A meeting of Australian education ministers is due to consider recommendations of the BER Implementation Taskforce, on issues including national standards for environmental design and air conditioning, and maintenance. The ministers are also expected to consider a national approach to funding support for students with a disability. See article in The Australian 14 October 2011. (Update 17 October 2011: See ministers' Communiqué and statement by Australian Minister for Education Peter Garrett.)
An article in the Courier-Mail 13 October 2011 reports 'issues and concerns' about the Australian curriculum, expressed by Education Queensland, the Queensland Catholic Education Commission, Independent Schools Queensland and the Queensland Studies Authority (QSA).
The History Teachers' Association of Australia (HTAA) has expressed concern over the process for the development and review of the Australian Curriculum, particularly in relation to senior history courses. See the HTAA's open letter to Australian Minister for School Education, Peter Garrett, 9 October 2011, and article in The Australian 11 October 2011.
New national regulations will ensure stimulating learning experiences for children in before and after-school care. See article 10 October 2011 in the Sydney Morning Herald and background information from the Australian Government.
The NSW Government is inviting comment on proposals to give schools greater control over decision-making in order to improve teaching and learning, and achieve the best outcomes for students.
The Melbourne Cup education website offers three cross-curriculum inquiry-based units of work for Years 4–9 that facilitate learning in history, English, the arts, science, geography and mathematics. It draws together an abundant and diverse array of primary and secondary source materials, including a gallery of historical images, video clips, a timeline of key events, a glossary of racing terms and other information on the people and events that shaped the history of the race and the nation.
The NSW Government's review of funding for early childhood education has released a discussion paper that explains the context of the review, outlines the directions for reform, and details how people can provide comment. The closing date for submissions is now Friday 18 November 2011.
New Zealand Education Minister, Anne Tolley, has announced further measures to attract high-calibre candidates into teaching as a career.
The number of secondary students undertaking the most challenging maths subjects has fallen sharply over the past decade, according to an article in the Herald Sun 11 October 2011.
Holding students back at school does not assist them, according to the results of a new Sydney University study. See article in the Canberra Times 11 October 2011.
Nominations for the ACS Judith Leeson Award for Excellence in Career Teaching are currently open. The award recognises career teachers responsible for an outstanding career or life/work education program in an Australian school. Queries should be directed to Cameron Picton on (03) 9207 9632 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sydney University academic, Robyn Ewing, and actress, Cate Blanchett, are championing a push to integrate drama across the school curriculum as a means to advance students' learning. See transcript of ABC News report 11 October 2011.
Research by Professor Richard Telford, of the Australian National University's medical school, links higher NAPLAN test scores in numeracy and writing to regular exercise and to PE lessons taught by subject specialists rather than by generalist classroom teachers. See article in the Sydney Morning Herald 10 October 2011.
Prime Minister Julia Gillard has opened a $500 million fund to build world-class education and training facilities for students in regional Australia. The special Regional Priorities Round of the Education Investment Fund will provide a major boost to higher education institutions and vocational education and training (VET) providers across regional Australia.