Education Matters - News impacting schools, teachers and students
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Education evidence base draft report from the Productivity Commission

Productivity Commission: Education spending hasn't raised standards

a new draft report about the national education evidence base, indicating that increases in education spending hasn’t resulted in a positive uplift in standards. The draft report, which was commissioned by the Federal Government in March, says that better education outcomes will result from the ability to identify and evaluate better policies, programs and teaching practices based on available data. Commissioner Jonathan Coppel highlighted the disparity between the “14 per cent real increase in spending per sudent over the last ten years” and the fact that “student performance remains broadly static and in some areas has actually decreased”. “More resources, performance benchmarking and competition between schools alone, although important, are insufficient to achieve gains in education outcomes,” Commissioner Coppel said. The report goes to the heart of the ongoing political debate between Labor and the Turnbull Government regarding the Gonski education reforms, and the effectiveness of education spending. In addressing the point of contention, the Productivity Commission is of the opinion that ‘there is little evidence or systematic processes in place to evaluate policies, program and teaching practices to identify what works best in schools and early learning centres’, despite the amount of data that is collected to monitor and report on student and school outcomes. “Teachers have the greatest impact on student performance, after accounting for the characteristics of students themselves. Looking within the classroom, particularly teaching practices, is thus paramount to improving education outcomes across all schools and all students,’ said Commissioner Coppel. NSW Education Minister Adrian Piccoli slammed the report on Tuesday, in a response that implied it was a waste of money, saying “I hope no one paid for this report … it tells us nothing that we didn’t know four years ago”. Mr Piccoli said the report covers only 1.5 per cent of the proposed Gonski funding timeframe, but could be used as an argument to discontinue the funding. “I’m disappointed,” he said Piccoli. “When [the federal government] sees a report like this, they see it as a justification for not funding the final two years of Gonski. They see this as vindication.” Federal Education Minister Simon Birmingham had said the Government would await the commission’s final report before considering a response. ‘We also know there are some schools whose students perform better than expected compared with similar schools. We should be lifting the bonnet on these schools to find out what they are doing, and carefully evaluating if we can apply their methods across schools.” The report also identifies better data sharing between jurisdictions as beneficial, suggesting existing privacy protections be overhauled and a universal student tracking system be introduced to gain better insight into why some schools consistently foster greater outcomes. “We are not looking to add to the compliance burden of educators. In fact, our report makes recommendations for reducing the existing burden by collecting data more cost-effectively and also making better use of existing data,” said Productivity Commissioner Julie Abramson.]]>

Lisa Rodgers appointed new AITSL chief executive

Earlier this week, the Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL) announced the appointment of Ms Lisa Rodgers as it’s new CEO following what it termed an ‘extensive national and international search’. Read more

Project Playgrounds

Project Playgrounds pops up in Queensland, Victoria

While we continue to brighten up playgrounds Australia wide, we are very pleased to announce our increased capabilities in Victoria with the inception of Project Playgrounds Victoria and our partnership with Living Colour in Queensland.

Taking advantage of our experience in the field, the expertise of our partners and in keeping with our commitment to bring our wonderful thermoplastic markings to every school across the country, this will allow us to offer a more responsive and reliable service to the Victorian, Southern Queensland and Northern NSW markets.

The team at Living Colour (based on the Gold Coast) have over 20 years experience working with schools and helping them bring dull areas to life.

“We can see how the Project Playgrounds product can add so much value to the playground spaces of any school. It ts so well with what we are doing with schools already. With our wealth of experience in the sector, we look forward to being able to offer it to our existing and new customers alike. We also know that by being on the ground in the region and our reputation in the sector, clients can be con dent in the service they will receive.”

The team at Project Playgrounds Australia, together with their partners, are excited about the expansion of the business. We continually strive to offer more options through capabilities, product range and bespoke designs. Although we have installed in over 200 schools throughout the country already, we never tire of the experience – the excitement of the children when they have a new set of playground designs to jump around!

At Project Playgrounds, we believe that every school, no matter how small or where they are situated should bene t from a playground that is permanently bright and vibrant and is as educational as it is fun. As such, our markings are colourfast, UV stable, anti-slip and non toxic. – everything that painted markings are not.

Project Playgrounds Victoria Pty Ltd has people on the ground in the Victorian region ready to brighten up your playground! Contact us on 1800 264 307 or at vic@projectplaygrounds.com.au. Living Colour can be contacted on 07 5520 7577 or at admin@lcqp.com.au.

Project Playgrounds Australia 1800 264 307 or info@projectplaygrounds.com.au.

Your Aid, We Deliver

Charity seeking Australian educators to help Cambodian students

An Australian-based not-for-profit, Your Aid, We Deliver aims to privide clean water, education, dental and medical services to communities in rural Cambodia.

Constantly seeking donations in the form of teaching resources and even the time of qualified teachers, Your Aid, We Deliver is currently promoting its new drive. Teachers, teaching students and student teachers are asked to consider applying for one of many positions teaching over 2,500 students English and computer skills.

Your Aid, We Deliver is fully funded through The Buddhist Library, meaning all donations and funds go directly to its projects, rather than needing to spend money on administration.

“We also have a mobile library and a Tuk Tuk library to provide education books to children in very remote areas,” said Paget Sayers, Founder of The Buddhist Library and Your Aid, We Deliver.

“The experience ​​our ​volunteers ​ha​ve​ ​in these communities and schools is incredibly enriching​​,​ invaluable​ and ​is great practical experience to develop their skills and gain global experience​,” he said. “The volunteers have a ​profound and ​long term positive impact on these communities by improving ​the opportunities for these children and giving them a chance to learn, grow and be literate.”

Your Aid, We Deliver doesn’t charge volunteers to assist them, and a contribution may be as small as the donation of an old textbook.

Visit the volunteer page on the group’s website for more details.

 

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