The health and safety of school children and staff is the Department of Education and Training's (DET) number one priority, particularly when developing a response to infectious illnesses such as human swine influenza.
Premier Anna Bligh has announced Queensland will adopt the national policy of asking students to stay away from school for seven days if they have recently returned from countries affected by swine flu. Schools will only be closed on advice from the Queensland Chief Health Officer but it's important parents and students are aware of the possibility.
Thanks to all school staff who looked after children on the day of the recent teachers' strike. It was wonderful to see such a coordinated response to ensure no student was left unattended during school hours.
I'm proud of the great job our inclusive schools do to educate young Queenslanders throughout our vast state. Recent media reports on school performance need to be put into context. Comparative tables of academic data can be a useful snapshot of information but don't give the full picture. DET has always given parents information about a school's achievement in literacy and numeracy through annual reports and school websites.
The broader information under the new national reporting framework will be even better. Parents will receive a report outlining their child's achievement as an individual and within their school. They will also have access to information about how their child's school performed overall in a variety of areas and how it performed compared with other schools of similar size and demographics.
The 2009-2010 State Budget will be handed down on June 16. I encourage all staff to learn about its impact on DET. No matter where you live and work in Queensland, we will ensure you have information about the Budget.
Staff members in the Brisbane region are invited to attend a Budget briefing session on June 17 at Education House, where I will outline the key departmental priorities. For more information and RSVPs contact Governance Strategy and Planning Branch policy officer Leanne Hayes by email or phone 3405 5712. Staff outside Brisbane will be able to see a vodcast of the briefing on the DET website.
Thanks to all staff and communities across Queensland who provided responses to the recommendations in Professor Geoff Masters' independent review of the state's primary schools. Submissions closed on May 29. The State Government is considering your feedback in developing its response which will be released soon.
The countdown is on for the state's biggest variety show featuring more than 2000 students, including a massed choir, symphony orchestra, stage band and more than 1000 dancers. Celebrating the state's 150th birthday this year, Creative Generation - State Schools Onstagehas the theme Our people, our places, our stories and headlines Queensland Day celebrations on June 6 at the Brisbane Entertainment Centre.To see our talented students perform in front of about 10,000 people, book your tickets at Ticketek outlets, phone 132 849 or visit the Ticketek website For more information, visit the Creative Generation website.