What Have We Learnt with Ed Consult this January 2020?

There is so much to learn about home education in Australia. Since the launch December 26th, 2019, there have been over 20 blog posts and just in case you missed out on some of it, here is a list so you can stay informed and up to date.

NSW In Focus – Learn about the numbers, the registration process and TAFE Update.

A Load of General Home Education Support Blogs

Victoria in Focus – Learn about how many and possible funding discussions

And the Launch of the New Ed Consult YouTube Channel

Remember to hit the subscribe button to stay up to date with the latest video release.

If you have any particular home education issue relevant to Australia that you would like to know more about, or you think needs to be clarified in the community, then leave a comment below or send a message to contact@edconsult.com.au

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 #4

This is the fourth 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. Ed Consult does not endorse any of these Government initiatives. They are simply a collection of policies for 2020 that home educators could make use of for their families.

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

National School Reform Agreement—Commonwealth contribution to national policy initiatives

“The Australian Government will contribute to the costs of implementing national policy initiatives developed with the states and territories to support implementation of the National School Reform Agreement. The initiatives will focus on strategic reform in areas that will have the most impact on student achievement and school improvement, to support every child to realise their full learning potential. By signing up to the Agreement, governments commit to a sustained reform effort that will drive improved student outcomes and excellence in the classroom.

The National School Reform Agreement, developed through the Council of Australian Government’s Education Council, has been informed by recommendations of the Review to Achieve Educational Excellence in Australian Schools, led by Mr David Gonski AC and the Independent Review into Regional, Rural and Remote Education This measure builds on the 2017-18 measure: Quality Schools—true needs‑based funding for Australia’s schools.”

Not very relevant to home educating parents, but it is good to know about the national education reform.

Response to the Review of the Socio‑Economic Status Score Methodology

“The Australian Government will provide a further $4.5 billion from 2018-19 to 2028-29 ($1.2 billion over four years from 2018‑19) to implement recommendations of the National School Resourcing Board’s Review of the socio‑economic status score methodology. This will help ensure funding to non‑government schools flows to students who need it most. The measure includes:

  • $3.2 billion to introduce, from the 2020 school year, a fairer and more equitable method for calculating Australian Government funding for non‑government schools, which uses parental income to measure a school community’s capacity to contribute to their school’s costs;
  • $170.8 million over two years from 2018‑19 to provide funding certainty for non-government schools for the 2019 school year; and
  • $1.2 billion over 10 years from the 2020 school year to establish the Choice and Affordability Fund to address specific challenges in the non‑government school sector, such as supporting schools in drought‑affected areas, schools that need help to improve performance, and to enable parental choice in the schooling system”

As you can read, there is substantial assistance to private schools to help enable parental choice to choose a private school. But no funding for home educated families, especially families struggling to fund the education of children with disabilities.

School Funding – Additional support for students

“The Australian Government will provide targeted additional funding from 2018‑19 over four years to support student achievement and school improvement, particularly in disadvantaged communities including those in remote and regional locations. This funding includes:

  • $9.8 million over four years for non‑government distance education schools, which provide an alternative for families where mainstream schooling is not appropriate for reasons including students’ geographic isolation, health issues or learning difficulties; and
  • $2.8 million over two years to extend the Flexible Literacy for Remote Primary Schools Program pilot into the 2019 school year, to help improve literacy outcomes by trialling flexible teaching methods.”

It would be a leap forward for home educators to be invited to the independent schools’ funding meetings. However, in the interim, it would be great if remote primary school’s could include flexible enrolments in all states rather than just a few to access specialist literacy and numeracy intensive courses if that is helpful or desirable for home educated students.

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 #3

This is the third 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.

Skills Package—delivering skills for today and tomorrow

“The Australian Government commissioned the Expert Review of Australia’s Vocational Education and Training (VET) System in late 2018, conducted by the former New Zealand Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment, the Hon. Steven Joyce. In response to the review, the Australian Government is providing a comprehensive package of VET initiatives, totalling $525.3 million over five years from 2018-19.

The Skills Package—delivering skills for today and tomorrow seeks to reposition the sector to deliver the skills needed for Australia’s future prosperity and address issues faced by today’s workforce, including low literacy and numeracy, and a lack of digital skills, while tackling priority skills shortage areas. The Government’s response to the review includes a number of measures that will specifically benefit Australians in regional areas:

  • $9.9 million over three years to establish a new Indigenous delivery pilot of a language, literacy, numeracy and digital (LLND) program to provide project based delivery of LLND skills to individuals in remote Indigenous communities in four pilot areas.
  • The establishment of ten Training Hubs across Australia ($67.5 million over five years) to trial supporting school‑based vocational education in regions with high youth unemployment, with an aim of creating better linkages between schools and local industry, and other skills development measures.
  • $8.2 million over three years to expand the Commonwealth Scholarships Program for Young Australians. This will provide up to 400 scholarships nationally that will support people to participate in vocational education and training with strong pathways to jobs in areas of skills needs.
  • The Government’s Delivering Skills for Today and Tomorrow package includes a range of targeted initiatives that respond to immediate priorities and position the VET system for the future. These will benefit individuals and employers across Australia, including in regional areas. The initiatives include:
  • $42.4 million over four years to establish a new National Careers Institute and appoint a National Careers Ambassador to raise the profile of the VET sector and provide better careers information for all working-age Australians to support and inform their study and career choices, including an information portal that centralises career and education pathways information.
  • $52.5 million over four years to establish a new LLND program to upskill at-risk workers. This includes LLND training to support over 11,000 workers with low-level language, literacy, numeracy and digital skills.
  • $200.2 million over four years from 2019-20 (and $147.5 million in 2023-24) to establish a new Additional Identified Skills Shortage Payment to boost existing incentives for areas of identified skills needs to support up to 80,000 new apprentices over five years, as well as simplifying and streamlining the Australian Apprenticeship Incentives Program.
  • The establishment of a National Skills Commission ($48.3 million over four years) and national pilot of Skills Organisations ($41.7 million over four years). The Commission will form an integral part of systemic long-term reform to the sector. Two national Skills Organisations will be piloted in the areas of digital technologies and the human services workforce to trial new, industry-led methods of qualification development and assessment.
  • $20.1 million over four years from 2019-20 to better identify emerging skills needs in the Australian economy through phase three of the Jobs and Education Data Infrastructure Project, along with simplifying students’ access to their education and training records by expanding the Unique Student Identifier to all higher education students and developing a centralised repository for students’ education and training records.
  • $350,000 in 2019-20 to support the National Rugby League’s (NRL) VET Apprenticeship Awareness Program. The funding will help the NRL provide ongoing player and community education, including promoting their NRL VET ambassadors who share their success stories and help promote the value of Australian Apprenticeships and VET qualifications.
  • The Government is also providing $34.2 million of additional funding in 2019-20 to the six signatory states and territories of the Skilling Australian Fund (SAF) National Partnership Agreement to support initiatives to boost apprenticeships and traineeships.”

Ignoring the self congratulatory language from the Federal Government, we should all be looking for opportunities for our home educated children.

National School Reform Agreement—Commonwealth contribution to national policy initiatives

The Australian Government will contribute to the costs of implementing national policy initiatives developed with the states and territories to support implementation of the National School Reform Agreement. The initiatives will focus on strategic reform in areas that will have the most impact on student achievement and school improvement, to support every child to realise their full learning potential. By signing up to the Agreement, governments commit to a sustained reform effort that will drive improved student outcomes and excellence in the classroom.

The National School Reform Agreement, developed through the Council of Australian Government’s Education Council, has been informed by recommendations of the Review to Achieve Educational Excellence in Australian Schools, led by Mr David Gonski AC and the Independent Review into Regional, Rural and Remote Education This measure builds on the 2017-18 measure: Quality Schools—true needs‑based funding for Australia’s schools.

It would be a step forward for home educators to be invited to the independent schools’ funding meetings.

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 #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.