For everyone News in brief: Term 2 2023

  • By Rachel Power
  • This article was published more than 9 months ago.
  • 28 Jul 2023

Teachers must be respected too

The AEU has welcomed the establishment of the National Respectful Relationships Education Expert Working Group to support the implementation of the federal government’s Consent and Respectful Relationships Education program. However, we are concerned that the working group does not include representation of the teaching profession. Effective curriculum development can only occur if teachers are involved in the planning, implementation and evaluation from the outset. We are calling on the Albanese government to immediately appoint a teaching representative to the working group, and establish ongoing consultation mechanisms.

ESL and Dialect education should be a priority

The AEU and the Australian Council of TESOL Associations are calling for English as an Additional Language or Dialect education in schools to be made an equity priority in the next National Schools Reform Agreement. A renewed focus on prioritising high-quality English language education and literacy provision in Australia is crucial to enhancing the skills of students from non-English-speaking backgrounds. Targeted and supported programs are essential for developing proficiency, meeting literacy standards, and support every student from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, migrant or refugee background to learn on a level playing field.

City of Knox: don’t abandon our kindergartens!

The City of Knox is considering walking away from delivering over 30 sessional kindergarten services. This would mean the families of children in the Knox area would no longer have access to free, local council-delivered kindergarten programs. Families rightly expect their local council to deliver preschool services. We know that children benefit from kindergarten services that reflect the context and makeup of their local community. Why should the children of Knox miss out? Knox councillors were not elected with a mandate to abandon kindergartens! Sign our petition: megaphone.org.au/petitions/city-of-knox-don-t-abandon-our-kindergartens

Climate impacts on children’s learning

Forthcoming book The Impact of Extreme Weather on School Education (Hyndman and Vanos) highlights the hazards of extreme weather on education, and considers ways to protect international school communities. Elevated temperatures and lack of airflow can affect childhood development, health and learning outcomes. Some students in Darwin are already expected to learn under extreme and prolonged heat, with a negative impact on their health and ability to learn. These harsh conditions can also have health implications for teachers, and lead to staff turnover that could cause students in the Northern Territory to fall further behind, the book warns.

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