Anxiety of Year 12 Students Wholly Unjustified. An ATAR is NOT Necessary for Tertiary Studies.

The Victorian Premier, Mr Andrews, whose eldest son is in Year 12, said the Victorian Government was committed to ensuring all students were able to get an Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR).

“It is my aim,” he said. “If they can get an ATAR, if not within this calendar year, then very soon thereafter. We’ve got six or eight weeks at the end of the year that we can catch up.”

Victorian Premier Mr Andrews

This is where the ignorance of our politicians and education leadership about what education can look like is failing Australian teenagers today causing wholly unnecessary stress and anxiety.

Students do not need an ATAR to start university

With only an average of 25% of all university admissions utilising the ATAR system, clearly 75% of successful applications to university studies demonstrates that there are other ways for year 12 students of 2020, to enter university without the school ATAR system.

Ed Consult has published a comprehensive list of alternative pathways. If you are looking for information on university access, then start right here

Whether you have had your year 12 studies interrupted, or are simply home educated, there are many alternative pathways to start your tertiary education studies. There is no need to repeat year 12 as suggested by the well meaning but ill informed Victoria Premier, Mr Andrews.


Further invaluable information for alternative pathways to tertiary studies in Australia.

Ed Consult. Supporting Home Educators Across Australia.

Video – Federal Government Funding Policies 2020

Video

Any support that home educators can take advantage of is a help. As home educators, you cannot ask to partake in funding initiatives if you don’t know about them.

Read a series of blog posts below exploring possible funding policies that may be utilised by home educators across Australia if you ask.

Ed Consult. Supporting Home Educators Across Australia.

Federal Government Funding Initiatives 2020 Blog Series #5

This is the fifth blog on Federal Government Funding Initiatives for 2020.

Here are the next excerpts from the Australian Government Department for Infrastructure, Transport, Cities and Regional Development for 2020.

Online Teaching and Learning Courses—support mathematics and phonics

The Australian Government will provide $9.5 million over four years from 2019-20 to strengthen the capacity of teachers across Australia to teach mathematics and phonics through freely available, nationally coordinated, high quality professional learning and resources. This initiative will deliver:

  • Mathematics Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) for teachers of Foundation to Year 10 students, provide supporting face-to-face professional learning and a repository of teaching and learning resources through an online Mathematics Hub. It aims to inspire Australian school students to learn mathematics and equip them to become our future mathematical and technological innovators.
  • Online learning and teaching resources to support phonics education for the early years of school. This initiative will provide teachers with ready access to teaching and formative assessment resources to ensure the students who need the most support to learn to read get the help they need.

The online courses and resources will be freely available to all Australian teachers and students, with resources being readily accessible to those living in rural and remote locations, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. The mathematics and phonics online resources are designed to support teachers and provide professional learning opportunities.

Ed Consult has written to the Federal Minister for Education Hon Dan Tehan, to enquire where these resources can be found and if home educators are able to utilise these opportunities too. Stay tuned to find out more when a reply is received. This may take many months though.

See a list of other blogs in this series as they are published:

Follow this blog to find out about other initiatives that are being rolled out by the Federal Government in 2020. Perhaps it is time to start asking for a piece of the pie?

Ed Consult. Supporting Home Educators Across Australia.

Federal Government Funding Initiatives 2020 Blog Series #2

This is the second blog on Federal Government Funding Initiatives. See here for a list of other blogs in this series as they are published:

Any support for home educators in Australia is useful. Over a few posts Ed Consult will list a series of Federal Government policy changes that may be of use to home educators if we ask. It is also worth noting what is denied to the home educated student compared to their schooled peers.

Here are a few excerpts from the Australian Government Department for Infrastructure, Transport, Cities and Regional Development for 2020.

Increase HELP loan limit for Aviation Courses

“The Australian Government will amend the Higher Education Support Act 2003 to increase the combined Higher Education Loan Program (HELP) loan limit to $150,000 (indexed by CPI) for eligible students undertaking aviation courses at a VET Student Loans approved provider from 1 January 2020. The increased limit recognises that existing loan limits are insufficient to obtain the licences and ratings required for most practical commercial aviation employment. The increase will improve accessibility to courses and better support students and the commercial aviation sector.”

Those home educators looking into aviation as a course for their students should enquire further.

Strengthening Higher Education in Regional Australia—additional support for students and universities

” The Australian Government is providing $134.8 million over four years from 2018‑19 to strengthen higher education enrolment in regional Australia by funding additional study places, scholarships and enhanced facilities to increase accessibility. The measure includes $92.5 million over four years from 2018‑19 to support more students at five regionally focused universities: the University of the Sunshine Coast, James Cook University, the University of Newcastle, Central Queensland University and Federation University Australia. The measure also includes $42.3 million over four years from 2018‑19 to provide:

  • an additional 1,955 scholarships in 2019, valued at up to $18,000 each, for students undertaking Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, Health and Agriculture tertiary qualifications—more than doubling the 1,200 scholarships previously available under the Rural and Regional Enterprise Scholarships announced in the 2017-18 Budget to provide $24.0 million over four years from 2017-18 to 2020-21 as part of the Australian Government’s 2016 election commitments;
  • support for additional Regional Study Hubs, for a total 16 Hubs across 22 locations to improve access to higher education for students from rural and remote Australia. This builds on the Regional Study Hubs announced in the 2017-18 Budget, which provided $16.7 million from 2018-19 to 2021‑22 to improve access to higher education for students from rural and remote Australia by supporting the establishment and operation of regional study hubs. Such hubs typically support regional students to study courses locally delivered by distance from any Australian university by providing greater access to study support and infrastructure; and
  • support for the development of a National Regional, Rural and Remote Higher Education Strategy, as part of the Government’s response to Emeritus Professor John Halsey’s Independent Review into Regional, Rural and Remote Education.

This builds on the Australian Government’s existing commitment of $123.6 million from 2017‑18 to 2021-22 for additional Commonwealth supported places to support expansion into regional areas. The University of the Sunshine Coast will receive funding for an additional 1,200 ongoing bachelor places in 2020, growing to 3,600 ongoing places in 2022, at a new campus in Moreton Bay. The University of Tasmania will receive funding for 1,000 ongoing places from 2019 to support the Northern Tasmanian Transformation Project. Southern Cross University will receive funding for an additional 105 ongoing places in 2019 and 210 ongoing places in 2020. These places, which are expected to grow to 315 ongoing places by 2021, will be utilised in allied health courses at a new campus in Coffs Harbour.”

Australian Apprenticeships—increased support

” The Australian Government has increased support for Australian Apprenticeships, with $27.6 million over four years from 2018‑19 to extend eligibility for the Support for Adult Australian Apprentices Incentive to apprentices aged 21 years and over (the current eligible age is 25 years and over). Extending eligibility to include apprentices aged 21 to 24 increases the support available for all Adult Australian Apprentices and provides a stronger incentive for employers to engage more adult apprentices in areas of skills needs.

To find out more about apprenticeships in Australia, click here.

Follow this blog to find out about other initiatives that are being rolled out by the Federal Government in 2020. Perhaps it is time to start asking for a piece of the pie?

Ed Consult. Supporting Home Educators Across Australia.

Time for a Bush Fire Unit Study?

Is Your Family Prepared? What can you learn together today to help you in the future?

In the summer of 2019/2020, Australia is in the midst of some of the worst fire conditions with low humidity, high winds, and large fuel loads on the ground. Every other bush fire victim who has lost everything say, “you never think it will happen to you”.

Here are a list of resources and suggestions on what we should all know about bush fires and how to be prepared. Use these resources to create a unit study appropriate for your family’s circumstances. There are so many home educating families who have already lost their homes or are in the path of oncoming fire grounds. The Ed Consult family is in the same position. Ed Consult has decided to learn what we need to know so that we can make the difficult decisions; do we stay and defend or do we evacuate and is evacuation even possible?

We can all use this summer period to teach our children what we all need to know to be able to cope with the harsh Australian environment.

Where to find information

Education Resources

  • ABC BTN (Behind The News) has created an Australian Curriculum linked activity called “Bushfire Escape”.
  • This page by the NSW Rural Fire Service has a wealth of links for fire related information.
  • Click here to find youtube videos for education again provided by the NSW Rural Fire Service.
  • Here is a page to create a bushfire survival plan by the Rural Fire Service NSW that can be used by all Australians.
  • The Bushfire CRC has produced an ebook for parents on how to talk to children about bushfire preparation and safety. The ebook, “Making a bushfire plan? Involve your kids!” is based on the PhD research of Briony Towers from RMIT University. Here is a link to it’s download page:
  • ABC Education has a wide range of materials.
  • A Resource for younger children
  • From Victorian bushfire education

What if we do choose to stay and defend our home? What does that look like?

Firstly, make sure you have a radio with batteries and take some cash out of the ATM. There are large areas of the south coast of NSW that are without power and will remain so for the foreseeable future which has meant no internet, and no EFTPOS to purchase supplies without cash. If you no longer have access to mobile wifi internet, tune into your local ABC radio channel to keep up to date with the local information. See here for a link to your local ABC frequency.

Below is an excerpt from Joan Webster OMA Essential Bush Fire Safety Tips

“Although data states that 2/3 of Black Saturday [2009] fatalities died while sheltering in or near their house, research by bushfire scientists revealed that they did not die BECAUSE they were sheltering. They died because they did not know how to shelter safely.

SO WHEN THE BUSHFIRE EMERGENCY MESSAGE IS “It is too Late to Leave, You Should Take Shelter and Stay Indoors”.

WHAT SHOULD YOU ACTUALLY DO IF YOU CANNOT SHELTER IN A BUILDING?

  • Shelter behind a wall; beside a large fire resistant tree (that has no flammable undergrowth); in or beside a car; in a dam (if no vegetation is near either), in a ditch, (cover yourself with earth or blanket); crouch beneath a blankets (must be PURE WOOL) on bare ground or an already burnt area.
  • people have withstood the most catastrophic conditions.

IF YOU CAN SHELTER IN A BUILDING – Before you go inside:

  • Shut off gas and electricity at the mains.
  • Put pets inside: dogs on leash, cats in covered cages.
  • Take in outdoor furniture, doormats, hanging baskets, plastic pot plants.
  • When you are inside:
  • Make sure all doors and windows are securely shut.
  • Turn off air conditioners; cover their internal vents.
  • If windows are unshuttered, cover with blankets (must be PURE WOOL), heavy quality quilts, foil or wet towels.
  • Move flammable furniture away from windows.
  • Close internal doors to limit fire spread if embers enter and ignite inside.
  • Put on protective clothing and nose mask and drink often.
  • Keep blankets (must be PURE WOOL) handy.
  • Cool off when possible.
  • Watch the conditions outside if possible through a small window or peephole. Do not open a door or window to look outside.
  • When you are sure flaring shrubs have blackened, it’s safe to go out again. (Burning tree trunks do not generally emit killing radiant heat.)

PASSIVE SHELTERERS – This is what the children should be doing.

  • DO NOT SHELTER IN AN INNER ROOM. Not in the hallway. Not in the bath. If you shelter in ANY kind of inner room – no matter how many doors it has – you could be trapped. Embers may have ignited sub-floor or wall cavities or rafters in the ceiling space,. Flaming walls or ceiling could collapse on you. Toxic fumes from smouldering furnishings, synthetic furniture or wall linings could overcome you.
  • STAY BY A DOOR THAT EXITS TO OUTSIDE in protective clothing and with blankets (must be PURE WOOL).
  • It is vital for passive shelterers to exit as soon as the potentially killing radiant heat from flames has died down.

ACTIVE SHELTERERS – These are the people defending their property.

  • Take hose, sprayers and ladder inside with you.
  • Fill bath & troughs with water, immerse towels, roll up and place at door gaps and window ledges. Plug keyholes with play dough, blue-tack or soap.
  • Fill containers (e.g. garden sprayers) with water; put these, with dippers, mops etc, in each room.
  • Watch for invading embers. Particularly in the ceiling space, through windows, gaps under doors. Spray or hit with wet mop any sparks, embers or smouldering furnishings.
  • If any ignition cannot be extinguished, close the door of that room.
  • Maintain easy access to an exit door.
  • Never go outside during a flame front to douse an outside ignition.

EXITING

  • Exit with great care, preferably from a door that is sheltered from the wind.
  • Wear protective clothing & nose cover, cover yourself with your blanket (must be PURE WOOL), crouch, lower your eyelids and open the door gradually.
  • The quintessential bushfire survival resource is a HEAVY DUTY PURE WOOL BLANKET.
  • Covered with their blanket and with a flask of water people have withstood the most catastrophic conditions.”

You can follow Joan Webster on Facebook. Extracted from Essential Bushfire Safety Tips (CSIRO 2012), www.publish.csiro.au/pid/6969.htm (If you can’t afford to buy it – most libraries have a copy.)

Let’s prepare our children now for when they grow up and are defending their own families in the future. Take care.

Ed Consult. Supporting Home Educators Across Australia.

Federal Government Funding Initiatives 2020 Blog Series #1

Any support for home educators in Australia is useful. Over a few posts Ed Consult will list a series of Federal Government policy changes that may be of use to home educators if we ask. It is also worth noting what is denied to the home educated student compared to their schooled peers.

Here are a few excerpts from the Australian Government Department for Infrastructure, Transport, Cities and Regional Development for 2020.

Extension of Preschool Funding Arrangements

“The Australian Government has committed a further $453.1 million to provide universal access to 15 hours of quality preschool a week in the year before school, through to the end of 2020, and to undertake the related National Early Childhood Education and Care Collection. This builds on the previous decision to provide Commonwealth support for preschool until the end of 2019 and will benefit around 350,000 children throughout Australia, 100,000 of whom are estimated to live in regional Australia.

The Smith Family School Student Support

An additional $1.4 million will be invested to fund work by The Smith Family to work with state and territory governments and disadvantaged communities on strategies to further improve preschool participation, particularly for families in regional and remote communities, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children.”

It is worth testing if the Smith Family initiative will also support home educators in need. https://www.thesmithfamily.com.au/

Arts Education

“The Australian Government will invest $3.3 million in three school-based arts education programs: Music Australia’s Music Count Us In, the Song Room’s Transformational Learning through Creativity, and Bell Shakespeare’s National Education Program. Together, the three programs cover all five elements of the Arts learning area of the Australian Curriculum—music, drama, dance, visual arts and media arts – and will promote student engagement and support students’ social and emotional wellbeing.

This funding will benefit an estimated 786,000 students and teachers in Australian schools and support delivery of these arts programs throughout Australia, with a focus on improving access to arts education for disadvantaged schools in regional and remote areas or low socio-economic areas.”

This is another initiative that may be useful for home education cooperatives. Contact your home education regulatory body in your state or territory to see if your local coop can be part of this scheme. You won’t know unless you ask.

Follow this blog to find out about other initiatives that are being rolled out by the Federal Government. Perhaps it is time to start asking for a piece of the pie.

Ed Consult. Supporting Home Educators Across Australia.