum Consultation Portal, includes content descriptions, achievement standards, content elaborations and some annotated work samples. The consultation website will be the place where individuals and groups can provide feedback and where the online feedback survey can be completed. The K-10 consultation process and the K-10 part of the website will be open until 23 May 2010. See ACARA statement 27 February 2010.
This week Australian Government Minister for Education, Julia Gillard, delivered an address to the National Press Club on the Australian Government's school education program. Topics in the address included the Australian curriculum (see accompanying news item on this page); the My School website; government funding for new capital and equipment; quality teaching and the National Partnerships for Smarter Schools; and the introduction of a unique student identifier. See transcript of the Minister's address, 24 February 2010. See also article in The Age 25 February 2010, and article 24 February and commentary 26 February 2010 in The Australian.
On 1 March 2010, Curriculum Corporation will merge with Education.au to form Education Services Australia Ltd, a new, national, not-for-profit ministerial company. Education Services Australia has been established by all Australian Ministers of Education with a brief to support national education priorities and initiatives. The new company will have the capability to meet the needs of all education sectors in the areas of curriculum development, publishing, technology services, collaborative platforms, content creation, resource delivery, career services and professional learning. Both the Melbourne and Adelaide offices will be retained and external stakeholders will not be affected by this change as the company's focus will remain, as always, on providing the highest standard of service delivery to our customers. Existing services and all pre-existing contracts from both Curriculum Corporation and Education.au will continue unchanged. Services will continue unchanged for Curriculum Leadership readers and for subscribers/users of services such as SCIS and Scootle. The contacts details for the Melbourne office of Education Services Australia are unchanged from those of Curriculum Corporation. A new Education Services Australia website will be established in the coming months at www.esa.edu.au. Until then, background information and links to the previous websites for Curriculum Corporation and Education.au will be provided. Until a re-branding process is complete, an interim brand with the words 'Education Services Australia' is being used. Susan Mann, Chief Executive Officer of Education Services Australia, wishes to thank readers for their support of and engagement with Curriculum Corporation.
Newly qualified primary teachers in Queensland are to be tested on their literacy, numeracy and science skills before entering classrooms, under new laws passed by the State Government. The State Education and Training Minister Geoff Wilson has asked the Queensland College of Teachers to develop the required tests. See Minister's statement 25 February 2010.
Education Queensland is considering the adoption of the Teach for Australia program as an additional means to supply secondary teachers to the State's schools. See article in The Courier Mail 21 February 2010.
The Western Australian Government has called for more state schools to transfer to the status of Independent Public Schools. While remaining part of the public school system, Independent Public Schools have the ability to make decisions about their own curriculum, staffing selection, school assets and budgets. See statement by State Education Minister Liz Constable, 22 February 2010.
A literacy and numeracy taskforce has been established in the Northern Territory to work with schools to improve learning outcomes. The taskforce will oversee the implementation of the Literacy and Numeracy strategy, which will seek to drive whole-school improvement, facilitate early interventions, engage parents, and improve accountability. See Charles Darwin University media release 11 February 2010.