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Short Updates

  • If the SSM vote/survey/plebiscite survives the High Court challenge postal forms will be mailed out from September 12 and completed by November 7. Schools can get involved by encouraging parents to ensure that they are registered (by August 24) on the electoral role. They can go to the Australian Electoral Commission website if necessary. 
  • Four Year Terms – Back in late July there was a brief discussion between Bill Shorten and Malcolm Turnbull about four year federal parliamentary terms. With the shortness of the electoral cycle and what is seen as one effective year of governing (1 = getting over the election; 2 = looking at policy and getting on with the job; 3 = preparing to get re-elected) a 4 year term should theoretically offer greater stability. AACS would encourage this discussion.
  • Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL) released its new website on July 26. Its emphasis is focussed on assisting teachers in their professional learning to impact classroom learning with the goal of improving student outcomes. There is continued work on the leadership development framework.
  • The newest version of the Australian Curriculum 8.3, has replaced 7.5 (which will still be available until the end of the year).
  • The Gonski 2.0 Review deadline is now March 2018. What creative accountability mechanisms will this review find? The Commonwealth is looking for more ‘bang for its buck’ from the states. One presumes there will be a rearticulated expression of ‘Students First’ and possibly that funding for identifiable loadings will be required to directly attach to that area.
  • NAPLAN Online – Plans to move NAPLAN online continue for next year. I have to admit to being a sceptic regarding getting all the technologies to align correctly, but I am assured by the relevant parties in charge of this project that it will happen. If it succeeds it will be the biggest change since the test started in 2008 and should provide much quicker access to results and ‘claims’ to be a more useful feedback mechanism for teachers and parents. It also promises to be more precise because, after the first few questions determine a student’s general level, later questions will be focused on locating each student’s skill level more exactly.
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