Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority

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ACARA (Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority) improves learning for young Australians through world-class school curriculum, assessment and reporting.

Curriculum: Charged as an independent authority, we take a national approach to education through developing and implementing a world-class national curriculum. Visit the Australian Curriculum website for more information.

Assessment: We run the national assessment program – the national tests students take in school – including NAPLAN. We are also responsible for the My School website, which gives information on the performance and resources of more than 9500 schools.

Reporting: We produce a number of reports, notably the National Report on Schooling in Australia – a major report of statistical and related information about educational outcomes.

Want to find out more? Watch our overview video

The new Australian Curriculum website


Top news 

NAPLAN results: Open letter to parents

25 August 2014

More than a million of Australian school-age children in Year 3, 5, 7 or 9 took the NAPLAN tests (the National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy) in May.

The results for this year's tests will be with you over the coming weeks, earlier than in previous years. Some time in August or September – the exact timing varies from state to state – you will receive your child's NAPLAN report.In the NAPLAN report, your child's results will be shown against six levels of achievement.

ACARA CEO Robert Randall wrote a letter to parents, explaining how to read the test results.

Read the full letter to parents by Robert Randall, ACARA CEO (PDF 132 kb)

What's new


Online trials off to a good start

27 August 2014

Since 2012, ACARA has been undertaking a range of research activities to look at the feasibility and practicalities of delivering NAPLAN tests in an online environment. Delivering tests online gives opportunities to administer better testing and provide faster turn-around of results. This is primarily through tailored testing (where test questions are tailored to the individual student’s ability).

Read the full article


ACARA releases update to Australian Curriculum website

27 August 2014

Version 7.1 of the Australian Curriculum website was released today with some new features and iconography. Updates include:

- New icons for each general capability and for most cross-curriculum priorities: In order to make the icons easily accessible and downloadable for third parties, many of the icons on the Australian Curriculum website have been updated.

- Collapsible show/hide navigation panel on the ‘Curriculum’ page: This is collapsible for the curriculum browser and learning area pages to enable columns and text to fit better on the screen.

Read the full article


Australian Financial Review: Education in the age of technology

25 August 2014

Emily Parkinson of the Australian Financial Review writes about school teachers seeking new ways to engage and educate students in the age of digital technologies.

Read 'Education in the age of tablets' article by Emily Parkinson


National Literacy and Numeracy Week 2014: Top achievers awarded

25 August 2014

Schools around Australia have been encouraged to take part in National Literacy and Numeracy Week, which runs from 25 to 31 August 2014.

Minister for Education the Hon. Christopher Pyne MP said National Literacy and Numeracy Week aims to celebrate learning and raise awareness of the importance of reading, writing and mathematics skills.

Read the full article


Spotlight on industry links as National Science Week continues

20 August 2014

The central role of science in underpinning Australia’s many achievements in research and technology development, as well as enhancing our standard of living, is on show as National Science Week continues.

Read the full article


$350 000 for Australian Literacy and Numeracy Foundation

19 August 2014

The Australian Government is investing more than $350 000 to develop a school literacy resources and adult learning project in the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) communities of Indulkana and Mimili.

Read the full article

The Australian: ‘Don't write off NAPLAN tests’

19 August 2014

‘The [NAPLAN] tests provide accountability and transparency and are a valuable feature of Australian education in all sectors. They deserve to retain bipartisan support.’

Read the full ‘Don't write off NAPLAN tests’article

ABC: Interview with ACARA CEO about NAPLAN summary information

19 August 2014

The Chief Executive of the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority, Robert Randall, talks about the latest release of NAPLAN summary information.

See the full video on the ABC website


Children's Book Week: Connect to reading

19 August 2014

Each year since 1945, the Children's Book Council of Australia has hosted Children's Book Week to honour and celebrate the work of Australian authors and illustrators. In 2014 it is held on 16–22 August.
Celebrations focus on the announcement of the Book of the Year and this year's theme, Connect to reading.

Read the full article


The release of 2014 NAPLAN summary (preliminary) information

18 August 2014

Today ACARA has published 2014 NAPLAN summary (preliminary) information. Overall student achievement has remained stable over the 2008–2014 and 2013–14 periods, with some increases in reading, and grammar and punctuation across the 2008–2014 period, and a slight decline in writing.

This information is being released four weeks earlier than in the past. The early release reflects and builds on the Australian Government commitment for a faster turnaround of NAPLAN information. ACARA, with jurisdictions and contractors working together, has worked to shorten the analysis time and an earlier release of the summary information.

Individual student reports will also be released earlier than in past years (the exact timeframe varies between states and territories) with some individual student reports released before the end of August.

Media enquiries regarding this release: Robyn Ziino, 0414 063 872

Read the full article 


Online assessment study starts

18 August 2014

Since 2012, ACARA has been undertaking a range of research activities to look at the feasibility and practicalities of delivering NAPLAN tests in an online environment. Delivering tests online offers opportunities to administer better testing and provide faster turn-around of results.

From today and throughout September, 300 schools are taking part in a study to finalise the targeting of the test design and its branching mechanism.

Read the full article


Partnership with principals brings parenting e-course to primary school communities

18 August 2014

The Australian Primary Principals Association (APPA) and Parentshop announce an Australian first joint initiative that brings online parenting education to primary school communities across the country.

Read the full article


Is hindsight 20/20?

13 August 2014

ACARA's latest blog, 'Hindsight is 20/20, or is it?', features our lead statistician Dr Jose Martinez, formerly of NASA, who tells a story of how astronomers over the years have gained a greater understanding of our universe. Jose poses the question of whether hindsight is 20/20 – and how it can be used to broaden our perspective and make reasoning more comprehensive.


Response to article in the Hobart Mercury claiming NAPLAN is prejudicial to boys

11 August 2014

In an article in today’s Hobart Mercury, Dr Ian Lillico states that NAPLAN is prejudicial to boys due to its format and 'if it included diagrams or oral aspects, or even multiple choice, boys did better'.

In fact, NAPLAN numeracy tests are 75 per cent multiple choice and reading tests are over 90 per cent multiple choice. Over half of the test questions in the numeracy tests contain visual prompts.

Questions included in the final tests have been analysed to ensure that there is no overall differential item functioning by gender – so that the number of items which somewhat favour one gender is balanced by an equal number which somewhat favour the other.


Looking for a career in mathematics?

11 August 2014

The Australian Mathematical Sciences Institute (AMSI) has released the 17th edition of Maths Ad(d)s, a free online publication identifying the scope of careers available to university students who have included mathematics or statistics in their tertiary degree. Endorsed by Christopher Pyne, Federal Minister for Education, the publication calls attention to career opportunities combining mathematics and statistics with health, computing, data analysis, biology, business and meteorology – to name a few.

'By choosing to study mathematics … you will have a unique opportunity to contribute to the long-term prosperity of this country,' Minister Pyne says.

A career in mathematics or statistics is not possible without a strong foundation of maths and numeracy skills developed from an early age – you can view the maths curriculum for Foundation – Year 10 on the Australian Curriculum website.

New NAPLAN information timeline

4 August 2014

In May over a million students in Years 3, 5, 7 and 9 took part in the National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) tests. This information timeline identifies key dates when individual, state and national results of these tests will be made available to parents, schools and the general public.

Read the full article

Click on the image below to see the full NAPLAN information timeline document (PDF 6 mb)




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