Education Matters - News impacting schools, teachers and students

Gonski Education Reform, Barnett Says No.

WA Premier Colin Barnett has said no to $920 million in extra funding, to sign up to the Gonski Education Reform.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard made the announcement, saying the increases came about as a result of a better understanding of the costs of education in the State.

Mr Barnett welcomed the offer, but maintained that he was still not signing up to the Gonski Education Reform package in its current form, “for us it hasn’t been all about the money,” he said. “It is all about who owns and runs and staffs state government schools.”

Mr Barnett said he didn’t think the State would sign up to the package prior to the election.

Queensland Schoolkids Win Tablet Rollout

Almost 14,000 secondary school students in Queensland will be the recipients of the largest deployment of Windows 8 tablets.

Valued at around $13 million, the deal will see a majority of Year 9 students receiving Acer Computer tablets running the new Microsoft operating system. Acer Australia National Education Sales Manager, Derek Walker, said that 11,327 units would be distributed to Year 9 students. The remaining 2665 units are to be distributed to other high schools. 

Education Income Falls Again As China Fees Down

Spending by Chines students fell by over 3% to $3.9 billion last year as Australia’s international education industry shrank to $15 billion.

China represented about 25% of total spending by foreign students. Taking into account tuition fees and living expenses, according to the Government agency, Australian Education International.

Although still the No.1 services export, Australia’s inbound education industry earned $700 million less in 2012 than the previous year. It still remains well below the 2009 peak of $17.6 billion. However experts believe that the inbound education market is near its bottom and poised for a recovery, which will be led by higher education. Mainly due to the fact that it offers a more streamlined visa processing and post study work rights.

Staying Longer At Work

Population scholar Peter McDonald has said that ‘ Australia is witnessing a dramatic increase in older workers as better-educated employees enter the labour market and take up physically undemanding jobs and reach their 60’s still with dependent children’.

In April of this year, almost 64 per cent of men aged 60-64 were in the labour force compared with 45 per cent in April 2000. In the same period, the participation of women in the same age group, grew from quarter to half.

Calls for Hindi to be included in Australian Curriculum

A vast untapped pool of skilled Indian migrants could be used to teach Hindi in Australian schools and universities, according to a new report.

The report, published by Australia India Institute, a Melbourne based think tank, argues for the inclusion of Hindi in the Australian school curriculum, saying that it should be an essential part of the Commonwealth’s Asia policy.

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.