Australian Education Minister Julia Gillard has responded in a range of forums to public and media feedback about the draft Australian Curriculum. See her joint media release with Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and transcript of interview on the ABC's 7.30 Report, both 1 March 2010, and her other commentary available via the Minister's website. See transcript of panel discussion 1 March 2010 on the ABC's 7.30 Report 1 March 2010, whose participants included Prime Minister Kevin Rudd. See statement supporting the Australian Curriculum by Queensland Education and Training Minister Geoff Wilson, also 1 March 2010. In the mainstream media, see opinion in The Age 5 March 2010; article in The Courier-Mail 2 March 2010; article on the senior secondary curriculum in The Sydney Morning Herald 3 March 2010; opinion in The Sydney Morning Herald 2 March 2010; article on the timing of the curriculum's introduction in Adelaide Now 2 March 2010; article 2 March 2010 and article 1 March 2010 in The Australian. For academic opinion see also commentary 1 March 2010 from the University of Melbourne; commentary 1 March 2010 and commentary 3 March 2010 from Queensland University of Technology, and commentary 2 March 2010 from Charles Sturt University.
Public discussion has continued this week around the History component of the draft Australian Curriculum. See report 4 March on ABC News, and article in The Sydney Morning Herald 5 March. Further comments can also be found in an article in The Age 2 March. In The Australian see an article covering the subject areas of History and English, 4 March; opinion 5 March, opinion 3 March, and commentary 26 February 2010. See also main news item about the Australian Curriculum on this page.
The English subject area of the draft Australian Curriculum has been discussed this week in an article in The Sydney Morning Herald 5 March 2010 and an article covering the subject areas of History and English in The Australian 4 March 2010. See also main news item about the draft Australian Curriculum on this page.
This week there has been further public discussion on the Australian Government's plan to introduce a unique student identifier. See article in The Australian 3 March 2010.
The Australian Government Minister for Education, Julia Gillard, has announced the Government's intention to introduce a My University website. Modelled on the recently introduced My School, the new site will inform students about institutions, courses and pathways, and showcase the quality of Australia's higher education providers. See the Minister's statement 3 March 2010. See also article in The Canberra Times and article in The Australian both 3 March 2010, and article in The Age 4 March 2010.
NSW Minister for Education and Training Verity Firth has launched the xsel program, which allows gifted students in remote or rural areas to attend accelerated classes online. Students enrolled in the program will spend half of their school day in the classroom, and the other half in the virtual selective program. See Minister's statement 23 February 2010.
Queensland Premier Anna Bligh has announced a campaign called A Flying Start, designed to boost early years literacy and numeracy. An accompanying discussion paper has also been launched, and public feedback is invited. As part of the campaign, the Queensland Government has partnered with newspaper The Sunday Mail and local bookshops to offer a statewide 10 per cent discount on children's books this month. See Premier's statement 28 February 2010.
A secular ethics course planned for primary students in NSW has received strong early support from parents, according to a report on ABC News 25 February 2010. The course, an alternative to scripture classes, will be piloted at ten public primary schools in Term 2.
In December 2009 the The Non-Government Schools Registration Board in South Australia adopted a policy requiring 'the teaching of Science as an empirical discipline, focusing on inquiry, hypothesis, investigation, experimentation, observation and evidential analysis', which 'does not accept as satisfactory a science curriculum in a non-government school which is based upon, espouses or reflects the literal interpretation of a religious text in its treatment of either creationism or intelligent design'. An article in The Sydney Morning Herald 3 March 2010 discusses the response of Christian Schools Australia, and the approach to the issue taken by the NSW Association of Independent Schools.
Tasmanian Premier David Bartlett has announced that the State will develop a series of specialist schools that focus on particular skills areas, such as the arts, sport or trades, in order to improve student engagement and retention, and address potential skills shortages. See article in The Australian 3 March 2010.
Experts on the phenomenon of bullying have expressed concern that many school anti-bullying policies are ineffective. See article in The Courier-Mail 2 March 2010.