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Weekly Wrap: November 16, 2023

16/11/23
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The information in the Weekly Wrap is aggregated from other news sources to provide you with news that is relevant to the education sector across Australia and worldwide. Each paragraph is a summary of the subject matter covered in the particular news article. The information does not necessarily reflect the views of Ideagen CompliSpace.

 

Australia

Bupa Foundation Commits $300,000 to Expand Kids Helpline Program in High Schools

The Bupa Foundation has announced $300,000 in funding to extend the Kids Helpline program to high schools across Australia, The Educator reports. This expansion is a response to the increasing demand for mental health support among young people, with nearly 70 per cent of all contacts made with Kids Helpline coming from high school-aged students. The program aims to improve mental health literacy, coping skills, and help-seeking behaviours among students, with a focus on topics such as transitions, cyberbullying and resilience. The program will also involve consultation with schools and students to ensure that it addresses their specific needs. Bupa's Chief Sustainability and Corporate Affairs Officer, Roger Sharp, highlighted the importance of supporting the mental health of young people in today's society through “investing in innovative prevention” and early intervention programs.

 

Better Education Results Reveal Highest Performing Schools

According to the Better Education results, which evaluate academic performance using data from national tests in Australia, the top-performing schools in the country are primarily private and selective. An article by news.com.au highlights the best performing primary and secondary schools across all states and territories, with some schools consistently demonstrating high performance over the years.

 

New Program Introduced to Support and Guide New Teachers Amidst Workforce Shortages

The Educator reports on the new guidance and support being offered to early career teachers in Australia, as growing workforce shortages are leaving them unsupported and vulnerable to burnout. The 'Happy Teacher - Early Career Program' has recently been launched and includes a new online resource hub, designed by experienced educators to provide practical advice and inspiration for those starting their teaching careers. The platform will also offer access to coaching and mentoring programs, as well as opportunities to network with other teachers. This initiative aims to improve retention rates and help early career teachers thrive in their roles.

 

ADHD Inquiry Advocates for Improved Support and Treatment

The Senate Community Affairs References Committee has released an executive summary of their inquiry into ADHD in Australia. The report highlights the prevalence of this condition, with over one million – or an estimated one in 20 – Australians having ADHD. The inquiry noted various barriers faced by people with ADHD, including the lack of support in schools. It also made several recommendations for improving support and treatment for individuals. Overall, the report aims to bring attention to the challenges faced by those living with ADHD and provide recommendations for addressing these issues.

 

Factors Driving the Growth of Catholic Schools Revealed

According to The Educator, Catholic schools in Australia have seen an increase in enrolments and academic performance in recent years. The article discusses the factors contributing to this success, such as equipping teachers with evidence-based professional learning tools to ensure that they deliver the best outcomes. It also mentions the efforts made by Catholic schools to cater to diverse student needs, including students from disadvantaged backgrounds. The article also highlights the challenges faced by other schools, emphasising the need for educators to "come together to learn from each other."

 

NSW Students Advocate for Supportive Measures, Not Punishment, to Address Vaping in Schools

According to The Sydney Morning Herald, students in New South Wales are calling for schools to provide support and resources to help them quit vaping rather than suspending or punishing them. Research has revealed that punitive school policies and the Government’s plans to install vape-detectors in bathrooms have discouraged teenagers from seeking assistance to quit vaping. The article highlights the need for a more comprehensive approach to tackling vaping among young people, which includes education, prevention and support for those already vaping, both on and off school premises.

 

Queensland Public Schools to Trial Four-Day Week and Flexible School Hours

Queensland public schools will be trialling new school hours and a four-day week, according to news.com.au. Flexible study options for all public primary and secondary schools are to begin next year, with several schools already proposing shorter school weeks. The article explains that this trial aims to provide parents with more flexibility and help reduce stress for students. While the trial has received mixed responses from parents and educators, the hope is that it will help encourage recognition that learning can take place both in and outside of a classroom environment.

 

Record Success for 2023 Premier's Reading Challenge in Western Australia

According to the Western Australian Government, over 23,200 students across the State participated in the 2023 Premier's Reading Challenge, with students collectively reading more than 363,000 books. The challenge was launched by the Government to encourage children to develop a love for reading and improve their literacy skills. This year, participants have made the 2023 challenge a record-breaking success, with more books logged than ever. The article also highlights some of the top-performing schools and individual students who achieved remarkable results in the challenge.

 

 

International

Technical Glitches Cause Mayhem for New Zealand Students During Online Exams

Students in New Zealand have expressed frustration and disappointment after facing technical difficulties while trying to sit their National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA) exams online, according to Radio New Zealand. The New Zealand Qualifications Authority anticipated 20,000 logins for three online exams, but the system slowed down when more than 18,000 students attempted to join, prompting the authority to ask students to complete a paper version of the exam. Vice-president of the Association of Teachers of English, Pip Tinning, expressed that many teachers were frustrated with the disruption, particularly as a similar issue occurred last week with online NCEA literacy and numeracy tests.

 

South Korean Teachers Rally Against Child Welfare Act

According to PS News, thousands of South Korean teachers gathered in Seoul to protest against a law that holds them accountable for child abuse when disciplining students. Teachers are concerned that the vague wording of the Child Welfare Act allows parents to make baseless accusations with malicious intent, leading to severe consequences for educators. This protest is part of a larger movement by teachers demanding better treatment and guarantees of their authority in classrooms. The article also notes a disturbing trend of teacher suicides, with 144 cases reported in the past decade, highlighting the increasing pressure and challenges faced by teachers in South Korea.

 

First-Ever Nationwide Ranking of US Charter Schools Revealed

Education Next reports on the first-ever nationwide ranking of United States charter schools based on student performance in the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). These rankings reveal a wide variation in charter school performance across states, with some outperforming traditional public schools while others lag behind. They also highlight the top-performing states and possible factors contributing to their success, such as strong charter laws and high levels of autonomy for charter schools. The rankings aim to provide a comprehensive assessment of charter school performance and promote improvements in the sector.

 

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