Gillard vs Premiers & Universities
So Julia Gillard has unveiled yet another grand plan, and this time on her chosen ground of education. And obviously the vast increases in spending on schools and students, and particularly the most disadvantaged, should be a vote winner. But as usual, the communication has been flawed, and in the process she has picked two new fights: one with the premiers and one with the universities.
What it takes to shift class in Australia
The secret life of them
I went to an information night held by one such college. When I phoned beforehand, I was advised the company did not teach “generalised maths and English skills”, but focused on “techniques for taking scholarship or selective entry–school examinations”. The session took place on a Sunday evening in the small hall of a leafy primary school. On arrival I was handed a clipboard, a stac
Students getting into the groove
Notes from a Small Town
In the music room of Trafalgar Primary School, a Grade 1 boy on the drums has the straight-faced insouciance of an old pro, his shoulders bobbing with the rhythm. Second-graders take keyboards and bass, a third-grader the guitar. They’re accompanying a pair of vocalists from Grade 4, trilling Fleetwood Mac’s ‘You Can Go Your Own Way’. Their teacher, the tall, heavy-set Mr Smith, jams alongside them. In long shorts, a checked shi