The Australian Minister for Education, Peter Garrett, has discussed progress toward the adoption of the Australian Curriculum in an article in The Age 7 October 2010. The Chair of ACARA, Professor Barry McGaw, has also described progress toward a final curriculum and discussed possible implementation options for the coming years, in Issue 8 of ACARA Update, 29 September 2010. See also article in The Sydney Morning Herald 30 September 2010, covering concerns about the national curriculum raised by the NSW Board of Studies.
This week ACARA published a new curriculum paper, Shape of the Australian Curriculum: The Arts. The paper will be available for public consultation until 17 December 2010. Feedback on the paper may be submitted via an online questionnaire, which can be accessed on ACARA's arts page, which also sets out the timeline for the development of the arts curriculum. The paper incorporates feedback on an initial Advice Paper on the arts curriculum from the public and from expert advisors. See also article in The Age and article and in The Australian both 8 October 2010.
Members of the Australian Council of Deans of Science (ACDS) have met with ACARA Chair Professor Barry McGaw to discuss their concerns about the forthcoming national science curriculum. See article 5 October 2010 in The Australian.
A principals' portal has been created on the the My School website. The portal, which will remain open until 15 October, allows principals to enter their school profile text for 2010. See further information on the portal from ACARA. In a separate development, an article in The Age 7 October 2010, reports that the Australian Government may publish additional information about students' backgrounds on the site. See also article in The Australian 7 October 2010, which describes a call by the Australian Minister for Education, Peter Garrett, for teachers to support the My School site.
A new website provides Australian schools with free educational resources to commemorate the 150th consecutive running of the Melbourne Cup. Launched recently, the 150th Melbourne Cup website contains free units of work for years 4–9 that facilitate inquiry learning in the curriculum areas of History, English, the Arts, Geography and Mathematics. It also draws upon the abundance of primary and secondary source material to provide educational resources such as a gallery of historical images, video clips, a timeline of key events, a glossary of racing terms and information on the people and events that shaped the history of the Cup.
Over 30 iPads are being trialled in a number of schools across Tasmania. The State Department of Education and Training has revealed further plans to investigate the use of Android- and Windows-based tablets in schools. See report in Delimiter 28 September 2010.
An article in The Sydney Morning Herald 29 September 2010, reports that the NSW Director-General of Education, Michael Coutts-Trotter, has refused to give the newspaper access to the value-adding data for the state's comprehensive high schools, due to 'a provision in the Education Act which prevents the release of student results that rank or compare the results of schools'.
The Victorian Government has postponed spending most of the funds allocated to it through the Australian Government's school stimulus package, according to an article in The Australian 8 October 2010 and a report on ABC News 7 October 2010.
Applications are now open to attend The 14th Annual Indigenous Australian Engineering Summer School (IAESS), which will be held at the University of New South Wales on 16–22 January 2011. The five-day, live-in summer school is open to all Indigenous high school students who are entering years 11 or 12 in 2011. Applications close on Monday 8 November 2010.
The South Australian Education Minister, Jay Weatherill, has released an independent review of procedures in the Department of Education and Children's Services. The report, by Ernst & Young, includes details of research being undertaken in schools, preschools and the DECS central office, and sets out 76 recommendations for 'reducing red tape'. Mr Weatherill has also flagged the devolution of more decision making powers to school and preschool leaders related to school staffing. See the Minister's statement 29 September 2010.
The Victorian Government has recently launched the Active Play DVD, aimed at encouraging active play amongst children aged 3–8 years. See statement 23 September 2010 by Maxine Morand, Minister for Children and Early Childhood Development.
Victorian Education Minister Bronwyn Pike has recently launched the Business Working with Education Foundation, which is designed to help businesses to support public education projects. The Victorian Government has provided $1 million to establish a new foundation. See Minister's statement 28 September 2010.
Current and future dates for school terms in Australian jurisdictions have been compiled on the Australian Government website.