The Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, has delivered a speech to the House of Representatives reporting on the Australian Government's progress toward the achievement of social equity for Indigenous Australians. In terms of schooling, the speech describes the new education infrastructure being built in 29 remote communities across Australia; assistance to Indigenous young people under the Youth Connections program and the support for Aboriginal students provided through sports-based academies. See also commentary in The Age 9 February and article in The Australian 10 February 2011.
Australia's education ministers announced the release of the National Professional Standards for Teachers on 9 February 2011. The Standards were endorsed by Ministerial Council for Education, Early Childhood Development and Youth Affairs (MCEECDYA) in late December 2010. The Standards make explicit what teachers should know and be able to do, and what is expected of effective teachers across their career. The Standards support the Melbourne Declaration on Educational Goals for Young Australians and the Improving Teacher Quality National Partnership. Adapted from a statement issued by Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL). See article and related article in The Australian, article in The Age, article in The Canberra Times and article in the Adelaide Advertiser, all 10 February 2011.
A new version of the My School website is due to appear on Friday 4 March 2011. The Australian Minister for School Education, Peter Garrett, has announced that the revised version of the site will deliver more information on school performance and school funding sources than has ever previously been available to teachers and parents. See article in The Australian and article and related article in The Age, all 11 February 2011.
The Paralympic Education Program (PEP) website offers free resources to educate students about Australian Paralympians and the Paralympic Games. Primary and secondary teachers can access teaching and learning units aligned to state/territory curriculums with comprehensive activities that outline expected outcomes and cover key concepts such as diversity, fairness and inclusion. Student resources include athlete blogs, footage and profiles, games, quizzes and web research links. Register at paralympiceducation.org.au.
An article in The Sydney Morning Herald 7 February 2011 calls for the extension of second language learning in Australian schools.
Murdoch University is launching a new course designed to encourage Indigenous people in Western Australia to follow careers in science. See statement 8 February 2011.
Richard Gill, the music director of Victorian Opera, has contested the educational value of NAPLAN tests in an article in The Sydney Morning Herald 9 February 2011.