Saturday, 28 February 2015
The Gallup Student Poll surveyed 7,300 students from years five to 12 in 31 schools across the country in an online census last September.
The results showed students became less enthusiastic about school over time, dropping 19 percentage points from year five to 12 and falling to its lowest point in year 10.
Gallup's Peggy Jasperson said year 10 was a big transition year and "there's a drop in engagement due to the increased demands of school over time".
Student levels of engagement
- Year 5 - 69 pc
- Year 6 - 68 pc
- Year 7 - 65 pc
- Year 8 - 55 pc
- Year 9 - 54 pc
- Year 10 - 47 pc
- Year 11 - 58 pc
- Year 12 - 50 pc
Students' levels of hope, wellbeing and engagement
- 48 pc hopeful about future
- 37 pc stuck
- 15 pc discouraged
- 32 pc believe they will get a good job
- 32 pc feel they received recognition/praise for good school work.
Friday, 27 February 2015
Cost of schooling
South Australia's private schools only achieve the same results as comparable public schools, despite spending almost $180 million more a year more on their students. Analysis by researchers Chris Bonner and Bernie Shepherd, prepared for Australian Greens Senator for South Australia Penny Wright, shows almost a quarter of government funding to private schools is in excess of what it costs to educate similar students in public schools. In fact nationally private schools are spending $3.3 billion more on their students each year than equally advantaged public schools, despite achieving the same academic results, a new report has found.
Would-be teachers will be forced to pass rigorous new numeracy and literacy tests before they can get their degree and enter classrooms. News Corp Australia understands the federal government is planning to make all new graduate primary and secondary teachers prove they are capable of teaching maths and English by undertaking a mandatory new competency test from 2016.
A reminder that the fourth year of the Principal Health and Well-being report by Dr Phil Riley has been released.Key findings from the report have shown that:
ü The growing job complexity and lack of support means sheer quantity of work is the greatest source of stress facing Australian principals.
ü Parents are the worst offenders when it comes to increasing threats of violence and bullying.
ü Threats of violence occur at five times the rate and actual violence at seven times the rate of the general population.
Wednesday, 25 February 2015
Victorian schools will be deregistered if they don't have policies to manage child abuse risks and respond to allegations.
Education Minister James Merlino will order all schools to have policies that meet minimum child safety standards or risk having their registration suspended or cancelled, following a recommendation from the Victorian inquiry into child sexual abuse,
The Victorian Registration and Qualifications Authority will also be given new powers to conduct "quick and targeted" reviews to ensure schools meet their obligations.
But the child safe standards for schools have not yet been developed – the Department of Education will begin consultations with stakeholders in coming weeks.
Mr Merlino said the reforms would prompt every school to look at what they could do to reduce the risk of child abuse.
"These changes will help keep our next generation in safe hands by making sure schools are equipped to respond and report appropriately when an allegation of child abuse is made."
Reforms making child abuse policies a condition of schools' registration will be introduced into parliament this week, followed by a Ministerial Order setting out minimum child safe standards.
Victorian Association of State Secondary Principals president Judy Crowe welcomed the changes but said state schools were already well ahead of other schools when it came to preventing and responding to abuse.
"Victorian principals have been trained in mandatory reporting for many many years. Even in cases where there are allegations that are far fetched, you have to notify the department."
Commissioner for Children and Young People Bernie Geary said too many people aware of child sexual abuse remained quiet.
"This is rightfully insisting that this becomes more than a moral obligation, it becomes a legal obligation."
Eleven of 15 recommendations from the Betrayal of Trust report still have not been implemented, including reviewing funding for education groups that work with children, to ensure minimum standards for a child-safe environment. Two of the 11 are before parliament.
Ultra-orthodox Jewish school Yeshivah College ignored and failed to keep records of victims' reports of sexual abuse, the Royal Commission into institutional responses to child sexual abuse revealed.
Rabbi Abraham Glick, the school's principal from the period that sex offenders David Cyprys and David Kramer were abusing students, told the commission he only introduced a policy for responding to child abuse allegations in 2007, despite being required to comply with mandatory reporting laws in Victoria since 1994.
Yeshivah College principal, Rabbi Joshua Smukler, did not respond by deadline to questions about the changes.
Independent Schools Victoria chief executive Michelle Green said everyone was responsible for the welfare of children and anything that served to remind people of their obligations was a good thing.
While Catholic Education executive director Stephen Elder said there was no higher priority in Catholic schools than child protection.
"Reassessing and strengthening protection of children in Catholic schools is ongoing and based around best practice rather than minimum standards."
Tuesday, 24 February 2015
· In response to feedback from the teaching and principal class workforce over the last year, some changes have been made to the 2014/15 Performance and Development model for principal class employees and teachers, with changes taking effect immediately.
· The changes seek to ensure that the process is further focussed on feedback to support development, and that assessments are based on professional conversations and judgements.
· The changes have been made with a view to balancing stakeholder feedback and the need to minimise disruption to the current cycle.
· These changes replace the requirements outlined in the relevant sections of the Performance and Development Guidelines for principal class employees and teachers.
· Principals and teachers will receive a letter from the Minister of Education explaining the reasons for the changes to the Performance and Development process in the current cycle.
· Modifications to the current 2014/15 Performance and Development cycle:
o The four-point differentiated outcomes scale has been removed.
o In exercising this professional judgement, reviewers will apply a three-point outcomes scale (Does not meet/Partially Meets/Meets) to each of the four dimensions to evaluate the extent to which Performance and Development goals have been achieved and those in which further development and support is needed.
o The final Performance and Development outcome for staff is now binary: teachers and principal class employees will receive a final outcome of ‘Met’ or ‘Not met’ based on the professional judgement of the reviewer.
o Reviewers may choose to use an updated Performance and Development outcome tool to help inform their professional judgement about the end-cycle assessment.
Monday, 23 February 2015
Sunday, 22 February 2015
The AEU has discussions with both the Government and DET about the performance and development process, in the context of the election commitments received from Labor. The AEU and most principals have consistently opposed - the four-point rating scale, weightings and the separate student outcomes domain. They are focusing on the 2014-15 cycle at present, given the need for DET to finalise any changes and provide advice to schools as soon as possible, as well as trying to minimise disruption. The union is aware that some schools are already developing their plans for the next 12 months, in accordance with the current guidelines. Their advice to members is to progress slowly, pending any further changes to the model.
Meetings with Merlino
Victorian Education Minister James Merlino attended the Joint Primary & Secondary AEU Sector Council meeting on February 13 to outline the Government's priorities for education. Council was particularly pleased to hear the Minister thank principals teachers and ES for the important work that they do and to confirm his promise to scrap the four-point scale as part of the revised P&D model for school staff. He also announced that there would be a specific line item in budgets for 2016 to indicate additional money as part of the Gonski schools funding agreement; and a restructure of regional offices to deliver more support to schools and principals. In response to questions about the loss of the Education Maintenance Allowance, Minister Merlino said that entitlement for its new targeted payments - to assist disadvantaged families with the cost of excursions and other school activities - would be the same as for the former EMA and paid directly to schools for each eligible child. The Minister said he would endeavour to have some of these funds reach schools before the end of the year.
Friday, 20 February 2015
Thursday, 19 February 2015
Wednesday, 18 February 2015
On pages 40 and 41 of the Real Solutions pamphlet the Coalition released prior to the last federal election ( not all that long ago) they made the following promises:
- We will continue current levels of funding for schools, indexed to deal with real increases in costs and we will ensure that money is targeted based on the social and economic status of the community.
That unity ticket only lasted as long as it took to finalise the election results after which we were subjected to the greatest load of doublespeak resulting in the Coalition cutting funding for years 5 and 6 of the Gonski reforms, reneging on the signed deals with the states, and abandoning their co-funding and accountability obligations.
- We will ensure the continuation of the current arrangements of university funding.
Obviously this was a non-core promise.
- We will review and restructure government research funding to make sure each dollar is spent as effectively as possible.
Tuesday, 17 February 2015
Monday, 16 February 2015
Victorian students who drop out of costly training courses are wasting more than $40 million in fees and government funding every year.
Serious doubts have been raised about the integrity of government-subsidised vocational program following revelations that job applicants are being targeted and pressured to sign up for courses by private colleges.
Yet while enrolments and course fees have increased, state government figures show that only four in 10 students who started these short courses in 2013 have completed them.
Average fees for diploma and advanced diploma students in the VET FEE-HELP loan scheme rose by 84 per cent between 2011 and 2014.
Fees charged to these students increased from $2.4 million in 2009 to $79.6 million last year.
"I'm particularly concerned some of this is online and third-party delivery with a lack of quality control," said Victorian Higher Education and Skills Minister Steve Herbert.
To further add to the mess The Abbott government's plan to deregulate university fees would likely drive up inflation and drain billions of dollars from the budget over the long term rather than saving taxpayers money as originally intended, according to one of the nation's top economic modellers. Full story in today’s Age: http://www.theage.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/university-fee-deregulation-to-drive-up-the-deficit-analysis-20150216-13fdfl.html
Zart Art Professional learning ( Hosted by Tania from ZART Art)
Tania talked about the new ZART catalogue for 2015
She showed us a variety of new products from ZART
Including gelli printing plates, ceramic knives, coloured sharpies, wash brushes, smooth grooves crayons, graphite pencils, porcelain pens and new fiction book titles to support art theory.