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Maths and pencil

Quality of Australian education falls behind Kazakhstan’s

Every four years, the Trends in Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) ranks Year 4 student results from 49 countries and Year 8 results for 39 countries.

The recent report card from TIMSS shows Australia falling behind, with our results moving us from 18th place to 28th in Year 4 maths and from 12th to 17th in Year 8 maths and science.

Federal Education Minister Simon Birmingham recently addressed the concern that countries like Kazakhstan have now surpassed us in four of the TIMSS categories.

“I don’t want to denigrate Kazakhstan, or indeed their artistic skills with movies like Borat,” Senator Birmingham said, according to ABC News.

“I think though Australia should be seeking to be amongst the best in the world and declines like this are unacceptable and that we need to be working hard to turn it around.”

Other nations currently ahead of Australia in the TIMSS results include the US, Singapore and England.

Naturally, the news has added fuel to the education funding debate, causing Senator Birmingham to call for unilateral support in improving education outcomes.

“What I am urging the Opposition — the Labor Party — and the states and territories to focus on is how we can best use what is a record and growing investment in Australian schools to get the best possible outcomes for the future rather than continuing a debate that pretends that money itself is the solution.”

Labor’s education spokesperson. Tanya Plibersek has taken the opportunity to highlight the need for the Gonski model to be implemented.

“The results are very concerning and they show exactly why we need to invest extra in our schools,” Ms Plibersek said.

“They show that kids from poorer families in poorer schools in remote and regional areas are doing worst of all.

Maths and pencil

Quality of Australian education falls behind Kazakhstan's

TIMSS) ranks Year 4 student results from 49 countries and Year 8 results for 39 countries. The recent report card from TIMSS shows Australia falling behind, with our results moving us from 18th place to 28th in Year 4 maths and from 12th to 17th in Year 8 maths and science. Federal Education Minister Simon Birmingham recently addressed the concern that countries like Kazakhstan have now surpassed us in four of the TIMSS categories. “I don’t want to denigrate Kazakhstan, or indeed their artistic skills with movies like Borat,” Senator Birmingham said, according to ABC News. “I think though Australia should be seeking to be amongst the best in the world and declines like this are unacceptable and that we need to be working hard to turn it around.” Other nations currently ahead of Australia in the TIMSS results include the US, Singapore and England. Naturally, the news has added fuel to the education funding debate, causing Senator Birmingham to call for unilateral support in improving education outcomes. “What I am urging the Opposition — the Labor Party — and the states and territories to focus on is how we can best use what is a record and growing investment in Australian schools to get the best possible outcomes for the future rather than continuing a debate that pretends that money itself is the solution.” Labor’s education spokesperson. Tanya Plibersek has taken the opportunity to highlight the need for the Gonski model to be implemented. “The results are very concerning and they show exactly why we need to invest extra in our schools,” Ms Plibersek said. “They show that kids from poorer families in poorer schools in remote and regional areas are doing worst of all.]]>

Children crossing sign, Shutterstock.

Sex abuse rates climbing in Victorian high schools

Secondary students in schools across Victoria will soon receive instruction to look for signs they are being groomed for sex, with recently released figures revealing 258 suspected cases of sexual abuse in the state in 2015.

The Age reports that new guidelines, published by the Education Department, will warn students of the signs that someone is grooming them, saying a perpetrator could be ‘someone who you like and trust’.

Behaviour that could constitute grooming, the resource states, may include gift giving in the form of phone credit, money, clothes or even added attention.

The resource also covers online grooming, with reference to the sending of sexually explicit images or the soliciting of such images online.

The number of sexual abuse cases reported by schools in Victoria has almost doubled since 2006, growing from 132 to 258 last year, with cases ranging from the use of sexualised language to allegations of abuse.

Education Minister James Merlino said the resource is intended to “help parents, school staff and students to identify, prevent and respond to child abuse”.

The new resources are designed to help schools adopt Child Safe Standards, which were introduced in response to an inquiry into child abuse earlier this year.

The President of the Victorian Association of State Secondary Principals, Judy Crowe has said Child Safe Standards will increase the administrative burden on schools, but that it’s nonetheless critical for schools to be aware of these requirements.

“We need to make sure that the people working in our schools aren’t overly burdened by these requirements, and that this doesn’t detract from their ability to get on with their core business,” she said.

 

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