Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Overcrowding in city schools

Suggestions for alleviating this problem ( exacerbated by the short- sighted closure of inner city schools by Kennett) of overcrowded city school by Hennrietta Cook of the Age. I suggested in a tweet ( which she 'liked') that the Department promote rural schools as an alternative to one size fits all big schools.....

Victoria might be called the Education State, but its schools are far from perfect. 

Some are screaming out for students, while others are so dangerously overcrowded they have drawn up rosters to determine when students can use the playground.

There are families who drive for kilometres to access a quality education, while others are shunning their local schools leading to a phenomenon known as "white flight".

Infrastructure Victoria has outlined a number of possible solutions in a major report which will pave the way for the next 30 years. 

Here are five ways to ease the squeeze:


It's called "double bunking" and involves staggering school start times throughout the day.
This model – which is common in New Zealand – could potentially double the number of students enrolled at a school by making better use of its buildings.

One group of students could start at 8am and another group could sleep in and start at 2pm. It would help accommodate students in areas with huge population growth like Wyndham, where two prep class are born every week.  

But Infrastructure Victoria acknowledges there is a downside to this solution – it may not be compatible for parents who work conventional hours. "An unintended consequence ...might be that people need to reduce their working hours or even leave the workforce to ensure someone is at home, particularly for primary school students."


Middle-class families are shunning their local schools in favour of more desirable schools.

This has led to a phenomenon known as "white flight" , where "sink schools" accommodate a disproportionate number of migrant students and are screaming out for enrolments.

One solution might be reviewing the enforcement of school zone boundaries, which have become relaxed and are no longer managing demand in some areas. "This could include application of designated neighbourhood boundaries, improving perceptions, providing better information about local schools and/or targeted funding to some schools," Infrastructure Victoria says.

A separate report prepared for the body by Deloitte goes even further, and says removing "school of choice" will enable better forecasting.  "There is a need for a more rigorous process to define zones."


Inner-city land is expensive and sought-after. That's why high rise schools are no-brainer. 

The Andrews government announced earlier this year that it would build Melbourne's first vertical state school in South Melbourne. Haileybury has also opened a state-of-the art ten-storey school in the heart of the CBD, which will accommodate preps from next year. 

The report says vertical schools are a nifty way of addressing school shortages.

It also recommends multi-storey portables which could be used during peak enrolment periods. Schools struggling to accommodate the student boom, such as Albert Park Primary, are already using these double-storey portables. 


A mini baby boom during the mid-2000s is putting pressure on schools, and this will only intensify.

Infrastructure Victoria says there is limited transparency about the data used to forecast demand for new schools which can "lead to ad hoc decision-making". 

When it comes to planning for new schools, the public often feel like they've been left in the dark.

One fix might involve the government publishing a plan for school capital works, a timeline for delivery and a long-term funding allocation.

"This option would provide certainty and ultimately improve access to schools over the longer term as there would be greater transparency between where the anticipated growth and maintenance pressures are and when forecast investments will occur."


Students would not have to wait until they had finished school to attend university.

Schools would increasingly partner with tertiary institutions to share buildings and other resources.

This would make the transition into TAFE and university more seamless and provide high school students with a "more comprehensive education".

The report points out that the state and federal government are currently moving in this direction with their training centres and tech schools program.


Last day of Autumn which is sad. A big frost this morning, Not the first for the year but the biggest so far.


Sample 3D pictures for MIss Peregrine and for Felix the Cat ( grade 3 )


We went ten pin bowling today. Had a lot of fun and hot chips for lunch.


Grade 6 kids have started their lighthouses, row boats and submarine models today.
 My grade 3 girl had a go at my ' How to draw Felix the Cat' worksheet and did a great job.

Monday, 30 May 2016

Another big week ahead of us

We started work on Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children today. We have a lot to do but we should be finished in a week and I'll post my unit on TPT on the weekend. I started a work sample for a 3D picture for art and the kids have started their submarine models.

We began reading Pride and Prejudice today. We are creating a mind map while listening so we can keep track of the characters and how they interact.
Wayne came today and mowed and the school looks great. It was a chilly morning but a lovely, cool but sunny late Autumn day.

Another funny children's book cover.
Damn those apostrophes!

Sunday, 29 May 2016

Gonski at the leaders debate- only quote that matters

Shorten: 'If you want to be an innovation nation, you need to be an education nation.'

Meanwhile just some of the facilities available at Hale, Brisbane, All Saints, Newington, Knox and Scotch

.......and this is the tip of the iceberg.

Sad but funny Wilcox cartoon

Bizarre deal- Ripponlea Primary School students enjoy a 30 per cent discount at Shelford Girls Grammar.

There's a little-known trick to scoring a sizeable discount at an elite private school in Melbourne's south-east.
Shelford Girls Grammar has been quietly offering students at neighbouring  state school Ripponlea Primary a discount of up to 50 per cent under an unofficial "Ripponlea Deal".
Apart from this deal, fierce competition between schools, particularly private girls' schools vying for the same students, has seen schools resort to the sales tactics of electricity companies, offering bonuses to parents who manage to get their friends' children signed up.
The Shelford discount, which now sits at 30 per cent, is a sweet offer for Ripponlea girls, who do not have to fulfil any other criteria to be eligible for it.
Shelford principal Polly Flanagan acknowledged that it was an "unusual arrangement". She said the deal was struck between Ripponlea parents and her predecessor about 10 years ago, presumably to boost enrolments.
It is understood that Ripponlea Primary has not played any part in the deal. ( That seems hard to believe? They wouldn't be taking just any student, so who recommends the children they offer the discount too?)
"It's an informal arrangement, that was not initiated by the school. It was initiated by a keen group of Ripponlea parents who wanted to send their girls to Shelford," Ms Flanagan said. ''They were very active in fundraising and worked hard for the school."
She flagged that the school was bursting with enrolments and would soon phase out the discount. 
"I'm sure many schools have arrangements or special circumstances that are not common knowledge. In our case, we are educating young women to be amazing citizens. If we have five places filled by girls from Ripponlea, that's great."
Neither school promotes the deal on its website, yet the arrangement clearly benefits both parties. It serves as an incentive for families to enrol at Ripponlea Primary School, while Shelford has access to a cohort of relatively wealthy students who are achieving above-average NAPLAN scores.
Ripponlea Primary School did not want to comment on the story.( I bet they didn't )
Natalie Mactier, chief executive of School Places, an online business arranging discounted deals for parents in last-minute private school bookings, said private schools were coming up with creative ways to fill spots.  
She said schools were now offering bonuses of a few hundred dollars to families who managed to get friends' children enrolled.
"It's about bringing the same type of families from the local community into the school. It's not so much that schools are in dire straits. It's a fairly cheap marketing technique rather than going externally and spending a lot of money to bring families into the community."
Melbourne University's Professor Stephen Dinham said private schools have also used scholarships as a way to secure enrolments. School representatives are even attending sporting events to scout for talent and offer generous scholarships.  
"What they're doing in some cases is ensuring their own success by having high-performing kids in sport and music, in the arts and in academic areas.
"Non-government schools have always been able to reject people as well as being been able to select, and that's another form of selection."
Nonetheless, new data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics shows the proportion of Australian students in public schools has increased for the first time in decades, albeit slightly.
Some 65.2 per cent of Australian students attended public schools in 2015, up from 65.1 per cent the previous year. The proportion of students in non-government schools dropped from 34.9 per cent in 2014 to 34.8 per cent.
In Victoria, 63 per cent of students attended public schools in 2015, up from 62.8 per cent the previous year.

I wonder what the local state secondary school thinks about this perverse little 'arrangement' I certainly hope DET get to the bottom of this and come down like the preferable ton of bricks!

@theage on Twitter | theageAustralia on Facebook

Saturday, 28 May 2016

About time. Climate change reality in US schools

From Oregon Live

The Portland Public Schools Board on Tuesday decided to ban any classroom materials that cast doubt on climate change. The resolution passed unanimously and requires that textbooks and other material purchased by the district present climate change as a fact rather than theory.

Material will also need to present human activity as one of the phenomenon's causes.

In testimony to the board, Bill Bigelow, a former Portland teacher, told district officials that "we don't want kids in Portland learning material courtesy of the fossil fuel industry."

Bigelow said that material that treats climate change as anything other than fact is published by companies making concessions for fossil fuel companies. He pointed to words such as "might," "may" and "could" in educational materials.

The story started making waves on Friday when The Blaze, a conservative news site founded by Glenn Beck, picked it up. U.S. News and World Report also picked it up, which incited one commenter to say, "Well this is special....ban books because you dont (sic) agree with the context. Sounds like teaching professionals promoting a very personal and liberal agenda."

Republican representatives in Congress agree, but it seems America's conservative politicians are alone in this regard — much of the world's right-leaning leaders have urged action on climate change. In the U.S., the Environmental Protection Agency has been doing the same, calling it a public health issue.

Even entertainers have gotten into the action. Jimmy Kimmel earlier this month urged viewers to be skeptical of a documentary endorsed by former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin that casts doubt on climate change. Instead, Kimmel said during a segment on his late-night show, Americans should be listening to scientists.

Link between a home library and future prosperity

“A room without books is like a body without a soul,” observed the Roman philosopher, Cicero.

 It can also be a sign of financial hardship to come.

New research has uncovered a strong correlation between the earnings of adults and whether they grew up surrounded by books as children.

Three economists at the University of Padua – Giorgio Brunello, Guglielmo Weber and Christoph Weiss – studied 6,000 men born in nine European countries and concluded that children with access to books could expect to earn materially more than those who grow up with few or no books.

They studied the period from 1920 to 1956, when school reforms saw the minimum school leaving age raised across Europe. They looked at whether, at the age of 10, a child lived in a house with fewer than 10 books, a shelf of books, a bookcase with up to 100 books, two bookcases, or more than two bookcases.

Over the period studied, the research, published in the Economic Journal, found that an additional year of education increased a man’s average lifetime earnings by 9%. But the returns varied markedly according to socio-economic background.

Men brought up in households with less than a shelf of books earned only 5% more as a result of the extra year’s education, compared with 21% more for those who had access to a lot of books. And those that had access to books were more likely to move to the better-earning opportunities in cities than those without books.

The men’s first job was also much more likely to be a white-collar job.

The economists offer a number of theories for the results. “Perhaps books matter because they encourage children to read more and reading can have positive effects on school performance. Alternatively, a home filled with books indicates advantageous socio-economic conditions.”

The number of books in a child’s home can effectively predict their cognitive test scores. This may indicate a home that encourages cognitive and socio-emotional skills, which are important for economic success in life.

From the Guardian

Confusius say....

Despite concerns over the appropriateness of outsourcing public school lesson time to a foreign government body, the state government expanded the program - known as Confucius Classrooms - to a further six schools in late 2015. 

These classes might be free to Treasury, but they are paid for by exposing children to a foreign government's propaganda machine. 

David Shoebridge

One Chinese-Australian parent, whose son is at a school where attendance at the Confucius Classrooms program is compulsory from kindergarten to year 2, said it was akin to "the infiltration of the Chinese Communist Party into the NSW public school system". 

Confucius Classrooms are administered by the Confucius Institute, headquartered in Beijing's agency known colloquially as Hanban, the Office of the Chinese Language Council. 


There are no other foreign language programs paid for by foreign governments in NSW schools. 

Sydney resident Carole Lu, from Taiwan, says she avoided enrolling her seven-year-old daughter in a school that offered Confucius Classrooms and instead teaches her Chinese at home because of her concerns about the program. 

"It's quite shocking to us," she says. "Everything the teachers have learnt, their background is communism. ... That is the thing I'm really worried about. I don't want her to be involved in any of the ideology of the Communist Party."

Ms Lu questions how topics that are routinely censored by the Chinese Communist Party would be handled in the classes, and dislikes the program's use of the simplified Chinese alphabet over traditional characters that are still used in Taiwan and Hong Kong. 

"Individual people, parents, we think it's not right, but it's really hard," she says. "Don't worry, we're not going to have a revolution. It's simply about the education of our children.  The whole environment is going against what we're saying. What can we do?"

Officially, the Confucius Institutes are non-profit public institutions promoting Chinese language and culture worldwide. Since their inception in 2004, many Australian universities have opened a Confucius Institute. 

But they are viewed uneasily by some China watchers. Hanban is headed by a government official, the Vice-Minister of Education, and since 2014 about eight universities worldwide have closed Confucius Institutes after deciding they were too closely directed by Beijing, restricted academic freedom or even - in the case of Japan's Osaka Sangyo University - for allegedly providing a front for espionage.

And in late 2014, the Toronto School Board scrapped its Confucius Classrooms program due to concerns about its connection with the Chinese Communist Party's propaganda aims, where topics including Falun Gong, the Tiananmen Square student massacre, Tibet, the Uighurs and Taiwan are highly sensitive. 

Independent China expert Professor Jocelyn Chey of the University of Sydney said: "One might say that if a school program is 'just teaching language', it could not be political, but with Chinese everything is political."

Former Greens MLC John Kaye, who died this month, put questions to the Education Minister in Parliament in December last year about oversight of Confucius Classrooms. 

The minister refused to answer questions about payments, teacher hiring, the government's memorandum of understanding with Hanban or bureaucrats' trips to China, but said oversight of Confucius Classrooms was the responsibility of individual principals. Department teachers are supposed to be present during classes, but it was not revealed how many are fluent in Chinese.

"These classes might be free to Treasury, but they are paid for by exposing children to a foreign government's propaganda machine," said David Shoebridge, the Greens' acting education spokesman. "Most Confucius Classrooms operate with no department official having any idea what is being taught or how disputed issues such as human rights and contested territories are handled." He said the government should follow Toronto's lead and replace teachers on the Chinese government payroll with teachers accredited in NSW for Chinese classes. 

A spokesman for the Education Department did not answer questions about whether it was appropriate for a Chinese government body to run classes in NSW public schools. 

"The Confucius Institute aims to improve students' understanding of Chinese language and culture, and facilitates partner school relationships with China," he said.

"The teaching assistants complete a Working with Children Check and mandatory training, and their salaries are paid by Confucius Institute headquarters.

"Should controversial issues or politically sensitive topics arise, they are dealt with in the same way as they would be in other subject areas, ie teachers ensure students are aware of all the points of view."

The Chinese embassy referred the Herald's questions to Hanban, and attempts to contact Hanban were unsuccessful. 

The Confucius Classrooms are now offered at four primary schools: Chatswood, Kensington, Hurstville South and Rouse Hill; and nine high schools: Coffs Harbour, Fort Street, Kingsgrove North, Mosman, Rooty Hill, Bonnyrigg, Chatswood, Concord and Homebush Boys. The program has also been offered at two Sydney private schools, Wenona and King's School.  

Confucius Institutes closed over freedom concerns

Confucius Classrooms are administered by the Confucius Institute, headquartered in Beijing's agency known colloquially as Hanban, the Office of the Chinese Language Council. 

In an attractive package for cash-strapped public school principals eager to offer their students Asian languages, the NSW schools are paid $10,000 upfront and then $10,000 a year for teaching resources, and supplied with "teaching assistants" who are hired and paid by Hanban in China.

There are no other foreign language programs paid for by foreign governments in NSW schools. 

Officially, the Confucius Institutes are non-profit public institutions promoting Chinese language and culture worldwide. 

Since their inception in 2004, many Australian universities have opened a Confucius Institute.  But they are viewed uneasily by some China watchers. Hanban is headed by a government official, the Vice-Minister of Education, and since 2014 about eight universities worldwide have closed Confucius Institutes after deciding they were too closely directed by Beijing, restricted academic freedom or even – in the case of Japan's Osaka Sangyo University – for allegedly providing a front for espionage.

And in late 2014, the Toronto School Board scrapped its Confucius Classrooms program  because of concerns about its connection with the Chinese Communist Party's propaganda aims, where topics including Falun Gong, the Tiananmen Square student massacre, Tibet, the Uighurs and Taiwan are highly sensitive. From the  SMH.

Follow us: @smh on Twitter | sydneymorningherald on Facebook

PS: This  headline from the Age last week has been pointed out to me. Apparently the story is almost identical to the SMH story.

The potential for censorship

Would Brecht's play about Gallileo offend the Catholic Church? Should that be a consideration when choosing VCE English texts? Of course not! But could it be now? I agree with the author of this piece that the Minister should stay out of this. It should be left to the professionals otherwise our students will not have their ideas challenged or their critical thinking skills sharpened by provocative literature reflecting our diverse community. It also runs the risk of entrenching mediocrity. We don't want to go down the path of US schools that ban texts from the it schools.( visit Google and check out some of the books and plays that have been banned and continue to be banned!) 

On Thursday, Victorian Education Minister James Merlino ordered the Victorian Curriculum Assessment Authority (VCAA) to review its text selection process for VCE English, literature, drama and theatre studies. 
According to Timna Jacks (The Age, 26/5) the minister wanted to "ensure" the guidelines used for text selection would consider "the views and sensitivities of cultural and religious groups". The review follows criticism by two Jewish groups of the inclusion of a play on the VCE drama list, Tales of a City by the Sea, which depicts life during war in Gaza, and was written by Palestinian playwright Samah Sabawi.
To suggest that guidelines regulate the compiling of these lists should not offend any group in society is significantly problematic. I can't think of any text that does not have the potential to offend at least someone in our wonderfully diverse community.
The emphasis needs to be on how these texts are taught, the growth of our students' knowledge of the world and the ways in which we negotiate different ideas and perspectives. I'm sure the minister would want to support the development of intelligent interrogation of ideas in our young people. 
I am not suggesting that the guidelines for text selection are somehow sacrosanct and should not be questioned. The VCAA, the body responsible for the collation of the text lists for what 17- and 18-year-old students may study in their final year of their VCE studies, should (and do) regularly revisits what is appropriate as cultural norms shift.
Current text lists are put together by a panel of educators who are expert-teachers in the subject. These are professionals who understand not only the curriculum, but also the diverse needs and capacities of the young people in our schools.

By Monika Wagner is President of the Australian Association for the Teaching of English
Extract from:
 @theage on Twitter | theageAustralia on Facebook

Contributing to our schools

Six-year old Josie (not her real name) was enrolled in a prestigious private elementary school and progressing well, so well that her reading was well above average. Her parents asked the principal if she could be moved up a class or have her classes more personally tailored.

They were politely refused. All the talk about child-centred programs and extra resources was "just talk," her father Rick says.

"We tried other elite schools who also claimed they had resources to burn for individual care, but in the end they wouldn't budge," he says.

"That's not the way we do it here" was the typical response.Then Rick and his wife tried their local public school.

The school assessed her, let her sit in on some lessons, and went into overdrive. Josie was put into different groups for different subjects as part of a specially-designed program. They kept an eye on her. They were "just all round brilliant".

That year Rick and Josie's mum got the usual letter from the school asking for a Voluntary Contribution of $140.

They talked about it and sent the sent the school a cheque for 140 times as much: $20,000.

Rick was on a train platform in Sydney when he got a call from the school. The principal was on the other end of the line, speechless. The cheque was real.

"I explained that we were willing to pay $20,000 at a private school, so why wouldn't we send the same amount to his school as it deserved every cent. They went above and beyond."

"It was lovely. The money was so appreciated. I knew it was not going to go towards a rowing club shelter, but more important things."

Once a year state primary and high schools send parents and carers a letter requesting support in the form of a voluntary contribution. They are only allowed to send one. I am familiar with them, having served on a school board that has debated why it is that each year fewer than half the families respond. We debate the timing of the letter, the text of the letter, the extent of the discount for families with more than one child and anything else we think might improve the response rate.

We rarely get big donations, and families in the ACT are typically more stingy than families in NSW, even though their incomes are higher. (In any event, if they did decide to pay up big it isn't as effective as it could be. Donations to private schools are tax deductible, but donations to public schools are not, although donations to the libraries within them sometimes are).

As reported by Fairfax Media last week, years of benign neglect of the public system and lobbying by private schools means non-government schools are now government-funded at similar levels to government ones. We seem to have accepted the distasteful idea that the government should fund even very wealthy private schools whose families turn their back on the government system.

Public school advocate Jane Caro asks what women and public schools have in common? She says we pay them less and expect them to do more. Rick thought the private system would deliver more than it could. He thought paying more would buy more.

The decisions parents make about schools are complex but often influenced by what's on the surface. It's like buying a book. Book publishers spend a fortune on enticing covers and hiring bookshop window space. Private schools have the money to show off. The spectator sport that is NAPLAN plays a part even though if you allow for socio-economic status, the differences between public and private schools are paper thin.

Public school halls may be less fancy, the quality of their open night signs forlorn, and their uniform culture more relaxed but, gosh, it's made up for by commitment; commitment to individuals and a commitment to that old fashioned thing called the common good - with no religious branding or criteria-heavy waiting lists. Their values: respect, care, excellence and community are driven by a notion of the common good. John Howard defamed them when he said they were values-free.

When a family makes a voluntary contribution to a public school it's not about buying something for an individual but supporting the common good.

The common good is what's missing from prime minister Turnbull's language so far this election. Even his talk about innovation is tied to the market, making something that can sold.

Don't wait for a reminder before contributing to your local public school.

Toni Hassan is a Canberra writer and an adjunct research fellow at the Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture, Charles Sturt University

The Huffington Post  @theage on Twitter | theageAustralia on Facebook

Interesting story. It should be noted that we don't ask for contributions at Glen Park. I clean the school and donate that money to the school which covers all excursions and camps and more. ( big schools don't have that luxury) and of course it goes without saying that we cater for individual differences. ( big schools- of all descriptions say they do that in their glossy brochures but they don't! Small schools, including of course Glen Park do!)

Friday, 27 May 2016

New units

I just updated my Choose Your Own Adventure unit which is now on TPT for a mere $5.00

My Silver Sword/Carrie's War unit also for a mere $5.00

In a few weeks time I will post a unit for Pride and Prejudice, Jane Eyre and Moonfleet.


Misty morning

Ballarat this morning.

I popped up to work this morning to clean. I did a big clean of the old classroom and changed over some displays.

I am just about finished Moonfleet and will have a lit unit for that finished by the end of this week.
Our bulbs are starting to pop out and our beans are growing well.

Thursday, 26 May 2016

Swiss Guard

 Lucy worked with our whiteboard today with Italian. She also showed them how to use Italian gestures. ( only the polite ones) We also did some map work and started making some Swiss Guard models. I didn't realise Micheelangelo designed their uniforms.

The office computer was fixed today so I spent a bit of this morning downloading stuff I hadn't downloaded before. ( Don't save things on the desktop!!!)
The grade 6 kids worked on their choose your own adventure stories this afternoon and my grade 2 girl made a 'catfish'!

We finished Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children today. The kids enjoyed it. We will work on the book next week.Ihad to mail our NAPLAN tests today....apparently we are too far away for the couriers!
Misty morning but it turned into a lovely day.

BuzzFeed releases the Liberal Party higher education policy....because they won't.

1. Partial fee deregulation
“For at least 80% of students, they will operate under a fixed price regime and nobody will pay a dollar upfront,” Birmingham told BuzzFeed News.
But universities will be allowed to deregulate (i.e. set their own) fees for 20% of their courses from 2018. They’ll be called “flagship courses” and will be opt-in.
Universities won’t get funding from the government for these courses. As the cost of the degree goes up, the dollar amount the Commonwealth contributes goes down.
To stop the cost of degrees blowing out to $100,000, course fees would be monitored by a group like the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.

2. Students pay more of their course fees
“University students do get a significant premium in terms of their future earnings potential and it is only reasonable that we assess what is fair for them to contribute,” Birmingham said.
Under the HECS loan system, the government pays on average 58% of a student’s course fees and the student pays 42%.
The government wants students to contribute more to the cost of degrees, and they’ll do this one of two ways:
1. They will change the fee cost ratio - they’ll pay 20% less and students will pay 20% more. This means the size of your HECS debt will go up.
2. They will reduce the government grant per student that they give to universities and increase the maximum capped student contribution that institutions can charge.

3. Students paying back their degrees sooner
The government wants students to start paying their debts back sooner. Currently you don’t have to pay back your loans until you earn more than $54,126.
There are a few ways they could do this - by lowering the amount you need to earn after graduating to start paying back your debt to as low as $40,000, or by introducing a household income test.
Alternatively, if you earn more than $100,000 you’ll have to start making bigger repayments to your HECS loan (the maximum rate is currently 8% for $100,520 and above).

4. Cuts to universities
A 20% cut of $2 billion is still on the table.
“The Budget makes it very clear we still have to find savings in higher education and those savings we discuss in our policy paper could come from reductions in the Commonwealth government subsidy,” Birmingham told BuzzFeed News.

5. Charge more interest on HECS loans
This could change the indexation of repayment thresholds from average weekly earnings to CPI.

6. Make it harder for people who aren’t working to get HECS
Restricting student loans for people who are “permanently” out of the workforce because it’s unlikely they will repay their loans.

7. Collect HECS debts from deceased estates
This means if you haven’t paid off your student loans when you die, your family will have to fork out the cash.

Cockatoos making a racket.

Very noisy white cockatoos today all day at school.

Soccer skill runs with our PE students.

Telescope book pictures.

More confronting Gonski data
Bookish problem
Grade 2 mass measuring today 
How heavy is our Willy Wonka doll?
Another 'wicked' children's book cover....I always knew Arthur was up to no good!