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February 2019


ACARA executive appointments

CEOChief Executive Officer

Following an extensive executive search process, the ACARA Board has appointed Mr David de Carvalho as the new Chief Executive Officer of ACARA. 

Mr de Carvalho brings to ACARA a wealth of leadership experience from the education sector, and from the public sector at both the Commonwealth and state government level. 

“On behalf of the ACARA Board and staff, I congratulate David on his appointment and am delighted to welcome him as ACARA’s new CEO. David has significant experience and expertise in education. He joins ACARA following his most recent position as Chief Executive of the NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA),” said ACARA Board Chair, Belinda Robinson.  

Mr de Carvalho was Chief Executive Officer of NESA from January 2017 and, prior to that, he was Deputy Secretary at the NSW Department of Family and Community Services. Mr de Carvalho has also led the National Catholic Education Commission and was Head of the Higher Education Division in the federal government's Department of Education. He started his career as a secondary school teacher and has served on the boards of the Australian Council for Educational Research and the Curriculum Corporation (now Education Services Australia).  

Mr David de Carvalho will commence with ACARA on 4 March 2019.  

General Manager, Assessment and Reporting

ACARA also welcomes the appointment of Mr Peter Titmanis as our new General Manager, Assessment and Reporting. 

Mr Titmanis's most recent role was Executive Director, Strategic Initiatives and Performance, at the Western Australian Department of Education. He has extensive experience on national initiatives, including NAPLAN and NAPLAN Online, and has wide-ranging experience in school accountability and reporting.   

Research shows parents value NAPLAN, support the move to online

Research undertaken by Colmar Brunton on behalf of ACARA shows that the majority of parents believe NAPLAN is valuable, particularly for the national snapshot it provides on their child’s progress in literacy and numeracy. Parents are also, on the whole, supportive of the move to NAPLAN Online.

“This research shows that parents generally keep NAPLAN in perspective. They understand that it is a point-in-time assessment, which is part of the regular school calendar,” said ACARA CEO, Robert Randall.

ACARA commissioned research with parents last year about their perceptions of NAPLAN, their understanding of its purpose and of the move to NAPLAN Online. The research included a quantitative survey of 1,200 parents in all states and territories. Qualitative research was also undertaken with 16 ninety-minute focus groups.

Findings from the research show:

  • The majority of parents (three out of five) believe that NAPLAN is valuable. NAPLAN is valued for providing parents with a snapshot of their child’s progress. 
  • Some negative views remained and parents noted a lack of familiarity with the format and content of NAPLAN tests.
  • Parental attitudes toward NAPLAN are influenced by the way in which the school positions the tests.
  • In general, parents are accepting of the move to NAPLAN Online. The main reason for supporting the move online is as it is seen as a natural progression.
  • The majority of parents believe that moving NAPLAN online will improve NAPLAN and result in a more engaging experience for students.
  • Parents with children who have already completed NAPLAN online expressed few concerns. While there were some issues with connectivity, online testing appears to have taken place with little impact on parents or students.

Read the Colmar Brunton: ACARA NAPLAN research (PDF 2.1 mb)


The New Zealand Curriculum comparison study released

ACARA has published a study comparing the Australian Curriculum with The New Zealand Curriculum.

This follows the publication of other comparative studies in July 2018, which compared the Australian Curriculum with the curricula of British Columbia, Finland and Singapore.  

The comparative studies have been produced as part of ACARA’s research program to consider international trends and developments in curriculum design.  

Comparing the Australian Curriculum with the curricula of other countries and school systems can help inform future refinements and improvements of our curriculum, ensuring we continue to give our students the skills, knowledge and attributes they need to live and work in the 21st century.  



Let us know what you think about the Australian Curriculum website

In response to user feedback, we updated the Australian Curriculum website with a new look and feel in July 2017.

We invite you to participate in a quick survey to let us know about your experience with the website over the past 18 months – for example, what features have improved your browsing experience, and what resources you (or you would) find useful.

Your feedback will help us ensure the Australian Curriculum website continues to be a valuable resource for teachers around the country.

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