ACARA Update extra, 5 May 2015

ACARA farewells outgoing Board Chairman, Professor Barry McGaw AO, and fellow Board members

5 May 2015

Professor Barry McGaw AO has chaired the ACARA Board since the Authority commenced in 2009, as well as its predecessor, the Interim National Curriculum Board (April 2008 – May 2009). Professor McGaw’s term as Chair concludes on 7 May 2015.

Commenting on the past seven years, Professor McGaw highlighted the progress ACARA has made, and paid tribute to all those who have contributed to improving the learning outcomes for all young Australians:

“We have a 21st century Australian Curriculum setting expectations for all young Australians, and in which there is growing interest from other parts of the world. We now have an Australian Curriculum in all learning areas from Foundation to Year 10 and in some areas for years 11 and 12. English, mathematics, science and history to Year 10 have been implemented throughout the country. Other curriculum areas are ready for implementation as individual states and territories are ready.

“The National Assessment Program – literacy and numeracy (NAPLAN) will be redeveloped in its content as well as its form as it is taken online from 2017.

“And then, ACARA’s completely new creation, at the request of education ministers – My School. It compares schools without creating unfair league tables of the type that the media have foist on Australian schools for years. My School compares only schools whose students have a similar level of socio-educational advantage and it reveals remarkable differences among them. The best schools challenge others, with similar students to theirs, to aim higher. We are seeing the results in some remarkable improvements.

“It has been a wonderful professional experience to be involved in ACARA. I have worked with remarkable colleagues on ACARA’s Board and staff and in other agencies throughout the country.

“My term is up, but I will now watch with great interest as others build fine national structures on the foundations we have laid. Since we started, many governments and ministers have changed but commitment to the national enterprise has endured. I am confident that will continue,” says Professor McGaw.

See Barry’s farewell video.

Barry’s term as Chair finishes on 7 May, along with Board members Tom Alegounarias, Helen Wildash and John Firth.

201505011 departing Board members

Departing ACARA Board members (from left to right):
John Firth, Helen Wildash, Professor Barry McGaw and Tom Alegounarias