Newsletter Number 2, February 16th, 2015

                                                                                Newsletter Number 2,16th February, 2015

Dear Principal,

A week ago, the Secretariat of ACSP, Committee Members of the Conference Organising Committee and representatives of Waples all met and finalised the program for the Conference.  As I have said before, the lecturers are outstanding (click here), as you will be able to see by accessing the Speakers Book at this link.  They are internationally famous and will be considering diverse views on the directions education is taking.  We have formatted the Program like a Master Class, insofar as well as giving several Keynotes each, each presenter will then back up with a Breakout Session.  Nearly all the Breakout Sessions will come from the Speakers.  Choice will be difficult.  Their themes are current, but each have their particular emphasis, giving you at least three ways of considering the problem of what works best in schools.  We believe that this Is a unique experience and we urge you not to miss out.  I will repeat the titles of the Keynotes, so that you will have a better idea of the approaches each will take.  As well, the Titles of the Breakout Sessions look as interesting as the Keynotes.

Valerie Hannon (UK): Two Keynotes, "What Is Learning For" and "Realising a Culture of
Encounter in Education', followed by two Breakout sessions related to these topics led by Valerie

Dean Fink (Canada): One Keynote, "Trust and Verify: the Real Keys to School Improvement",
followed by two related Breakout Sessions, led by Dean.

Yong Zhao (USA): A keynote address "Two Education Paradigms: What Defines a World Class
Education",  and "What's Next: Ingredients of a new Educational Program", together with a related Breakout Session led by Yong. He will also lead a Forum at the end of Day 3.

Bishop Vincent Long Van Nguyen, Melbourne Archdiocese, gave a wonderful paper at the 2014
CaSPA Conference in Darwin, which was remarkably well received. I have circulated that paper,
Called "Who Is My Neighbour".  Bishop Vincent will present the First Keynote, "Encounter New Horizons" to set the Catholic tone of the Conference.

We are about one to two weeks away from commencing Registration, which will take place on the Website.  We apologise for the delay, but the long Christmas holidays made communications difficult.  The moment I get a date I will put it up on the Conference Button on our website.  We are limited to 400 participants, so be quick when the date is announced.  Because of this later starting date for registration, we will not be having any "Early Birds".  It will also be impossible for any partners who might accompany you to be able to be present at the Conference Dinner, we regret to say, because of shortage of space.


The ACSP Website.

This website is being improved all the time, as we see ways of communicating better with you.  In the Schools Button, you can either enter the name of a School or put in a Postcode and all the schools in the surrounding area will show up.  This could be very helpful for parents when they are moving to a new area. 

The Publications Button has three sub-headings:  Reports, Newsletters and Links. The Reports include some of the larger Attachments sent out over the past year or so.  I will update them from time to time.  Some of the more significant include:  AITSL Documents on Teacher Accreditation, Power Points from BOSTES to lead Staff Meetings on Accreditation, Minister Piccoli's new Information Sharing protocol and the Rules for Transfers, a Paper from Christopher Pyne on University  Deregulation, the Review of the Australian Curriculum and the best of them all, The Recent Vatican Document on Catholic Education today "Educating Today and Tomorrow-a Renewing Passion".  A must for School Executives and so real it will surprise you.  Many of these have been circulated in Newsletters, but these get lost and so I update them from time to time, with the dates of publication.  Some are very large, greater than a hundred pages, but could be excellent Research material for a Master's Assignment< among other things! 

The Links Button gives connections with Education Offices, CEC, BOSTES , AITSL and their websites, as well other Professional Associations

Finally the Conference site gives information on the Dubbo Conference and will be the Registration site, more than likely.

It pays to click on the ACSP Website at least fortnightly.  I haven't placed the Newsletters there yet, but that will happen soon.  Busy times.


The Government Review on Teacher Education

Professor Craven from ACU led a Federal Working Party, called the Teacher Education Ministerial Advisory Group (TEMAG), who released a Report on Friday, the 13th February, called "Action Now-Classroom Ready Teachers" with some very strong proposals for change.  The original paper is very long, 118 pages (click here) and with it is a shorter response from the Australian Government (click here), embargoed until Friday, but a much briefer read.  I will post both in the Publications section in the next couple of days.  We were inundated with support documents from Catholic organisations, as well as a nice two page summary in the Herald (click here).APPA commented positively (click here), as did CEC  (click here), and also the NCEC (click here).  It is clear that Catholic leaders will follow up the recommendations of this Report.  There is a lot to read, but pick your favourite sources.


NCEC Produces a Weekly Newsletter.

In the last two weeks I have received two NCEC Newsletters, the first on the 8/2/15 (click here) and the most recent one today on 13/2/15  (click here).  There are a range of articles in these Newsletters, with links to other sources.

University Deregulation

There is no doubt that University Deregulation is a hot topic and it clearly is not understood by the general public.  Last year, I attended a Conference in Sydney where Christopher Pyne presented an interesting Paper.  One rhetorical question he asked was why would a student doing a Law Degree in a Regional University, with less potential for big city firms, pay as much for a Law Degree as a high flyer at Melbourne University.  He did provide some interesting thoughts, but we were still left unsure about $100,000 degrees, a classic Labor scare tactic(click here).  John Dawkins, who introduced the HECS fees when Education Minister in the Labor Government in the late 80's, saw the need for reform and urged Labor to become involved (click here).  An Australian Academic from America posed an interesting challenge, saying that the USA looks to us, rather than the other way around (click here), another claims that Free Education never existed (click here), whilst Jacqueline Maley clearly states that "Penny Pinching Puts University Quality at Risk"  (click here) .  Are you confused?  I certainly am, and I am convinced that whilst the Government and most of the University Chancellors want reform, what is it to be and will it effect our middle students?  Wouldn't it be great if such important debates could be more consultative and less partisan?

Sorry about the detail, but there was a lot to share.  I hope your schools are all running smoothly, your February Census showed no surprises and you have no staffing worries.  have a great Term.  I'll be in touch as soon as I know the date for registration





Stephen Aitken
ACSP Executive Officer