Week Ending: 16 July 2021
16 JULY 2021
from the CEO
This week has been a stark reminder that COVID-19 remains an ever-present risk. Household dining rooms in Greater Sydney and Victoria are once again doubling as classrooms as lockdowns force our education colleagues interstate back to home learning. New cases of the COVID-19 Delta strain in Queensland and extended restrictions reinforce why we must remain vigilant to the virus and ready to act.
While COVID issues dominated my first week at ISQ, more recently I’ve been meeting with ISQ staff and sector leaders who are generously sharing their knowledge to bring me up to speed on key issues. This week I gained a new-found appreciation for the complex and multi-faceted role of the contemporary school business manager at ISQ’s well-attended Business Manager’s Briefing.
I also shared my goals to drive future school growth in the sector with The Educator this week, while Education Today, picked up a story ISQ shared on the sector’s record-breaking enrolment growth - a stunning outcome in a period of economic upheaval.
I’m excited to be on board and look forward to catching up with member school leaders and staff at upcoming ISQ events.
Enjoy your weekend.
Chief Executive Officer
Qld on alert as Vic joins NSW in lockdown
The Qld Government today declared Victoria a hotspot after the state went into lockdown & urged Queenslanders to take the current COVID threat seriously as testing confirmed the state’s newest cases are the highly infectious Delta variant.
According to a televised update by the Premier, Queensland recorded 1 new COVID-19 case in home quarantine on Friday 16 July linked to the son-father cases announced on 15 July.
Restrictions have been extended to 23 July in 11 Qld Local Government areas, however school students & teachers do not have to wear masks in classrooms, according to Education Minister Grace Grace.
Meanwhile, the NSW Government announced more than 10,000 teachers in COVID-impacted regions would be prioritised for vaccination.
Mining & maths groups critical of draft Australian Curriculum
Criticism of the draft Australian Curriculum is mounting with the Minerals Council of Australia (MCA) raising concerns with revisions to the science curriculum which it says “clearly position the curriculum on biological sciences to avoid the connections between minerals & everyday life due to the perceived negative effects of combustion”, according to a report in The Australian (15/7).
MCA also wants the earth sciences & maths curricula strengthened & maths made compulsory in the senior years, according to its media statement (12/7).
The Mathematical Sciences Institute (MSI) has also withdrawn its support for the draft curriculum raising a range of concerns with the addition, removal & delayed introduction of maths content.
In its media statement, MSI called on the Australian Curriculum, Assessment & Reporting Authority (ACARA) to halt the review, which is due to report to Education Ministers by the end of 2021, saying it was “critical we get this new curriculum right to improve Australia’s declining mathematical literacy”.
‘Stay home if sick’ contributed to lost school days
Public health messaging urging parents to keep children home if they were sick contributed to an increase in lost school days in Qld state schools in 2020, the head of the state’s secondary principal’s association told The Courier-Mail this week (15/7).
The newspaper reported on data released by the Department of Education which showed the overall attendance rate in state schools fell 1.8% to 88.7% in Semester 1, 2020. Year 10s were the least likely to attend school (85.7%), followed by Year 9s (86.1%).
Queensland Secondary Principals’ Association President Mark Breckenridge told The Courier-Mail the increase could largely be attributed to public health messages that urged anyone with cold or flu symptoms to remain home.
Cyber attack on NSW Education Department
A high-profile cyber attack on the NSW Education Department is the latest in a rising tide of online attacks on education institutions around the world.
The Department was forced to deactivate its systems for 24 hours in response to the attack, which happened just hours after schools in Greater Sydney were told to prepare for home learning during lockdown.
Director of Industrial Security, APAC at Darktrace, Hayley Turner, told The Educator (12/7) remote learning had increased the risk of cyber attacks, describing the education sector as “an easy target” because it lacked cyber expertise.
from the sector
Final call for TEACHX nominations
It’s not too late to nominate an outstanding teacher for the QCT’s TEACHX Awards. Get your late nominations in over the weekend or early next week. There are six categories, including the Outstanding Contribution to Teaching category which was taken out by one of our sector’s own in 2020. ISQ would love to see the sector well-represented in the 2021 awards.
There’s nothing small about ISQ’s Big Ideas Summit
Be inspired by innovations in teaching & learning, professional development, leadership, learning spaces & digital education at ISQ’s annual Big Ideas Summit. Independent schools from across the state will be presenting & sharing the best of their “big ideas” & the impact they’ve had in their schools. This year there are two events in Brisbane & Townsville.
latest media releases
QLD & AUST
State School Stars Shine in Performing Arts Extravaganza
Qld Unemployment at its Lowest Rate in More than 12 Years
Have Your Say On Telecommunications Services In Regional, Rural And Remote Australia
Unemployment Rate Drops to 4.9%
Australian Students Working On Their Curious Minds
OTHER ARTICLES & RELEASES
A Long Road to Recovery: National Education Responses to COVID Reveal Key Equity Concerns
Bringing Social Robots into Early Childhood Education
One in Four Report Return to Normal More Than a Year Off
Living Lab Launched in Gold Coast Health and Knowledge Precinct
Australia at Bottom of World Ranking For Access to Early Learning for Three-Year-Olds