Archived News for Education Sector Professionals - January, 2012
The Director-General of Education and Communities in NSW, Dr Michele Bruniges, has been appointed honorary Adjunct Professor in the School of Education, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences.
Dr Bruniges – a UNSW alumna – is a leading Australian educator with extensive leadership and management experience in the education sectors in NSW, the ACT and at the Commonwealth level.
She led the national school reform agenda as an associate secretary in the schools cluster of the Commonwealth Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations, was Chief Executive of the ACT Department of Education and Training from 2005 to 2008 and held senior management positions in the NSW Department of Education and Training.
The Queensland Education Minister, Cameron Dick, has called for public comment on the State Government’s proposed multi-billion dollar Queensland Education Trust (QET) and how it should operate.
Mr Dick said six community forums would be held across the state from Wednesday, 1 February, to provide an opportunity for Queenslanders to talk about the mining royalties-funded QET.
“Ministers, including myself, will visit locations in Cairns, Townsville, Rockhampton, Brisbane and the Gold Coast to talk to community members about the QET,” Mr Dick said.
“The State Government wants to ensure all Queenslanders have an opportunity to share their views on how we use the boom in our resources sector to transform the opportunities available to children.
“The QET would be established by taking a 50 per cent share of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) royalties.
“This money could then be invested for the future education and training of Queenslanders.
“Over the long term, the QET would control billions of dollars to support education and training initiatives, giving Queensland’s young people a flying start into education and the workforce.”
Mr Dick said two different operational models for the QET were proposed:
• Individual Trust Accounts for Education – an individual endowment that would mean every child born on or after 1 July 2012 would have a nest egg valued between $7800 and $9500 when they turn 18; or
• Dedicated Education Fund – an investment fund where the proceeds are reinvested by government in education and training initiatives beyond the basics throughout the schooling years and potentially beyond.
“We want people’s feedback about the QET and how it should operate,” Mr Dick said.
“For example, if individual endowment accounts are established, what eligibility criteria should apply?
“This is just one example of the questions we are asking Queenslanders,” Mr Dick said.
“I look forward to meeting local community members at the forums and hearing what they think.
“We want as many people as possible to benefit from Queensland’s resources boom.”
Details for the six community forums are:
• Wednesday, 1 February – Cairns – Cairns State High School
• Tuesday, 7 February – Townsville – Townsville State High School
• Wednesday, 8 February – Brisbane South – Mount Gravatt State High School
• Wednesday, 8 February – Gold Coast – Varsity College
• Thursday, 9 February – Brisbane North – Rainworth State School
• Thursday, 9 February – Rockhampton – Rockhampton State High School.
More information is at at www.qld.gov.au/educationtrust.
Consultation on the QET closes on Friday, 17 February.
Students with a disability will be the beneficiaries of a new partnership between the state and federal governments, which includes additional training for teachers.
New South Wales became the first state to sign the national partnership with the Commonwealth to build the capability of NSW public schools to better support students with a disability.
The agreement will see the Australian Government provide an additional $48 million to NSW under the More Support for Students with Disability partnership.
Premier Barry O'Farrell said NSW teachers will have increased access to accredited online training in key special education areas, including dyslexia, autism, behaviour and communication, and motor coordination.
"The training will be available on a continuing and flexible basis and can be delivered at the time of need or in anticipation of a particular need," Mr O'Farrell said.
Teachers, support staff and principals will also have access to targeted professional learning in student behaviour and emotional wellbeing, which includes specialist training for those working with students with complex learning difficulties in Year 3 to Year 8.
Specific training will also be provided for teachers in rural NSW working with students with mental health disorders.
The NSW Minister for Education, Adrian Piccoli, said in the past 24 years the number of students with confirmed disability in NSW public schools has increased from 1.9 per cent to 4.7 per cent, or 35,000 students.
A further 55,000 students currently have other difficulties in learning or behaviour such as dyslexia and ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder). This represents a total of around 90,000 students.
Almost 80% of students with disability are enrolled in mainstream schools.
"Research demonstrates that the single most significant contributor to educational outcomes in the school environment is the teacher," Mr Piccoli said.
"NSW is already spending $1.18 billion a year on specialist services for students with a disability.
"This new partnership with the Commonwealth will allow us to develop and implement an increased range of opportunities for teachers and educational support staff to understand the learning and support needs of their students as well as access quality professional learning."
Research from the youth trends study, the Life Patterns project, shows that, despite government efforts to improve higher education participation rates among young people from rural and low socio-economic backgrounds, these two groups still lag behind the majority.
The final NAPLAN 2011 report has revealed that more than 93 per cent of Australian school students are achieving at or above the national minimum standard in reading, writing and numeracy.
Senior executives are being recruited for the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA), the new national regulatory and quality assurance agency for the higher education sector.
The Federal Government has announced a $47 million initiative to assist teenage parents complete their high school education and ensure their children are ready for school.
A joint research centre in Intelligent Systems has been launched in a research collaboration between the University of Technology Sydney and China’s Shanghai Jiao Tong University (SJTU).
More than a third of government sector principals who took part in a national survey of teachers and school leaders said they would like more authority in relation to recruiting teachers, determining their school staffing profile and teacher dismissal.
Swinburne University of Technology has been awarded $2.3 million by the Victorian Government to fund a partnership that will increase access to tertiary education in regional areas, giving more students the option to study locally.