Australia's largest celebration of young people, National Youth Week, is taking place over 1–10 April 2011. Hundreds of thousands of young Australians are taking part in events around the country to showcase their talents and have their say. See statement 1 April 2011 by the Australian Government Minister for School Education, Peter Garrett.
A growing number of primary and secondary schools are encouraging students to post their own material on blogs, as a way to develop their writing skills. Their posts have a global reach. The students write about their academic interests and reflections on personal experiences. They provide feedback to each other about word choice, the framing of issues and the need to stay on message. While teachers monitor content, the activity makes a relatively small demand on their time. See article 27 March 2011 on TwinCities.com, and article 28 March 2011 in The Sydney Morning Herald, both of which mention free online services suitable for students' use.
Business leaders are urging the Australian Government to provide firm support for the study of Asian languages in schools. See article in The Age 31 March 2011, which notes the low number of students who take an Asian language in the senior years of schooling.
The Business Council of Australia (BCA) has argued that the supply of graduates from Australian universities does not match the needs of the labour market. It reports its members' concerns that there are too many graduates in law and commerce and not enough in engineering, science and mathematics.See BCA statement and paper 29 March 2011. See also article 29 March and related article 30 March 2011 in The Australian.
Australian children growing up in major cities do better in terms of their physical development and educational outcomes than children living in regional and remote areas, according to an analysis by the Australian Institute of Family Studies (AIFS). The Institute has released a new fact sheet – Families in regional, rural and remote Australia – that compares families living in the city, inner regional areas, outer regional areas, and those in remote and very remote areas, against a range of measures. See also AIFS statement and report on ABC News, both 30 March 2011
Almost half the student population in the ACT attend independent schools, and numbers are expected to grow. See article in the Canberra Times 31 March 2011.
Visual arts educators in South Australia have proposed a number of changes to ACARA's draft version of the arts curriculum, Shape of the Australian Curriculum: The Arts. One of their proposals is to separate the performing and visual arts into distinct learning areas. See article in The Advertiser (AdelaideNow) 31 March 2011.
The NSW Government has trialled the devolution of some adminstrative responsibilities to principals at 47 schools, but the NSW Secondary Principals’ Council has expressed concerns about the trial following an evaluation by the Boston Consulting Group. See article 21 March and related article on 22 March 2011 in the Sydney Morning Herald.