Welcome back to our teachers and school staff for the start of Semester 2.
Last week Education and Training Minister Geoff Wilson announced a major review of school disciplinary processes in an effort to reduce violence and bullying in our schools.
I commend principals and teachers throughout the state for taking strong action to combat unacceptable behaviour as recent data shows.
The State Government is investing more than $28 million in behaviour support programs in 2009-10.
As part of the review announced by the Minister, Education Queensland will consult a bullying expert to help develop better statewide strategies to tackle these issues.
We will hold a special meeting of the Statewide Behaviour Committee to consider giving principals stronger powers to deal with poor student behaviour.
Schools will also review their Responsible Behaviour Plans and work with their communities to find ways to reduce bullying, including cyber bullying, and violence in their classrooms and playgrounds.
I want to remind principals they have my and the department's full support in dealing with poor student behaviour. Teachers and students have the right to teach and learn in a safe environment and these new measures will help to ensure this.
Review of primary schooling
As you will know, the State Government recently announced it endorsed all five recommendations of Professor Geoff Masters' Queensland Education Performance Review.
The Government's response to the recommendations took into account community feedback including from principals and teachers for which I thank you.
There will be some significant changes in our schools including literacy, numeracy and science testing for all new Queensland primary school teachers before they are registered.
We will work with universities to ensure students entering teaching courses are tested on their literacy, numeracy and science knowledge to identify any gaps in learning.
A new Queensland Education Leadership Institute will be established next year to train and support school leaders, and all primary school teachers will be required to undertake professional development in literacy, numeracy and science.
The State Government will also employ 80 literacy and numeracy coaches, 100 extra science teachers and 15 Science Sparks trainers, as outlined in the recent State Budget.
Congratulations to our most talented high school musicians and teachers who took part in the Creative Generation Excellence Awards in Instrumental Music gala concert in Brisbane during the school holidays.
The outstanding performance at the Queensland Performing Arts Centre was the result of a two-week intensive residential program in which students learnt from some of Australia's best conductors and musicians.
View some of the highlights in the gallery.
The creative spirit will continue this term with submissions in the Creative Generation Excellence Awards in Visual Art and Design due on July 24, followed by the Creative Generation Excellence Awards in Film, TV and New Media workshops and presentation ceremony in August.