Thursday, 31 July 2014
Wednesday, 30 July 2014
the state government has 'delegated' of a further 30 school management powers to principals, as part of the government's ongoing school autonomy agenda.
principals don't have the resources or the time to take on additional workload. They promised a reduction in 'red-tape' at the last election!
The State Government has already cut over $600 million from public education, which has had a significant impact on school communities across the state.
the AEU says: "Given there are fewer resources, increased responsibility through autonomy and lack of support from DEECD, it is no wonder that principal stress has increased across the state, and particularly in our regional areas." hear hear to that!
"The AEU's latest State of our Schools survey revealed that principals consistently place workload and stress at the top of their concerns about their role.
"Another major factor in the additional pressures our schools face is the decision to restructure and downsize the regional education offices from nine regions to four. My local Regional Office is like a Wild West ghost town. They don't even have someone front of house or someone able to answer the phones.
Over 90% of principals have told the Union that support from their regional office had deteriorated in the past 12 months.Regional offices are critical for principals. At the very least, restoring staffing levels is vital to ensuring that principals get the support they need.
Laptop saga concludes.....now for the decision
The hearing for the AEU's laptop case in the Federal Court concluded yesterday with closing submissions from the union and department. The court has heard evidence from numerous AEU members who clearly articulated that access to a laptop was essential for undertaking their duties and that any personal benefit was incidental.
The department argued that teachers and principals receive significant personal benefit from being allowed to access a device including the flexibility to work from home! You have got to be kidding!
The AEU argued that when members work at home it is for the benefit of the employer.
The Department also argued that the licence agreement was part of a salary packaging arrangement, a point denied by AEU member witnesses and the union's legal team.
Oh I'll be finishing that Harry Potter unit tonight....on my leased laptop!
Tuesday, 29 July 2014
Monday, 28 July 2014
Saturday, 26 July 2014
Find a link here to my newly completed Blooms Taxonomy unit for The Prince and the Pauper by Mark Twain.
Find here a link to the short unit I completed this week for MacBeth. I taught this unit years ago and it was a mixture of cut and paste and hand written (yes, handwritten worksheets!) so I scanned what I could and typed up and added my sketches to new work.
This unit was taught at the end of a longer unit on the Prince and the Pauper and the Tudors.The kids seemed to like it so I might prepare a short unit for Hamlet if I can find some good kid friendly novel versions of it.
Thursday, 24 July 2014
The Moorabool Network is a group of schools from theMoorabool area, working together to improve educational outcomes for their students. Eighteen schools belong to the network, creating a vast learning community. The schools in the network are quite varied, some being close to town, others quite rural and some large and some small. The variety and number of schools in the network creates in depth and very broad perspectives, knowledge, skills and understandingswhich is used to create continual school improvement.
The Principals of the Moorabool Network meet twice a term sharing their expertise and hold lengthy discussions on educational issues. This enables Principals to identify the most effective and efficient ways forward for their schools. As a result many management areas can be streamlined so more time can be spent on teaching and learning programs greatly benefiting the students.
Resources, ideas and knowledge are also shared to provide unique and exciting experiences for students, to improve teaching skills and enhance curriculum programs. The approach to this is multi-layered, first on a student level, for example, through special activities such as the event when all the students from the collegiate group came together toconduct workshops for each other about how they were using information technology – a ‘Conference for students’ run by the students at Federation University. As well as a range of combined activities - athletic sports, excursions, cross country events, swimming events, Sovereign Hill excursions, camps and the traditional end of year picnics. On a teacher level, professional development activities and resources are shared across the network and workshops of innovative programs have been conducted. As well as the regular meetings,Principals of the Moorabool Network hold annual conferences, provide representation at the Regional level andcontinually support and assist each other.
In 2014 the entire Moorabool Network met at Bungaree Recreation Centre, for a whole day of collegiate professional development. All teachers; all support staff; all admin staff; and all principals together for the first time! It was an outstanding opportunity for small schools to demonstrate the extensive range of skills and training already available from current staff.
The Moorabool Network started in the 1980’s as the original Bungaree Cluster sharing specialist teachers. In the 1990’s the ‘Shared Specialist’ program stopped but the Cluster continued on, it was renamed in 1997 as the Moorabool Collegiate Group. The purpose of the group then became to provide collegiate support to Principals and to promote the positive benefits of small school education. In 2010 the Mooraboolcollegiate group was renamed the Moorabool Network and expanded their role to include an increased level of professional learning and mentoring for all staff.
The members of the Moorabool network have always been a great team, supporting each other to ensure modern thinking and constantly re-evaluating what they do. This ensure they create school communities that are as vibrant, dynamic and inspiring as possible to build student capabilities, responsibility, independence, pride, self-esteem and confidence. However, the best thing about the Mooraboolnetwork, is the relationships between all the people in it! The students enjoy catching up with each other at special events, teachers enjoy sharing what is happening in their classrooms and principals, meeting regularly have not only developedeffective professional connections but great friendships.
Six of the rural schools in the Moorabool Network close to Ballarat, (only five to twenty minutes away) Bungaree, Glen Park, Gordon, Little Bendigo, Magpie, Mount Egerton andWarrenheip can be found in this feature. Please phone to make an appointment to see their wonderful learning communities and engaging environments at work.
It is important to remember exactly what is at stake here: only one third of the Gonski funding will be delivered in the first four years. The Abbott Government plans to stop funding public schools according to the Gonski model after 2017 and Commonwealth funding will only be indexed at 2.5% (currently 4.7%).
The Victorian Premier Denis Napthine said:
While Premier Napthine has indicated support for the full six years, his government also needs to provide transparency around the quantum of funding received by Victoria and whether this is in fact additional funding to that Victorian schools would have been entitled to or had received in the past.
The fact is that teachers, principals and parents must work together to change the Federal Coalition's position on this vital issue and seek greater transparency from the Napthine government. That effort has to start with greater parental engagement.
Sadly I think the union is on a 'hiding to nothing'over Gonski funding.
Tuesday, 22 July 2014
Monday, 21 July 2014
Friday, 18 July 2014
The Victorian Government says it will release a plan to improve rural and regional education within the next few months.
South-west Victoria has among the worst year 12 or equivalent attainment rates in the state.
Today, Victorian Education Minister Martin Dixon will discuss the expansion of the Ballarat Specialist School and talk to young mums taking part in an education program at Sovereign Hill.
Mr Dixon says videoconferencing is one way particular education services can be delivered in rural and regional areas.
"A couple of years ago at Ballarat High, German was being taught through videoconferencing to the students not only in Ballarat High but the three other small secondary schools, government secondary schools around the state and the kids were actually taking part in a lesson seeing each other, so it's a model that can be adapted," he said.
Where do I start? The 'plan' was supposed to be released in May, then July and now it's 'in a few months'. Still nobody from the Education Department bothers to talk to small rural schools about their plans. Video conferencing is fine.....if you've actually got video conferencing equipment! you would think a one teacher rural school would be the first to get it but apparently not!
Our data in this region has been poor or at best 'patchy' for years. Nothing has been done and as the Auditor General wrote in a recent report (refer a previous post) the gap between metropolitan and rural schools is widening.