Next week is the last week of school for term one. Our students finish on Thursday, 14 April, with Friday a professional development day for teaching staff. It has been a hectic start to the year with floods affecting 75 per cent of the state and tropical cyclones affecting the Far North Queensland coast. I would like to thank all our staff who have worked hard to make sure schools and TAFEs opened on time and there was minimal interruption to students. Term two starts on Wednesday 27 April, after the Easter and Anzac Day long weekend. I hope everyone enjoys their holidays and comes back refreshed.
More than 130 TAFE Queensland staff from across the state converged on Brisbane this week for the Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) Summit. It was designed to encourage teachers involved in RPL to exchange their stories as well as hearing from specifically targeted guest speakers from industry. RPL allows applicants to achieve recognition of their skills and experience towards a nationally recognised qualification. To learn more please visit TAFE's website .
Early childhood education and care services in areas impacted by flooding and cyclones, and that are able to demonstrate hardship, may be able to have certain child care licensing fees waived or refunded this year. The waiver or refund of the $300 licence renewal fee, or the $50 licence replacement fee, is one way the State Government is helping struggling operators who offer services including long day care, kindergarten, outside school hours care and family day care to thousands of Queensland children. The State Government is offering to waive or refund fees to those operators who can clearly demonstrate hardship, to enable services to operate as their communities continue to rebuild. Child care licensees in affected areas can contact their local DET regional office to discuss the application requirements.
Earlier this week I announced an update on the Voluntary Separation Program across the Queensland Public Service. The program, which has now been approved and will begin from July 2011, is different to previous schemes and initiatives such as Voluntary Early Retirement (VER) schemes. Please note, the program is targeted towards non-frontline service areas. Some preliminary details of the program are available in the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs ) at the Public Service Commission website . As soon as updated information about the whole-of-government Voluntary Separation Program is available and I have details on how it will be implemented in DET, I will advise staff.
More than 1500 talented students from Queensland state schools will come together in July to mark the seventh annual Creative Generation - State Schools Onstage at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre. The event is a celebration of the wealth of talent in Queensland state schools. With a huge cast including a symphony orchestra, massed choir and dancers, drama students and talented featured singers, Creative Generation - State Schools Onstage 2011 is not to be missed. I encourage you to go along and support our state school students. Tickets are on sale now through Ticketek or visit the Creative Generation website.
Nominations close next Friday for students to join me as Director-General for a Day. Two senior state school students will job shadow my role on Wednesday 25 May 2011, offering an insight into the workings of the department and how it relates to schools. Students should complete a nomination form, available from the SEW website, with an endorsement from their school principal and submit before Friday 15 April 2011. I look forward to announcing the two students in early May.
An exciting new mentoring program for women, the Inspiring Women's Mentoring Program, will begin on 4 May 2011 within DET in line with our commitment to the Women in Leadership Strategy 2010-2013. The 12-week program is targeted at women in A03-A07 roles in all areas of the department, including teachers and trainers. The program focuses on peer mentoring via teleconference and a DVD tutorial program that is accessible to employees all over the state and can be done in their own time. Registrations will be accepted until 21 April 2011. To apply email email@example.com or more information is on the diversity website.
If you have any queries regarding departmental initiatives, please send them to the Inquiries Mailbox.