Progress of national arts curriculum
The development of the Australian Curriculum for the arts will continue on 1 September 2010 with the publication of The Draft Shape of the Australian Curriculum: The Arts. The document will be available for public input for the following 10 weeks. Further information on the process for developing the arts curriculum is available from ACARA. See also the comments by Dr Kerry Thomas, a senior lecturer in art and design education at the College of Fine Arts, UNSW, who has written an article in The Sydney Morning Herald 9 August 2010 on trends currently shaping national curriculum policy toward the arts.
ACEL responds to NAPLAN
The Australian Council for Educational Leaders (ACEL) has recently published a response to the NAPLAN testing program on its website. ACEL's membership base includes educators in institutes of higher education, educators in the Catholic, Independent and public school systems and members of other interest groups involved with education.
Support for teacher librarians urged
An opinion article in The Age 6 August 2010 urges support for the employment of teacher librarians in public schools. It notes research evidence of a strong link between academic success and independent reading, and the support given to the profession by schools in the Independent sector.
Parents increasingly anxious about secondary school enrolment: survey
The process of finding a suitable secondary school for their children is increasingly stressful for parents, according to the results of a survey by Helen Proctor at The University of Sydney. See article in The Age 30 July 2010.
Survey on substance abuse in schools
A survey of 376 secondary schools, undertaken by the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre (NDARC), has highlighted the use of anabolic steroids by secondary students: 2.4 per cent of respondents reported having experimented with the drugs, which are used to promote muscle growth. See article in The Daily Telegraph 12 August 2010.
NZ government announces new support for learning of maths, writing and reading
New Zealand Education Minister Anne Tolley has announced three major new measures to lift student achievement across the country. Expert practitioners from the Ministry and the education sector will be appointed to support schools. Funding has been allocated for new intervention programmes for students who need extra support in reading, writing and maths. The Ministry has also been asked to redesign its approach to professional development for principals and teachers. See Minister's statement 2 August 2010 and report on Radio New Zealand also 2 August 2010.
ACT Solar Schools program
ACT Minister for Education and Training Andrew Barr has officially launched a solar power system at Evatt Primary School. The system is expected to save the school up to $7,000 per year. The ACT Solar Schools program will install around 1 megawatt (1,000 kilowatts) of panels on schools across the ACT public school system over the next three years. See Minister's statement 3 August 2010.
School heaters replaced in coldest areas of NSW
NSW Minister for Education and Training Verity Firth has announced a list of schools, in the coldest areas of the state, that are to have unflued gas heaters replaced. The Government is also examining a program for the replacement of unflued heaters at other schools in NSW. See Minister's statement 12 August 2010.
Controversy in England over Standard Assessments Tests
The Standard Assessments Tests (SATs) in England, admininistered to 11-year-old students across the country, have been boycotted by over 4,000 primary schools, according a report by Associated Press 3 August 2010. The use of SATs test results to rank schools has been criticised by the National Union of Teachers.