Education Adviser Report April 2014


By Helen McAllister


Early Childhood Australia (QLD Branch ) invites you to join ECA in celebrating the launch of Under Eight’s Week and AGM, Wednesday 21 May 2014.

Guest speakers for the evening include Associate Professor Beverley Fluckiger, Associate Professor Julie Dunn, both from the Griffith University, Samantha Page, Early Childhood Australia CEO, Emma King -ECA Queensland Branch. It will be an enjoyable, informative evening and we look forward to seeing you there. Early Childhood Australia (Qld Branch).

Early Childhood Australia supports move to improve subsidies for early learning (May 1, 2014 media statement

The national children’s peak body Early Childhood Australia (ECA) has welcomed the Commission of Audit’s recommendation to merge the child care rebate and the child care benefit into one payment. However, ECA CEO Samantha Page has cautioned that the structure of the system mustn’t leave families worse off, especially those on lower household incomes. The calculation provided by the Commission of Audit, capping subsidies at $12,000 at the lowest end of the system, will leave families using fulltime care thousands of dollars worse off. ‘We are glad the report authors recognised the complexity of the current system and the issues of having two payments available to families’, said ECA CEO Samantha Page. ‘We have supported this move in our submission to the Commission of Audit, especially if it was paid directly to providers. By streamlining payments and paying subsidies to services, we can reduce out of pocket expenses for families and make long day more accessible.’

The Commission of Audit has also recommended that in-home care models such as nannies should be subsidised under the revised system to provide parents more flexibility.

The recommendation to introduce a voucher system for access to accredited early childhood services in Indigenous communities is another concern to ECA. ‘Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children are more than twice as likely to be developmentally vulnerable than non-Indigenous children. However, there is a strong evidence base that participation in high quality early childhood education and care services can turn this around’ said Ms Page. ‘ECA is concerned that by replacing funded programs with a voucher system, it will significantly impact our most vulnerable children.’

ECA supports the move to reduce the Paid Parental Leave scheme and increase investment in early childhood education and care services.

Application of a work, training, study test to the revised subsidy system will have a significant impact on disadvantaged children accessing early childhood programs for development purposes, where their parents are not working. These children will not be eligible for any support.

Other recommendations that impact on low-income households will have a major effect on the developmental outcomes of children in those environments

Childcare centre ratings and assessment process streamlined
Childcare centres will face a streamlined assessment and ratings process from 1 July, with federal Assistant Education Minister Sussan Ley signing off with states and territories on a new regulatory regime. The ministerial council agreed to work with the national childcare regulator, the Australian Children’s Education and Care Quality Authority, to improve the assessment and rating process.

[Sunday 13 April 2014  – Media Release]

The Hon Christopher Pyne  MP Minister for Education Leader of the House.

The Government will release a response to the review by Dr Kemp and Mr Norton

The review of the demand driven funding system report, conducted by Dr David Kemp and Mr Andrew Norton, was released today. The review was commissioned in November 2013 to examine the impact of the demand driven system on higher education provision. The report makes 19 findings and provides 17 recommendations that the Government will now consider. Terms of reference for the review ranged from the effectiveness of the demand driven system’s implementation to ensuring the maintenance of quality in teaching and the

Topics in Australian Education – ARACY discussion April 2014  

Indigenous students skipping school to avoid bullying and racism
Experiences of bullying and unfair treatment are a significant factor in explaining school attendance among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people, according to Nicholas Biddle from the Australian National University and Naomi Priest of Deakin University. Biddle and Priest note, of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people interviewed, 14% of students aged 14 years and under in 2008 were reported by their carers to have been bullied or treated unfairly due to their Indigenous status in the previous 12 months. This rose to 23% for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander high school students in non-remote parts of the country. Those who experienced bullying were more than twice as likely to miss school without permission.

Push for Daniel Morcombe Child Safety Curriculum to be adopted nationally
The Federal Government is considering adopting the Daniel Morcombe Child Safety Curriculum in schools across Australia. The curriculum was developed by the parents of murdered Sunshine Coast schoolboy Daniel Morcombe and the Queensland Government. Bruce Morcombe says Education Minister Christopher Pyne has asked the panel reviewing the Australian curriculum to consider the child safety initiative.

Schoolchildren are being exposed to internet pornography at an increasingly early age, a leading child protection expert says. Freda Briggs, who teaches about child protection at the University of South Australia, said “Some young children have been overexposed to pornography because although you may be a wonderfully protective parent, you often don’t know what your children are seeing on their electronic devices”.

Support school-community partnerships – for students and our future

A new Leading Learning in Education and Philanthropy (LLEAP) 2013 Survey Report, from the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER), looks at the issues around encouraging a culture of philanthropy between schools and communities. LLEAP surveyed schools, philanthropic foundations involved in structured forms of giving, and not-for-profits with programs or services that intersect with schools. A consistent finding of the LLEAP study is that the schools most in need are least equipped to access philanthropic support. Ninety per cent of schools are new or inexperienced when it comes to engaging with philanthropy via the traditional avenue of seeking and applying for grants.

Well-educated parents the key to children who are well-behaved, sociable and read better
Well-educated parents produce children who behave, socialise and read better than their classmates, a new Australian study has found. The researchers found parents with a higher education were able to absorb more information about parenting and were then able to better advocate for the children. The project tracked the impact of parental education on a child’s wellbeing over the past 30 years, and found it has consistently remained a key factor in helping to determine whether kids will have behavioural difficulties or strong social and reading skills.

National curriculum undermined by 1 in 5 students not having the internet at home

The national school curriculum unfairly assumes all students can do their homework using a computer and the internet at home, a submission to the federal government’s curriculum review has warned. Children’s education charity The Smith Family said a lack of access to a computer and the internet among disadvantaged families could undermine the implementation of the national curriculum. One in five children do not have access to the internet at home and that figure rises to one-third of children aged 5 to 14 in the most disadvantaged families, according to the submission.

Senate NAPLAN inquiry recommends removing school rankings from MySchool website: The senate committee report on Effectiveness of the National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN), recommends: a quicker turnaround of results; the needs of students with disabilities and those from non-English-speaking backgrounds to be taken into account; and close monitoring to ensure published results assist targeted funding and not the development of league tables. The committee considered numerous submissions, including claims children felt ill, cried and lost sleep as a result of NAPLAN. A spokesman for Education Minister Christopher Pyne said the Government would respond “in due course” to the inquiry’s recommendations.

Information re Gonski :

Extract : As common sense suggests, and contrary to the Australian Education Union’s “I Give a ­Gonski” campaign, a more effective way to raise standards is to have a rigorous curriculum, qualified and committed teachers, strong parental engagement and schools, within broad guidelines, that have the flexibility to manage themselves.

Quadrant Magazine May 2014 – History Curriculum comment Article:

The National Curriculum’s Bogus History– STEPHANIE FORREST

An extract: While the debate rages on, Labor’s history curriculum has already been rolled out into many Australian classrooms. A number of history textbooks that closely reflect the contents of the curriculum are appearing on booklists everywhere. We came across the some of these textbooks while writing our critique of the national curriculum at the Institute of Public Affairs. These books contain so many outrageous statements and factual errors that they were worthy of a critique on their own.

Since Federal Education Minister Christopher Pyne announced the review of the national curriculum in January this year, the national curriculum has been a topic of heated debate, and no area of the curriculum has received more attention than history.

The errors and distortions in these textbooks are not just problematic for their own sake: they reveal the fundamental ideological biases of the national curriculum itself. 


NCWQ Education Report April 2014

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