An update on education news in your state

There's always a lot going on in the education sector, so it can be hard to keep up. To help you out, we've summarised some of the biggest news items affecting school education from NAPLAN tests shifting online to an overhaul of Queensland's Overall Position (OP) system.

  • Government commits to moving NAPLAN online: The National Assessment Program Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) test is set to move online in coming years, following the release of a new report by the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA). The report examines the trial of a new test model, which saw students from more than 250 schools take part in an online ˜tailored test' that adjusted the difficulty of questions as students progressed through the test based on their performance up to that point. The study found that the tailored test design increased students' engagement with the test and left them feeling more positive and accomplished. Moving the tests online would see a faster turnaround of results, allowing teachers more time to work with students to improve on areas of need. Visit the ACARA website for more information.
  • Schools are in worse shape now than when Gonski report was released: An analysis of My School data has indicated that the Australian education system has actually gone backwards following the release of the Gonski report in 2011. The analysis shows that in the three years since that report was released, the gap has widened between advantaged and disadvantaged schools. Read more on the Sydney Morning Herald website.
  • Queensland's OP system set for overhaul: A review of Queensland's Overall Position (OP) system, conducted by the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER), has called for a redesign of the current system for Year 12 assessment and university entrance. The review advises that the 22-year-old system is ˜in need of attention' and that the Queensland Core Skills (QCS) test and OP system should be discontinued. The Queensland Government will now consider the review before developing a response. Visit the Department of Education, Training and Employment website for more information.
  • Australian preschoolers to study a second language as part of a new trial: Language study could start as early as preschool if the Early Learning Languages Australia (ELLA) trial commences. The trial would see 40 preschools across the country participate in tailored language programs, including Chinese (Mandarin), Japanese, Indonesian, Arabic and French, using play-based apps on tablet devices. Visit the Ministers' Media Centre website for more information.
  • Victoria and Queensland increase funding for apprenticeships: Both the Victorian and Queensland state governments have vowed to increase funding for apprenticeship programs. The Queensland Government has pledged to invest $36 million to increase apprenticeship opportunities for school leavers. A new scheme will see employers paid up to $6000 for each additional apprentice they take on in the next year. The Victorian Government has also increased funding for apprenticeships, committing $1.5 million dollars to the Apprenticeship Support Officer program, which provides support to young apprentices in the early stages of their apprenticeship.
  • Year 11 and 12 English to become compulsory in the ACT: Following a review by the ACT Board of Senior Secondary Studies, students completing the ACT Year 12 Certificate will have to study a language from the English Course Area. The new study requirement will come into effect next year (starting with the Year 11 cohort) and will put the ACT in line with the remaining states and territories, which all enforce English study. Maths study, although not compulsory, will be strongly encouraged. See the ABC News website for more information.
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