ACARA is committed to the development of a high-quality curriculum for all Australian students, which promotes excellence and equity in education. All students are entitled to rigorous, relevant and engaging learning programs drawn from a challenging curriculum that addresses their individual learning needs. The Australian Curriculum recognises that the needs of all students encompass cognitive, affective, physical, social and aesthetic curriculum experiences.
The Australian Curriculum – accessible for all young Australians
The Melbourne Declaration on Educational Goals for Young Australians, MCEETYA, 2008 (PDF 978 kb) provides the policy framework for the Australian Curriculum. It includes two goals:
- Australian schooling promotes equity and excellence.
- The Australian Curriculum has been designed to address these goals with the objectives of the Australian Curriculum being the same for all students. These objectives are based on a set of propositions, outlined in the Shape of the Australian Curriculum v. 4.0 document (PDF 392 kb), which guide the development of the Australian Curriculum as a curriculum for all learners.
The Alice Springs (Mparntwe) Education Declaration (Education Council, 2019, PDF 5.1 mb) affirms the goals of the Melbourne Declaration and outlines the commitment to improving educational outcomes for young Australians. It builds on past declarations signed in Hobart, Adelaide and Melbourne.
Students with disability
The Disability Discrimination Act (1992) and the Disability Standards for Education (2005) require education and training service providers to support the rights of students with disability to access the curriculum on the same basis as students without a disability. Students with disability are entitled to rigorous, relevant and engaging learning opportunities drawn from age equivalent Australian Curriculum content on the same basis as students without disability.
Gifted and talented students
Teachers can use the Australian Curriculum flexibly to meet the individual learning needs of gifted and talented students. Teachers can provide students with opportunities to work with learning area content in more depth or breadth; encompassing specific aspects of the general capabilities learning continua (for example, the higher order cognitive skills of the Critical and creative thinking capability); and/or focusing on cross-curriculum priorities. Teachers can also accelerate student learning by drawing on content from later levels in the Australian Curriculum and/or from local state and territory teaching and learning materials.
Teaching students with English as an Additional Language or Dialect (EAL/D)
As part of its commitment to supporting equity of access to the Australian Curriculum for all students, ACARA has developed the English as an Additional Language or Dialect: Teacher Resource. This resource is designed to support teachers across the learning areas as they develop teaching and learning programs using the Australian Curriculum with students for whom English is an additional language or dialect (EAL/D).
Students with Disability Advisory Group
The Students with Disability Advisory Group consists of disability experts representing universities, curriculum authorities, professional associations and ACARA. The group provides high-level advice and expertise regarding the needs of all young Australians and, specifically, the needs of students with disability in relation to ACARA’s national curriculum, assessment and reporting programs.