Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Swimming and Water Safety



Department of Education Media Release

23 October 2012


LAURIE ANDREWS
General Manager, Learning Services (North)



I am told primary students are eligible for 4 weeks of lessons across primary school (equalling 20 lessons). Is that right?
The program is directed towards years 3, 4 and 5 children who will participate in thirty lessons that are usually organised over ten consecutive days per year. The extension of the program to other years is desirable where circumstances permit.

Is that enough to teach the necessary water survival skills, or is more needed?
 In the vast majority of cases this is adequate time to teach the necessary skills.


The website statement said: Ms Travers said that all students in Years 3, 4 and 5 are aiming to achieve the year 6 National Benchmark for swimming and water safety skills. What is the target date for meeting the benchmark?

The aim is for all primary students to achieve the benchmark by the time they leave primary school.




Annual Report


Department of Education Media Release

23 October 2012

 
 
 
ANDREW FINCH
Deputy Secretary Department of Education





Education Department Deputy Secretary Andrew Finch said today that a reduction in teacher numbers as reported in the Department of Education’s Annual Report 2011-12 was due mostly to a change in Government staff reporting requirements.

“The reason for this has been a change in reporting rules which means only paid staff are now included in statistics.

“Staff on unpaid leave are no longer being included,” he said.

Mr Finch said that the remaining reduction in teacher numbers is broadly attributable to a reduction in student numbers in the K-12 sector requiring fewer teachers and also as a result of staff departures under the Workforce Renewal Incentive Program.

“These vacancies are firstly filled by staff already employed within the department, for example substantive staff in roles no longer required, reducing the requirement to engage fixed-term staff,” he said.

Monday, 22 October 2012

Swimming and Water Safety Programs



Department of Education Media Release

22 October 2012





JUDY TRAVERS
General Manager, Learning Services (South)



The General Manager Learning Services South, Judy Travers said today that Tasmania is the only jurisdiction in Australia that has a comprehensive mandatory approach to swimming and water safety.

Ms Travers said that this approach ensures the provision of an equitable and quality-assured program for students in years 3 to 5 across the State.

“The Department of Education ensures every child in government schools has an equal opportunity to participate in quality swimming and water safety instruction.

“All primary school students have an opportunity to participate in swimming and water safety lessons annually, part funded by the Department.

“Students currently take part in a program at Government-owned, council and private swimming pools, taught by qualified swim instructors,” she said.

Ms Travers said that the levy for the Swimming and Water Safety program covers transport, pool entrance fees and additional staffing. The cost is around $2.25 per lesson in 2012.  Students who are eligible for the Student Assistance Scheme receive a free service.

“Many schools supplement these programs for other year groups, including infant classes and at-risk year 6 students. School resources are used for these programs.

“As well as teaching students to swim, the program also develops an understanding of water safety, survival and swimming practices to ensure that water-based activities are enjoyable, rewarding and safe,” she said.

Ms Travers said that all students in Years 3, 4 and 5 are aiming to achieve the year 6 National Benchmark for swimming and water safety skills.

 


Thursday, 18 October 2012

Safe Schools



Department of Education Media Release

18 October 2012


ANDREW FINCH

Deputy Secretary Department of Education




Education Department Deputy Secretary Andrew Finch said today that the Department of Education is committed to establishing safe schools and colleges.

“There are guidelines in place that relate to duty of care by school staff for their students and its employees and all staff should be aware of these guidelines.

“They provide clear advice to all adult members of schools and colleges to ensure that there are positive, caring and respectful relationships with children and young people.

“It is important to safeguard the emotional and physical wellbeing of children, young people and employees by promoting an enhanced understanding of appropriate relationship boundaries,” he said.

All Government schools have strong processes in place to protect the safety of students and staff,” he said.

Mr Finch said that the Department cannot comment on individual cases that are subject of investigation,” he said.

Enrolment Policy



Department of Education Media Release

16 October 2012





JUDY TRAVERS
General Manager, Learning Services (South)



What are the current criteria for being enrolled in an out-of-area school? I was told there were about five different circumstances?
 Most schools have a transparent list supported by the parent body.  For example, if they have a sibling, there was a specific reason (medical / identified need) or children of parents who went to the school.

Some parents have been asked in for an “interview” to attend an out-of-area school. What would this be for?
Most schools have an interview with every student in their feeder primary school as a courtesy and to build a relationship with the student before they arrive.   Large high schools, for example Taroona High School, interview all students with a parent/guardian but other schools might just leave an interview for only an out of area application.  This process varies across schools, particularly those with many feeder schools as it encourages a personal connection.

Is there any way to stop parents putting a different address to have their child enrolled in a school of their preference? I know of cases where parents write down their relatives’ address, even though the relatives won’t be involved. Is this common? Is it frowned upon?
Confirmation of address is required for all enrolments. 
Do some schools get too crowded because they reach maximum and then find a large number of new families move into the area?
Students who are in area have an entitlement to enrol at their local school and schools must manage student numbers carefully.  Principals know what the capacity of their school is and ensure that wherever possible this capacity is not exceeded.