02 April 2010

Queensland kids to be given a ‘Flying start’

On 2 February 2010, the Queensland Government announced the launch of a discussion paper on the future of education titled ‘A flying start for Queensland children’.
The paper focuses on three key areas:

- improving children’s development, wellbeing and readiness. The discussion paper claims this could be achieved by introducing a kindy year for all children, encouraging parents to read to their kids and developing an army of volunteer ‘Ready Readers’ for primary schools.

- improving transitions from primary school to secondary school and supporting adolescent development. This is achieved by equipping our schools with well prepared teachers and adequate facilities and equipment.

- improving school discipline and the quality of teaching and setting high performance standards for schools across the state. This is achieved by setting high expectations for our students, teachers and our system of education overall.

With each key area, the State Government has mooted some ideas for public feedback.

For example, the Government is keen to receive public comment on the idea that Year Seven should be moved to secondary school, as is the current case in several other states, such as Victoria and New South Wales.

The Queensland Government is also seeking comment on how teacher training courses could be improved, as a means to improving teacher quality.

Significantly, the Government has embarked on an extensive consultation process, establishing forums across the state to supplement feedback being gathered online.

Speaking when introducing the discussion paper to State Parliament, Premier Anna Bligh commented that “this green paper makes Queenslanders’ views pivotal in our commitment to improve early childhood development and readiness for school, to invest in teacher training and new education infrastructure and boost performance of both our teachers and our students across our state schools”.

A local forum on the discussion paper has been planned for 17 May at the Moorooka State School Hall, commencing at 6.30 p.m.

The process for gathering community feedback concludes on the 30 June. For more information about the discussion paper or to provide online feedback visit www.deta.qld.gov.au/aflyingstart

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