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DG's View

19 January 2010

A new year brings changes, new faces and renewed focus, and 2010 is no different.

One of the Department of Education and Training's biggest changes this year is the establishment of our seven new regional offices which came into effect on January 4. New and "old" faces - our Regional Directors - started work on the same day. I welcome Clive Dixon (FNQ), Mike Ludwig (NQ), Wayne Butler (CQ), Greg Peach (North Coast), Greg Dickman (Darling Downs South West), Glen Hoppner (South East) and Chris Rider (Metropolitan) to their new roles. I also welcome our new Chief Operating Officer Deb Daly who is monitoring the performance of the RDs and has responsibility for TAFE Queensland.  I hope Deb, our RDs and all staff enjoyed their festive break before getting back to business.

Some dedicated staff gave up part of their summer holiday to attend professional development courses in mid-January. More than 1000 primary and secondary teachers throughout Queensland enrolled in 41 one- to five-day programs tailored to improve literacy, numeracy and science standards and to lift student results. The Vacation Professional Development for Teachers Initiative is an integral component of the Literacy and Numeracy National Partnership.

Our second Summer Schools initiative started at 62 sites statewide between January 11 and 21. An additional 10 sites in rural and remote Indigenous communities will offer programs during terms one and two. About 2650 students registered for this intensive teaching program in January to give them extra support in literacy and numeracy before the start of the new school year. I commend all teachers and students for giving up their time to help achieve our goal for Queensland to be among the top-performing states in literacy, numeracy and science.

As part of the Government's commitment to ensure all children throughout the state have access to kindergarten services, two new centres at Stretton and Moorooka in Brisbane are opening for the start of this school year. Construction will also continue throughout 2010 on additional kindergartens throughout the state at Seaforth, near Mackay; Beaconsfield, in Mackay; Oonoonba, in Townsville; and Mudgeeraba on the Gold Coast.

Many of the thousands of students returning to school on January 27 will notice construction has progressed significantly on Building the Education Revolution (BER) facilities over the summer holidays. By the end of January, about 250 Primary Schools for the 21st Century projects are forecast for completion at 149 Queensland state schools. This includes 132 libraries, 108 multipurpose halls and other facilities, such as covered outdoor learning areas. Queensland also recently completed the first Science and Languages Centres for 21st Century Secondary Schools project in Australia at Innisfail State College. For more information, including BER case studies, go to the department's BER website.

I look forward to working with you all this year with our renewed focus on teaching and learning, particularly improving literacy, numeracy and science standards.