Education Matters - News impacting schools, teachers and students

SA Teachers face new registration checks

Tighter screening checks are set to be introduced for those wanting to work in South Australian schools. Education Minister, Jennifer Rankine has said that people who have committed any of a wide range of offences will automatically be excluded from becoming teachers. While others may be banned on other grounds.

Currently people wanting to become a teacher have a criminal history check, but it is up to the Teachers Registration Board, whether they are registered. At present there are no offences that are prescribed as excluding someone from becoming a teacher. However a ‘prescribed offences list’ is to be established which would exclude people from teaching, while another list will presume exclusion, but appeals would be permitted.

South Australia close to signing up to Gonski

Gonski Review Update

South Australia is close to signing on to the Federal Government’s schools funding scheme, with Premier Jay Weatherill putting his support firmly behind the Gonski model. But as negotiations continue, the Labor leader is yet to commit the state to the plan.

Hoping to meet a June 30 deadline, the Premier declined to outline his concerns, but stated that he was ‘absolutely’ satisfied that South Australia would receive more money under the Gonski funding model.

NSW is so far, the only state to have signed on to the proposal. Which will provide an extra $14.5 billion in total over the next six years, plus indexation.

Teachers Back State Pay Deal

Australian Education Union members have overwhelmingly endorsed the in-principle deal brokered with the Victorian State Government, last month.

All of the 27 regions voted in favour of the deal, which the AEU says will see Victorian public education staff receive salary increases of up to 20.5% over three years and ten months. An AEU spokesperson said the process to ratify the agreement was now complete, with 78% of votes cast in support of the in-principle agreement. The decision will also impact on teachers at Catholic schools, whose wages are tied to those in state schools.

AEU president Meredith Peace said, last month, that the in-principle deal was a significant win which will see Victorian teachers at the top of the pay scale to become the second highest paid in Australia, after Western Australia.


NZ to compete for foreign students

New Zealand has announced a multi-million dollar marketing drive to attract more foreign students to its Univesities.

Tertiary Education Minister, Steven Joyce, said the NZ government had committed NZ$40 million in its new budget to promote New Zealand as a destination for foreign students, with an emphasis on key markets such as China, India, Southeast Asia and South America. Placing it in direct competition with Australia.

New Zealand has eight Universities with almost 100,000 overseas students enrolling into its tertiary institutions last year. These students directly support about 32,000 jobs and contribute NZ$2 billion to the economy.

Minister Steven Joyce said the governments’s goal was to more than double the international education sector by 2025.


NAPLAN tests too hard for teachers

MANY teachers do not know how to use data provided by annual assessments of their pupils’ literacy and numeracy ability, despite often criticising the tests themselves, a new report has found.

The report, from the Senate Education, Employment and Workplace Relations References Committee also said teachers need more training to help understand the basics of English and mathematics taught in primary schools.

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