As Queenslanders celebrate World Teachers' Day today, I would like to convey an extra special thank you to all of our school, TAFE and early childhood education teachers. Teachers make a difference in the lives of so many young Queenslanders by giving them a flying start to their education in the early years, laying strong educational foundations while at school, and preparing them for further study and life success in adulthood. World Teachers' Day is a wonderful opportunity to recognise the dedication and professionalism of our teaching workforce. The winners of this year's Smart Classrooms Regional Teacher Awards were announced today, with 21 teachers receiving $1500 each in professional development grants to further incorporate information and communication technologies (ICT) in the classroom. This is just one of many examples of the exceptional skills of our teachers. I encourage everyone to mark World Teachers' Day today by acknowledging the teachers who have provided quality learning experiences for themselves or their children.
Queensland state schools and the wider education community will take to the red carpet tonight to see some of our most innovative and successful school-based programs "up in lights". State winners will be announced at the 2010 Showcase Awards for Excellence in Schools gala dinner at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre. Of the 24 state finalists, eight will receive top honours and a $20,000 development grant to further develop their winning programs. I congratulate all of our state finalists and wish them all the very best for tonight. A list of state winners will be published on the Education website from tomorrow, Saturday 30 October.
Representatives from TAFE and training will have a chance to help shape the future direction of Australian vocational education and training (VET) by joining in the national discussion on how to increase participation and productivity in training. Skills Australia will hold forums next month to discuss a plan for coordinated action by all states and territories. Skills Australia has released the Creating a future direction for Australian VET discussion paper which includes proposals for a revitalised national apprenticeship system, stronger partnerships between training providers, government agencies, community organisations and employers, and a new approach to VET regulation. Skills Australia is inviting written submissions from the wider VET community until 26 November.
The Queensland Schools Alliance Against Violence delivered a report this week on the collaborative efforts of the state and non-state education sectors to reduce violence and bullying in Queensland schools. One of the recommendations of the Working Together report was to engage an anti-bullying expert to provide regular advice to policy-makers and schools. It is my pleasure to welcome high profile psychologist Dr Michael Carr-Gregg to the role. School staff and parents may remember Dr Carr-Gregg from the informative Action Against Bullying Education Series earlier this year. I would like to congratulate Professor Ian O'Connor and members of the Queensland Schools Alliance Against Violence for their considerable progress over the past nine months. Staff and parents are encouraged to visit the Education website for more information about our anti-violence in schools campaign, including webinars for parents.
School financial information will be published on the Australian Government's MySchool website in early December. The website will provide details of recurrent revenue and capital expenditure for every school in Australia. I encourage principals to preview their school's data on the MySchool website from 8 - 14 November, before it is made available to the public on 3 December. An information pack to help principals manage enquiries from their local school communities has been developed and will be available soon. Financial data for Queensland state schools will also be available to authorised users of the OneSchool application from December. Please visit OnePortal for further information and updates.
A once-in-a-generation clash of dates will mean that staff can enjoy a rare five-day long weekend next April. The Queensland Government has declared public holidays for Friday 22 April (Good Friday), Monday 25 April (Anzac Day) and a substitute public holiday on Tuesday 26 April for Easter Monday. In addition, schools will have a student-free day on Friday 15 April and a week's holiday from Monday 18 April. Staff and students will return to work and school on Wednesday 27 April.
If you have any queries regarding departmental initiatives, please send them to the Inquiries Mailbox.
For more news go to OnePortal or the Training Employee Portal (DETE employees only) under Marketing and Communication, Newsletters.