Foundations in education are core: Finkel

Dominica Sanda
(Australian Associated Press)

 

Australia’s chief scientist is concerned students who want to study science at university aren’t being prepared well enough at school – partly because of a focus on marks over content.

Alan Finkel says both schools and universities need to review the prerequisites for specialist courses to ensure students succeed.

Speaking at a science education conference in Sydney on Tuesday, Dr Finkel raised concerns about the number of Year 11 students who believed choosing a higher level of maths would hurt their ATAR.

As a result, they ended up in maths-intensive degrees at university without the foundations needed to get them through the first semester, he said.

This is why he thinks it’s important for teachers to inspire children towards maths.

“Mathematics is the language of science,” he said.

“None of us arrive in school at the age of five as native maths speakers.”

He wants schools and universities to work together to ensure students are required to study the right subjects in pursuit of a career.

The role of the ATAR also needs to be clarified so it doesn’t “inadvertently” send the wrong signal to students.

Teachers also need to be equipped with the resources and knowledge to be able to teach students specialist subjects, he said.

“We must ensure that our students are taught to master content – lots of it – and we must ensure that all specialist teachers are subject matter specialists.”

The federal government is pushing for more science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) students in the education system within five to 10 years.

It has committed to extra funding to secure skilled individuals such as engineers or scientist into the teaching profession.

The NSW government on Tuesday announced tougher university prerequisite standards for specialist teachers.

Under the changes, physics, chemistry, biology and environment science teachers will need to demonstrate a solid foundation in their core subjects before teaching in NSW schools by next year.

“The notion that you can instruct, inform and inspire students without a firm understanding of the course content is crazy. Teachers should be masters before they educate apprentices,” NSW Education Minister Rob Stokes said in a statement on Tuesday.

Read it on Apple news

Australian research funds falling behind

(Australian Associated Press)

 

The realisation Iceland spends more per person on important research and development than Australia has sparked calls for significant reinvestment in the sector.

Universities Australia says data from 2015/16 showed for the first time since figures have been kept, Australia’s research investment declined.

“Research expands Australia’s economy, research saves lives, research creates new products and industries that generate jobs,” chief executive Catriona Jackson said on Wednesday.

“But over the past three decades we’ve seen a worrying trend with governments conducting less and less R and D and universities have had to step into the breach to maintain national capacity.”

Australia now spends 1.88 per cent of gross domestic product on research and development, well below the OECD average of 2.38 per cent.

“Australia’s R and D spend as a percentage of GDP is less than Iceland’s. That’s a country with a population smaller than Canberra,” Ms Jackson said.

Universities Australia wants the federal government to keep the Education Investment Fund, after it was suspended in 2015 and slated for closure.

“We welcome the government’s budget commitment to rolling investment in current and new national research infrastructure,” Ms Jackson said.

“But Australia also needs capital funds to build research capacity at universities across the country.

“Closing EIF will deny our world-class researchers the proper resourcing and security they need to keep doing what they do best – making breakthroughs for the betterment of all.”

Read it on Apple news

High school students are prime targets for opportunistic thieves

(KnowRisk)

Is your child at risk?

We all value the benefits and convenience that technology brings and these days, it’s important for students to be immersed in the technological space. That said, there is a downside: New research has found that 78 per cent of Australian high school students are carrying up to $1000 worth of items with them daily in school bags jam-packed with technology, making them easy targets for opportunistic thieves.

The survey of 375 Australian parents with school children over 12 years old showed:

  • 73 per cent carry a mobile phone;
  • 38 per cent carry a laptop;
  • 27 per cent carry a tablet computer;
  • 17 per cent carry an MP3 Player; and
  • 5 per cent carry a digital camera.

More and more, technology is becoming a central part of the classroom and for family communication. Theft or loss of common items of technology from schoolbags is an emerging issue and it’s important to keep these valuables protected when taken outside the home.

Over 80 per cent of the parents surveyed revealed their children are walking around with devices in their bags, making the humble backpack a potential gold mine for thieves.

With so many items of value in one handy, easy-to-carry place, the cost of replacing them could be several hundred to several thousand dollars. Here are some ways you can protect your treasured tech:

  • Don’t bring valuables to school – While this may seem a little uncool, the best way to prevent theft is to leave your valuables at home.
  • Avoid drawing attention to yourself – The less you wave your new technology around, the less people will see it.
  • Get portable item insurance – Portable item insurance is an add-on to a normal home and contents insurance policy and covers you for items taken outside the home.

Source KnowRisk

Read it on Apple news

High school students are prime targets for opportunistic thieves

(KnowRisk)

Is your child at risk?

We all value the benefits and convenience that technology brings and these days, it’s important for students to be immersed in the technological space. That said, there is a downside: New research has found that 78 per cent of Australian high school students are carrying up to $1000 worth of items with them daily in school bags jam-packed with technology, making them easy targets for opportunistic thieves.

The survey of 375 Australian parents with school children over 12 years old showed:

  • 73 per cent carry a mobile phone;
  • 38 per cent carry a laptop;
  • 27 per cent carry a tablet computer;
  • 17 per cent carry an MP3 Player; and
  • 5 per cent carry a digital camera.

More and more, technology is becoming a central part of the classroom and for family communication. Theft or loss of common items of technology from schoolbags is an emerging issue and it’s important to keep these valuables protected when taken outside the home.

Over 80 per cent of the parents surveyed revealed their children are walking around with devices in their bags, making the humble backpack a potential gold mine for thieves.

With so many items of value in one handy, easy-to-carry place, the cost of replacing them could be several hundred to several thousand dollars. Here are some ways you can protect your treasured tech:

  • Don’t bring valuables to school – While this may seem a little uncool, the best way to prevent theft is to leave your valuables at home.
  • Avoid drawing attention to yourself – The less you wave your new technology around, the less people will see it.
  • Get portable item insurance – Portable item insurance is an add-on to a normal home and contents insurance policy and covers you for items taken outside the home.

Source KnowRisk

Read it on Apple news

More career advice in schools: report

Karen Sweeney
(Australian Associated Press)

 

Every Australian high school should have a trained career advisor on staff, a new report suggests.

Schools, businesses and industry should also collaborate to increase the amount of work experience and volunteer work available to high school students.

The report into the transition from high school to work, released on Wednesday, reveals more than half of career advisers work part-time and that only one-in-four young people turn to them for advice.

Young people spend 13 years at school learning about being an active part of the community by getting a job, but only one to six weeks is spent informing them about career choices, the NRMA highlighted in a submission to the committee.

“There is a clear disconnect between providing suitable and appropriate career advice and making sure students are job ready upon leaving school,” they said.

It also found the education system is geared to a transition to university.

University of Melbourne Associate Professor Ruth Schubert told the committee too many people were going into degree-based qualifications when they didn’t need to be.

“We’ve created many problems here with our system. We’re not very efficient or effective,” she said.

The committee came up with 35 recommendations including around careers advisors and work experience.

It also suggested the government give consideration to teacher working conditions and pay to attract and retain good teachers, and acknowledged “significant investment and reform” will be needed to raise the status of vocational education and training, apprenticeships and traineeships.

Read it on Apple news

NAPLAN tests here to stay: minister

Paul Osborne
(Australian Associated Press)

 

Federal Education Minister Simon Birmingham says NAPLAN tests are here to stay, despite concerns they create unnecessary anxiety and a narrow picture of schooling.

More than one million students sat for the tests on Tuesday with one in five swapping pencils for computers for the first time.

NAPLAN tests the reading, writing and maths abilities of children in Years Three, Five, Seven and Nine, providing valuable information to improve education across the country.

Senator Birmingham’s NSW counterpart Rob Stokes says the tests are being misused as a school rating system and an “edu-business” industry has sprung up around it to extort money out of worried parents.

The Australian Education Union says NAPLAN provides a “narrow and incomplete picture” of a student’s education and should only be treated as a snapshot.

The Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority said parents need to remind their children it is “not a big deal”, but rather a short assessment taken only four times during their schooling.

The federal government is considering terms of reference for a possible review of NAPLAN.

However, Senator Birmingham, who visited a research facility in Adelaide on Tuesday, said NAPLAN was “here for the long-term”.

“In terms of NAPLAN, as we stand here, in a world-class research facility, you don’t get world-class researchers without them first having the fundamental basics of literacy and numeracy,” he said.

“It’s important for policymakers to track where our education system is heading, and identify those who are getting the best possible outcomes.”

He said he would receive a report on how well the online system worked and any problems which needed addressing.

Read it on Apple news

NAPLAN tests here to stay: minister

Paul Osborne
(Australian Associated Press)

 

Federal Education Minister Simon Birmingham says NAPLAN tests are here to stay, despite concerns they create unnecessary anxiety and a narrow picture of schooling.

More than one million students sat for the tests on Tuesday with one in five swapping pencils for computers for the first time.

NAPLAN tests the reading, writing and maths abilities of children in Years Three, Five, Seven and Nine, providing valuable information to improve education across the country.

Senator Birmingham’s NSW counterpart Rob Stokes says the tests are being misused as a school rating system and an “edu-business” industry has sprung up around it to extort money out of worried parents.

The Australian Education Union says NAPLAN provides a “narrow and incomplete picture” of a student’s education and should only be treated as a snapshot.

The Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority said parents need to remind their children it is “not a big deal”, but rather a short assessment taken only four times during their schooling.

The federal government is considering terms of reference for a possible review of NAPLAN.

However, Senator Birmingham, who visited a research facility in Adelaide on Tuesday, said NAPLAN was “here for the long-term”.

“In terms of NAPLAN, as we stand here, in a world-class research facility, you don’t get world-class researchers without them first having the fundamental basics of literacy and numeracy,” he said.

“It’s important for policymakers to track where our education system is heading, and identify those who are getting the best possible outcomes.”

He said he would receive a report on how well the online system worked and any problems which needed addressing.

Read it on Apple news

Call to rethink use of Year 12 scores

Katina Curtis
(Australian Associated Press)

 

It’s not Instagram followers or Facebook likes, but it is a number Australian teenagers spend years obsessing over and trying to push as high as possible.

But increasingly, the Australian Tertiary Admission Rank – or Year 12 score – doesn’t determine the rest of their life in quite the way their families and schools might make out.

And education experts say that disconnect is a problem.

The Mitchell Institute at Victoria University has put out a paper calling for a rethink of the need for ATARs, given the ranking is used less and less for its original purpose of determining who should go to university.

Last year, three in five university offers were made without reference to an ATAR.

Just one in four students who started an undergraduate degree were admitted based on that magic number.

“It was designed to be a common framework that was used across the board and to be used for all Year 12 students, but it’s actually not commonly used,” report author Sarah Pilcher told AAP.

“Some universities are having aptitude tests, some universities are having interviews. Universities are already finding diverse ways to admit students yet the emphasis on the ATAR is still all-encompassing at schools.”

While the ATAR – a national ranking of students – does make it easy for universities to compare prospective entrants and target the highest-achieving school leavers for scholarships, its usefulness seems to be coming to an end.

“When there were very few or far fewer university places, it did perform quite a useful function; it’s just that it’s now gone on to be seen as what success is after 13 years of schooling,” institute director Megan O’Connell told AAP.

The emphasis on getting the highest possible score can lead to perverse outcomes both at high school and university.

“We do hear some terrible situations, like in NSW, of students not choosing maths because they think it will diminish their ATAR and then they might go on and do engineering at university and find they’re starting already behind,” Ms O’Connell said.

“And we do hear, particularly from some of our best and brightest students, they’re quite pressured to go into courses like medicine or law if they get top scores, even though it might not be to their liking.”

She would like to see discussion about a system that instead encourages students to choose subjects based on what they like and what they’re good at – and hopefully induces less stress.

The report suggests other methods could include an opt-in ATAR system rather than the existing opt-out one, universities placing more emphasis on a student’s score in school subjects relevant to their desired degree, or developing other ways of recognising the range of accomplishments students accumulate over all their years of schooling.

Read it on Apple news

The ecosystem for great minds to come together

(Australian Associated Press)

 

The Gold Coast is fast transforming from Queensland’s famous glitter strip to a hub of innovation.

Once known for towering real estate, meter maids and schoolies the Gold Coast has fast been diversifying with a clear focus on becoming a “smart city”.

And it seems to be working.

Spurred on by the Commonwealth Games in April, investment has flowed into infrastructure. A new tram line, known as the G link, now snakes from Griffith University to Broadbeach. The council-owned fibre network, buried along the tram tracks to save time and money, will soon deliver the fastest internet connections in Australia – up to ten times as fast as the NBN.

Nowhere, they believe, is the change from tourist town to innovation city more apparent than at the Gold Coast’s Health and Knowledge Precinct.

The 200ha development near Southport has become an internationally recognised centre of science and health excellence, home to Griffith University and the Institute for Glycomics. In 2013, the $1.76 billion Gold Coast University Hospital opened its doors on the site. The Gold Coast private hospital was completed in 2017 at a cost of $283 million. Two tram stations connect the precinct to Broadbeach and Helensvale where commuters can catch the train to Brisbane airport. The precinct will also have access to the council-owned broadband network from 2018.

This April, the HAKP will be home to thousands of athletes and coaching staff competing in the Commonwealth Games. Once the teams depart, the $550 million athlete’s village will be transformed into 1250 residences for staff and students. Up to 9.5 ha of greenfield land will also be released for health and innovation investment. Four of the 16 lots on offer have already been approved for development worth up to $200 million.

In 2019, an $80 million Advanced Design and Manufacturing Institute, specialising in 3D printing and new materials will be built. Childcare provider Bruce Coulson is also reportedly developing a world first centre for special needs children that will incorporate research, training and pediatric care.

Once fully developed the GCHKP says it expects to inject $2.9 billion into the local economy and employ up to 26,000 people.

Di Dixon, the Griffith University project manager in charge of enticing business to the Gold Coast says the 2018 Commonwealth Games has been a catalyst for interest and growth in the precinct.

“That’s the real catalyst for opportunity for this precinct,” Dixon, says.

“It will provide a residential community so people can live, work and play here.”

Like most Gold Coasters, Dixon says you can’t get a better place to work. The Health and Knowledge precinct is within an hour of two international airports and a short drive to the beach. But what sets this precinct apart globally, she says, is the easy collaboration between health and research.

“The fact that you can walk between the hospital and the university – it really provides the ecosystem for great minds to come together and collaborate.”

Ms Dixon hopes the promise of affordable housing and super-fast internet speeds post-Commonwealth Games will push the Gold Coast ahead of similar innovation hubs such as Sydney’s Macquarie Park and Melbourne’s Parkville precinct.

“The unprecedented move by the council of putting in the fibre cable within a city is a game changer for the precinct,” Dixon says.

“It really provides me with another pitch as to why business should come here. We can now work in the global marketplace 24 hours a day, access and send files of particular sizes and look at things like remote and telehealth solutions, which are game changers in terms of healthcare globally.”

International researcher Mark von Itzstein was one of the first to realise the potential of the Gold Coast. Von Itzstein is most well known for the discovery of the anti-flu drug, Relezna, a feat which earned him the cover of Time Magazine. He started the Institute for Glycomics at the Gold Coast Health and Knowledge Precinct in 2000, much to the surprise of his esteemed global colleagues.

“Back in the year 1999 when I made the decision to come to Queensland to start the institute, and I chose the Gold Coast, people said ‘you’re insane, there’s nothing on the Gold Coast,’” Professor von Itzstein says.

But von Itzstein says the Gold Coast reminded him well-known US technology precinct – La Jolla in San Diego.

“Right on the coast with beautiful beaches [La Jolla] has a collection of educational institutions, universities, a biomedical research institute and hospitals,” von Itzstein says.

“That beautiful precinct works together to create new drugs, new vaccines and new diagnostics and I thought we too could be world famous for having the same aspiration of bringing the university and the hospital and industry together.”

In the past few years, the Glycomics Institute has attracted some of the world’s leading researchers including Professor Michael Good, who is conducting the world’s first human trials for a blood-stage whole parasite vaccine against malaria, and Professor Suresh Mahalingam was recently awarded more than $800,000 in funding from the National Health and Medical Research Council to explore the pathobiology of alphavirus infections.

It’s a huge win for a town that many Australians simply think of as a holiday spot. But perhaps it’s the combination of both that’s really attracting the best minds.

“Why the Gold Coast why not Brisbane? Why not Sydney?,” von Itzstein says.

“You couldn’t get a better lifestyle that’s the big part of why they come yes there are excellent facilities but it’s the lifestyle that really attracts them.”

AAP, in collaboration with the City of Gold Coast and Gold Coast Tourism, is publishing a range of newsworthy content in the lead-up to the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.

Read it on Apple news

Govt pushes students to repay debt sooner

Katina Curtis
(Australian Associated Press)

 

The Turnbull government is pushing ahead with plans to make university graduates repay their student debts sooner.

The legislation to cut the HECS-HELP repayment threshold from $55,000 to $45,000, among other measures, was introduced to parliament on Wednesday.

The move was flagged in December’s mid-year budget update, and is an easing of what the government originally wanted to do – cut the threshold to $42,000 – with its higher education changes included in the May 2017 budget.

That original package was stalled in the Senate and will now be dropped.

The cut to the repayment threshold was expected to save the budget $245 million over the next four years.

The bill also includes a new lifetime limit on how much students can borrow from taxpayers of $104,440, or $150,000 for medicine, dentistry and vet science students, saving another $10 million.

Assistant education minister Karen Andrews said Australia had to make sure its higher education system was more sustainable.

“The policy measures will ensure that Australia’s world-leading, income-contingent student loans system can continue to be available to future generations of students,” she told parliament.

“The measures in this bill are proportionate and they help achieve that goal.”

The government wants the new threshold to pass parliament and come into effect from July 1, but it may face a hurdle in the Senate where Labor, the Greens and several crossbenchers were hostile to previous efforts to make changes.

In December, the government announced it would achieve the bulk of its $2.5 billion cuts to universities by freezing the amount of per-student funding for 2018 and 2019, bypassing parliamentary approval.

The sector was shocked by the move, which it said could lead to 10,000 fewer young Australians being able to attend university this year.

Read it on Apple news

Govt pushes students to repay debt sooner

Katina Curtis
(Australian Associated Press)

 

The Turnbull government is pushing ahead with plans to make university graduates repay their student debts sooner.

The legislation to cut the HECS-HELP repayment threshold from $55,000 to $45,000, among other measures, was introduced to parliament on Wednesday.

The move was flagged in December’s mid-year budget update, and is an easing of what the government originally wanted to do – cut the threshold to $42,000 – with its higher education changes included in the May 2017 budget.

That original package was stalled in the Senate and will now be dropped.

The cut to the repayment threshold was expected to save the budget $245 million over the next four years.

The bill also includes a new lifetime limit on how much students can borrow from taxpayers of $104,440, or $150,000 for medicine, dentistry and vet science students, saving another $10 million.

Assistant education minister Karen Andrews said Australia had to make sure its higher education system was more sustainable.

“The policy measures will ensure that Australia’s world-leading, income-contingent student loans system can continue to be available to future generations of students,” she told parliament.

“The measures in this bill are proportionate and they help achieve that goal.”

The government wants the new threshold to pass parliament and come into effect from July 1, but it may face a hurdle in the Senate where Labor, the Greens and several crossbenchers were hostile to previous efforts to make changes.

In December, the government announced it would achieve the bulk of its $2.5 billion cuts to universities by freezing the amount of per-student funding for 2018 and 2019, bypassing parliamentary approval.

The sector was shocked by the move, which it said could lead to 10,000 fewer young Australians being able to attend university this year.

Read it on Apple news

The ecosystem for great minds to come together

(Australian Associated Press)

 

The Gold Coast is fast transforming from Queensland’s famous glitter strip to a hub of innovation.

Once known for towering real estate, meter maids and schoolies the Gold Coast has fast been diversifying with a clear focus on becoming a “smart city”.

And it seems to be working.

Spurred on by the Commonwealth Games in April, investment has flowed into infrastructure. A new tram line, known as the G link, now snakes from Griffith University to Broadbeach. The council-owned fibre network, buried along the tram tracks to save time and money, will soon deliver the fastest internet connections in Australia – up to ten times as fast as the NBN.

Nowhere, they believe, is the change from tourist town to innovation city more apparent than at the Gold Coast’s Health and Knowledge Precinct.

The 200ha development near Southport has become an internationally recognised centre of science and health excellence, home to Griffith University and the Institute for Glycomics. In 2013, the $1.76 billion Gold Coast University Hospital opened its doors on the site. The Gold Coast private hospital was completed in 2017 at a cost of $283 million. Two tram stations connect the precinct to Broadbeach and Helensvale where commuters can catch the train to Brisbane airport. The precinct will also have access to the council-owned broadband network from 2018.

This April, the HAKP will be home to thousands of athletes and coaching staff competing in the Commonwealth Games. Once the teams depart, the $550 million athlete’s village will be transformed into 1250 residences for staff and students. Up to 9.5 ha of greenfield land will also be released for health and innovation investment. Four of the 16 lots on offer have already been approved for development worth up to $200 million.

In 2019, an $80 million Advanced Design and Manufacturing Institute, specialising in 3D printing and new materials will be built. Childcare provider Bruce Coulson is also reportedly developing a world first centre for special needs children that will incorporate research, training and pediatric care.

Once fully developed the GCHKP says it expects to inject $2.9 billion into the local economy and employ up to 26,000 people.

Di Dixon, the Griffith University project manager in charge of enticing business to the Gold Coast says the 2018 Commonwealth Games has been a catalyst for interest and growth in the precinct.

“That’s the real catalyst for opportunity for this precinct,” Dixon, says.

“It will provide a residential community so people can live, work and play here.”

Like most Gold Coasters, Dixon says you can’t get a better place to work. The Health and Knowledge precinct is within an hour of two international airports and a short drive to the beach. But what sets this precinct apart globally, she says, is the easy collaboration between health and research.

“The fact that you can walk between the hospital and the university – it really provides the ecosystem for great minds to come together and collaborate.”

Ms Dixon hopes the promise of affordable housing and super-fast internet speeds post-Commonwealth Games will push the Gold Coast ahead of similar innovation hubs such as Sydney’s Macquarie Park and Melbourne’s Parkville precinct.

“The unprecedented move by the council of putting in the fibre cable within a city is a game changer for the precinct,” Dixon says.

“It really provides me with another pitch as to why business should come here. We can now work in the global marketplace 24 hours a day, access and send files of particular sizes and look at things like remote and telehealth solutions, which are game changers in terms of healthcare globally.”

International researcher Mark von Itzstein was one of the first to realise the potential of the Gold Coast. Von Itzstein is most well known for the discovery of the anti-flu drug, Relezna, a feat which earned him the cover of Time Magazine. He started the Institute for Glycomics at the Gold Coast Health and Knowledge Precinct in 2000, much to the surprise of his esteemed global colleagues.

“Back in the year 1999 when I made the decision to come to Queensland to start the institute, and I chose the Gold Coast, people said ‘you’re insane, there’s nothing on the Gold Coast,’” Professor von Itzstein says.

But von Itzstein says the Gold Coast reminded him well-known US technology precinct – La Jolla in San Diego.

“Right on the coast with beautiful beaches [La Jolla] has a collection of educational institutions, universities, a biomedical research institute and hospitals,” von Itzstein says.

“That beautiful precinct works together to create new drugs, new vaccines and new diagnostics and I thought we too could be world famous for having the same aspiration of bringing the university and the hospital and industry together.”

In the past few years, the Glycomics Institute has attracted some of the world’s leading researchers including Professor Michael Good, who is conducting the world’s first human trials for a blood-stage whole parasite vaccine against malaria, and Professor Suresh Mahalingam was recently awarded more than $800,000 in funding from the National Health and Medical Research Council to explore the pathobiology of alphavirus infections.

It’s a huge win for a town that many Australians simply think of as a holiday spot. But perhaps it’s the combination of both that’s really attracting the best minds.

“Why the Gold Coast why not Brisbane? Why not Sydney?,” von Itzstein says.

“You couldn’t get a better lifestyle that’s the big part of why they come yes there are excellent facilities but it’s the lifestyle that really attracts them.”

AAP, in collaboration with the City of Gold Coast and Gold Coast Tourism, is publishing a range of newsworthy content in the lead-up to the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.

Read it on Apple news

BYO technology hikes back to school costs

Melissa Jenkins
(Australian Associated Press)

 

The rise of BYO technology even among young students means back to school expenses are heftier this year than in the past, a new study finds.

But it’s a prime opportunity for large electronics retailers to get an early year sales boost.

With children across Australia due back in classrooms in the coming week, parents are hitting the stores to stock up on the traditional items of stationery, shoes and lunch boxes, as well as laptops and tablets.

Parents of primary and secondary school children will spend an average of $829 on back to schools items this year, up 43 per cent from 2017, according to a survey of more than 1,000 parents.

Spending on technology such as laptops and tablets is up 50 per cent from 2017.

The typical family will spend $269 on technology, $182 on uniforms, $127 on textbooks, $103 on school shoes and $91 on stationery.

The Commonwealth Bank survey, conducted by ACA Research, estimates $1.7 billion will be spent by parents in back to school purchases this year.

Harvey Norman technology and entertainment general manager Frank Robinson said June used to be the retailer’s best month for personal computer and Mac sales, followed by December and January.

But January is now the busiest month in that category, fuelled by back to school spending.

“It’s been an amazing shift,” Mr Robinson said.

Sales of sturdy backpacks and laptop cases have also increased, he said.

Queensland University of Technology Associate Professor Gary Mortimer, who specialises in retail, said the back-to-school rush provides retailers with a much needed boost.

“The back to school sales period really is an opportunity for retailers to kick off the year on a positive footing,” he said.

Mr Robinson said more parents are using options such as interest free and flexi-rent finance plans as sales of computers have climbed.

The Commonwealth Bank survey also found almost one third of families are using ‘buy now pay later’ options, such as Afterpay, to manage back to school purchases.

Australian Retailers Association executive director Russell Zimmerman said stocking kids for the classroom can be expensive, but savvy parents who shop for the best deals can minimise the outlay.

“Every year we see an increase in back to school supplies online, and with many parents now back at full-time or part-time work, online platforms provide parents with the convenience and flexibility they need to prepare their children for the new school year,” he said.

Read it on Apple news

BYO technology hikes back to school costs

Melissa Jenkins
(Australian Associated Press)

 

The rise of BYO technology even among young students means back to school expenses are heftier this year than in the past, a new study finds.

But it’s a prime opportunity for large electronics retailers to get an early year sales boost.

With children across Australia due back in classrooms in the coming week, parents are hitting the stores to stock up on the traditional items of stationery, shoes and lunch boxes, as well as laptops and tablets.

Parents of primary and secondary school children will spend an average of $829 on back to schools items this year, up 43 per cent from 2017, according to a survey of more than 1,000 parents.

Spending on technology such as laptops and tablets is up 50 per cent from 2017.

The typical family will spend $269 on technology, $182 on uniforms, $127 on textbooks, $103 on school shoes and $91 on stationery.

The Commonwealth Bank survey, conducted by ACA Research, estimates $1.7 billion will be spent by parents in back to school purchases this year.

Harvey Norman technology and entertainment general manager Frank Robinson said June used to be the retailer’s best month for personal computer and Mac sales, followed by December and January.

But January is now the busiest month in that category, fuelled by back to school spending.

“It’s been an amazing shift,” Mr Robinson said.

Sales of sturdy backpacks and laptop cases have also increased, he said.

Queensland University of Technology Associate Professor Gary Mortimer, who specialises in retail, said the back-to-school rush provides retailers with a much needed boost.

“The back to school sales period really is an opportunity for retailers to kick off the year on a positive footing,” he said.

Mr Robinson said more parents are using options such as interest free and flexi-rent finance plans as sales of computers have climbed.

The Commonwealth Bank survey also found almost one third of families are using ‘buy now pay later’ options, such as Afterpay, to manage back to school purchases.

Australian Retailers Association executive director Russell Zimmerman said stocking kids for the classroom can be expensive, but savvy parents who shop for the best deals can minimise the outlay.

“Every year we see an increase in back to school supplies online, and with many parents now back at full-time or part-time work, online platforms provide parents with the convenience and flexibility they need to prepare their children for the new school year,” he said.

Read it on Apple news

BYO technology hikes back to school costs

Melissa Jenkins
(Australian Associated Press)

 

The rise of BYO technology even among young students means back to school expenses are heftier this year than in the past, a new study finds.

But it’s a prime opportunity for large electronics retailers to get an early year sales boost.

With children across Australia due back in classrooms in the coming week, parents are hitting the stores to stock up on the traditional items of stationery, shoes and lunch boxes, as well as laptops and tablets.

Parents of primary and secondary school children will spend an average of $829 on back to schools items this year, up 43 per cent from 2017, according to a survey of more than 1,000 parents.

Spending on technology such as laptops and tablets is up 50 per cent from 2017.

The typical family will spend $269 on technology, $182 on uniforms, $127 on textbooks, $103 on school shoes and $91 on stationery.

The Commonwealth Bank survey, conducted by ACA Research, estimates $1.7 billion will be spent by parents in back to school purchases this year.

Harvey Norman technology and entertainment general manager Frank Robinson said June used to be the retailer’s best month for personal computer and Mac sales, followed by December and January.

But January is now the busiest month in that category, fuelled by back to school spending.

“It’s been an amazing shift,” Mr Robinson said.

Sales of sturdy backpacks and laptop cases have also increased, he said.

Queensland University of Technology Associate Professor Gary Mortimer, who specialises in retail, said the back-to-school rush provides retailers with a much needed boost.

“The back to school sales period really is an opportunity for retailers to kick off the year on a positive footing,” he said.

Mr Robinson said more parents are using options such as interest free and flexi-rent finance plans as sales of computers have climbed.

The Commonwealth Bank survey also found almost one third of families are using ‘buy now pay later’ options, such as Afterpay, to manage back to school purchases.

Australian Retailers Association executive director Russell Zimmerman said stocking kids for the classroom can be expensive, but savvy parents who shop for the best deals can minimise the outlay.

“Every year we see an increase in back to school supplies online, and with many parents now back at full-time or part-time work, online platforms provide parents with the convenience and flexibility they need to prepare their children for the new school year,” he said.

Read it on Apple news