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Principals flag support for Pyne’s $70 million ‘independent’ schools plan

Australia’s education leaders have supported the Federal Government’s $70 million Independent Public Schools Initiative as a step in the right direction, but have warned that the focus must remain on improving student outcomes.

On Monday Education Minister Christopher Pyne unveiled the Initiative which plans to make approximately 1500 public schools become independent by 2017 and follows an election promise by Prime Minister Tony Abbott to have greater principal autonomy and parental engagement in school matters.

Rob Nairn, Principal of the Australian Secondary Principals’ Association, supported the plan but said school principals must be prepared well enough to step into autonomy.

“When you give leaders autonomy, in a lot of cases they don’t know what it means, and they don’t know how to use it effectively,” he said. “We’ve got to have the right focus when you give people autonomy, because we could very much end up like what happened in New Zealand where managing property and finance was the biggest focus under autonomy and it didn’t improve student outcomes because it was the wrong focus.”

Pyne said he wanted to remove the red tape and give principals the ability to choose their own staff and extra-curricular activities, with the end goal to give school students the opportunity to reach their full potential.

“One day I would like to see every public school having a level of autonomy and independence that means that student outcomes are a student first priority,” he said at Monday’s launch.

Nairn cited good leadership as an essential element of the Government’s Initiative.

“We believe that good school leaders develop good teachers who then improve the outcomes for students,” he said. “We haven’t changed the way we train principals, we haven’t changed the way we select principals – I think we need to look more at the changing role of the school principal, look at what the role entails and how we can best prepare people for that changing role.”

President of the Western Australian Primary Principals’ Association, Stephen Breen, also stressed that removing bureaucracy and giving principals greater freedom over the organisation of their school was an essential element moving forward.

“Red tape is colossal in the education system,” he said. “If you want to have autonomy for schools – like the non-government schools – you have to actually be dinkum about it and reform this area in a different way. Autonomy means responsibility for a school to get on with the job. A lot of schools can’t get on with the job at the moment because of the amount of paperwork, red tape, and signing-off. The systems have to let go so that we can do our job.”

Pyne unveils $70 million plan for ‘independent’ schools

Education Minister Christopher Pyne has unveiled a $70 million Independent Public Schools Initiative to help a quarter of Australia’s public schools to become independent by 2017.

The Federal Government’s plan will aim to make approximately 1500 public schools self-sufficient by 2017 and follows an election promise by Prime Minister Tony Abbott to have greater principal autonomy and parental engagement in school matters.

At the Initiative’s launch on Monday, Minister Pyne said that schools perform better when principals were in control, citing the Western Australia example.

“Western Australia has a particular brand of independent public schools which is very autonomous,” he said. “They are a one line budget item in the Western Australian state budget and the school is run by the principal and their leadership teams and the board of parents, local government people, business people, [and] professional peoples with some knowledge about how to make a school hum.”

Pyne said he wanted to remove the red tape and give principals the ability to choose their own staff and extra-curricular activities.

“We’ll be trusting principals, trusting their leadership teams, to make the right decisions for their schools and to not spend as much of their time on the grind of red tape and bureaucracy.

“One day I would like to see every public school having a level off autonomy and independence that means that student outcomes are a student first priority.”

Pyne said the Government’s money will be mostly spent on building the skills base for principals and leadership teams from schools that apply for the Initiative.

So far all states are on board with the exception of South Australia that is awaiting the outcome of a state election in March.

Coalition To Keep Digital Technologies Curriculum

Australia’s new government will continue with the development of a new digital technologies curriculum, the nation’s first formal effort to teach computer science from kindergarten to year ten in every primary and high school.

Drafts of the new curriculum have been under way for more than a year. Early efforts questioned whether it was necessary to teach programming in schools. Later drafts not only said yes to that question but included agile development practices. Industry feedback on that draft considered it perhaps a bit too computer-science heavy and questioned whether schools will have the staff or resources to teach the curriculum.

The new government is content that the Australian Curriculum Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) has responded to industry commentary on the draft curriculum and feels it “…. will be appropriately supported by state and territory education authorities depending on the individual needs of each jurisdiction.” The spokesman dodged our question about industry worries the new courses won’t address skills shortages.

The new government also, however, intends to conduct a review of the entire Australian Curriculum “… to ensure that it is providing a rigorous, contemporary curriculum and delivers what parents expect.”

Ten Reasons To Study In Australia

A recent editorial piece in The Gulf News discussed Australia as a great place to study and live — it’s officially the fourth happiest country in the world — but do you know Australia also offers a world-class international education?

Australia has produced scientists, designers, educators, entrepreneurs, artists and humanitarians who have changed the world, winning awards from the Oscars to Nobel prizes. Australia’s global achievements include the ‘black box’ flight recorder, now on every airplane, the annual ‘Earth Hour Initiative’ and even the invention of wi-fi. Australia is proud of the individuals who have studied and worked in the country and gone on to achieve great things and contribute to making the world a better place.

Follow link to read more…

 

http://gulfnews.com/life-style/education/10-reasons-to-study-in-australia-1.1247469

Box Hill Institute Trains Saudi Teachers

Box Hill Institute (BHI) in Melbourne, Australia recently conducted a teacher training program in vocational education and training for a group of 37 trainers from Saudi Arabia.

The program was delivered for the Technical and Vocational Training Corporation of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (TVTC) and ran for 12 weeks from early April to late June.  

BHI has a strong track record in teacher training, having successfully trained over 12,500 teachers. This includes over 1,000 internationally for clients such as the Malaysian Department of Education, the Indonesian Ministry of Education and Middle East clients in the UAE, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. 

For the TVTC teacher training program, BHI provided additional programs and services to their Saudi guests, said a statement from the Australian institute.

As well as delivering the internationally-recognised teacher training qualification, the Certificate IV in Training and Assessment (TAE40110), each participant had a personal coach for mentoring and an additional subject matter expert ‘buddy’ to guide them through class work and activities, it stated. 

BHI has significant expertise in organising and managing professional development programs for international vocational education and training teachers, said the statement.

An example of the pre-departure preparations were the videoconference briefings with the Saudi participants prior to departure to cover items such as telecommunications, travelling and living overseas, as well as cultural expectations and likely challenges. 

The weather and what to wear were also among many points of discussion, as the shift from a Saudi summer to winter in Melbourne can be full of surprises! Welcome packs were provided on arrival, including tickets and information on public transport, halal restaurants and food supplies, as well as the location and prayer times of local mosques, it added. 

BHI said it had also organised visa assistance, medical insurance, transfers, accommodation, on-site prayer rooms and English language testing and tutoring as required. 

Feedback on the program was overwhelmingly positive and all the trainers successfully completed the program, the institute said. 

“BHI has been delighted to work with the TVTC to assist in the development of their teaching professionals and more broadly contribute to the development of the vocational education and training sector in Saudi Arabia,” it stated.

Victoria has a well developed vocational education and training sector and is internationally recognised as a global leader and innovator in vocational education and training.

In February 2013 the Victorian Government launched the Arabic version of the Study Melbourne website which will enable students from the Middle East to learn more about Victoria’s broad range of excellent international education options in their own language. 

The site provides prospective and current students extensive information on living, studying and working in Victoria.

Asia-Pacific Pre-Primary Education and Childcare Industry Outlook to 2017- India and China to Lead

The recently released report titled “Asia-Pacific Pre-Primary Education and Childcare Industry Outlook to 2017- India and China to Lead Growth” presents a comprehensive analysis of the industry covering aspects including market size in terms of enrollments and establishments. The report also entails a detailed description of the prominent and emerging geographic markets of the region including India, China, Japan, South Korea and Australia.

South and West Asian regions have witnessed the emergence of a burgeoning pre-primary education and childcare industry in the span of the last ten years. The gross enrollment ratios have shown a tremendous improvement from a growing number of children taking part in the preschool programs or receiving childcare benefits. As a result, the number of pre-primary and childcare institutions have also multiplied in different countries over the years thus supporting the growth of the pre-primary education and childcare industry. Pre-primary education and childcare market in Asia-Pacific is hugely driven by the awareness of the importance of the quality care and preschool education services being provided to the young children. In 2012, the industry noted total establishments of ~ million which provided pre-primary education and child care services to ~ million children. The pre-primary education and childcare industry in different geographic markets has reflected a high fragmentation with a greater share of unorganized segment in the market.

India has accounted for the highest share of ~% in terms of participation of children in the pre-primary education and childcare sector in 2012. The growing number of enrollments has been driven by the rising private sector involvement in the industry. Over the span of last five years, the number of pre-primary and childcare institutions has shown a remarkable increase owing to the growing number of centers of various private preschool chains. Moreover, the sustained governmental efforts to promote this sector have also helped the industry to gain increasing revenues over the years. China was the second largest market for the pre-primary education and childcare industry in the Asia-Pacific region in 2012 in terms of number of enrollments. The large population base has helped the growth of the industry, which is reflected by improving gross enrollment rates each year. Pre-primary education industry in China is expected to grow manifold supported by the rising expansion of various prominent private players in the economy.

Japan and South Korea are amongst the leading countries in the world for the pre-primary education and childcare sector. The market in both these countries is quite developed and highly competitive. High participation of women in the workforce and growing disposable incomes has led to the growing dependence of working women on child care and preschool facilities. Additionally, the declining rates of births have also led to increased spending on children and on their educational cost. Influenced by these factors, the revenues of the pre-primary education and childcare industry have grown significantly over the years.

Australia hosted the maximum number of institutions providing the preschool and childcare programs in 2012. The childcare in Australia is a mature market, which is characterized by the diversity of the services, which has been provided by the operators. Preschool education market on the other side is still in its growth phase and is marked by a high degree of competitiveness, which exists amongst the market players.

The pre-primary education and childcare industry in Asia-Pacific is evolving at a rapid rate, with private sector steadily gaining increasing traction. With rising competitive pressures owing to the growing organized market share, the industry is set to experience an overhaul in terms of quality set up including curriculum, activities and infrastructure. The enrollments are set to increase at a CAGR of ~% from 2012 to 2017, reaching ~ million in 2017.

Apart from the mentioned major geographic markets, the report also highlights some of the emerging markets for pre-primary education and childcare industry including Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore and Maldives.

KEY TOPICS COVERED IN THE REPORT

$1·      The market size of the Asia-Pacific, India, China, Japan, South Korea and Australia pre-primary education and childcare markets in terms of enrollments and establishments.

$1·      The market size of the other emerging industries such as Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore and Maldives.

$1·      Market Segmentation of the Asia-Pacific pre-primary education and childcare industry on the basis of geographical contribution from India, China, Japan, South Korea, Australia and other emerging markets.

$1·      Market Segmentation of India pre-primary education and childcare industry on the basis of market structure, gender, type of funding and type of schools.

$1·      Market Segmentation of China pre-primary education and childcare industry on the basis of gender, type of funding, region and independent and attached classes.

$1·      Market Segmentation of Japan pre-primary education and childcare industry on the basis of pre-primary and childcare markets and sub-segmentation by gender and type of funding.

$1·      Market Segmentation of South Korea pre-primary education and childcare industry on the basis of pre-primary and childcare markets and sub-segmentation by gender, region and type of funding.

$1·      Market Segmentation of Australia pre-primary education and childcare industry on the basis of pre-primary and childcare markets and sub-segmentation by gender, region and type of funding.

$1·      Trends and Developments in India, China, Japan, South Korea and Australia pre-primary and childcare industry.

$1·      Competitive landscape and company profiles of the major providers of preschool and childcare services in India, China, Japan and Australia.

$1·      Future outlook and projections of the India, China, Japan, Australia in terms of revenues of pre-primary education and childcare industry.

$1·      Future outlook of Asia-Pacific pre-primary education and childcare industry in terms of enrollments.