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ACARA Update, May 2020

National report on schooling 2018 releasedcover2018

The National Report on Schooling in Australia for 2018 has been released. ACARA produces this report on behalf of the COAG Education Council

The 2018 report includes a summary of nationally agreed policy initiatives and a report on national key performance measures. A dashboard represents any statistically significant changes in key performance measures.

Data reported for 2018 include that:

  • The national school enrolment rate for the 6–15-year-old population was 99.7per cent.
  • The average national attendance rate for all students (Indigenous and non-Indigenous) in Years 1–10 was 91.9 per cent. Average attendance rates were higher for Years 1–6 than for Years 7–10.
  • At 82.3 per cent, the average attendance rate for Indigenous students was 10.2 percentage points lower than for non-Indigenous students (92.5 per cent). This gap increased by 0.4 percentage points from 2017.
  • Three quarters (75.2 per cent) of all Australian students in Years 1–10 attended school for at least 90 per cent of school days. However, less than half (48.7 per cent) of Indigenous students within this group met the 90 per cent benchmark.
  • NAPLAN participation rates were over 90 per cent for reading and writing for each of Years 3, 5, 7 and 9, and for numeracy for Years 3, 5 and 7. Year 9 participation rates were lower than for other years across all domains.

ACARA’s online data portal was also recently updated with the latest 2018 and 2019 data available. Information updated on the data portal in April 2020 includes the latest available data for: 

  • key performance measures for schooling
  • school numbers, student numbers and staff numbers
  • student–teacher ratios
  • student enrolment and retention rates
  • school funding
  • school students with disability
  • NAP Sample – Science Literacy
  • teacher education.   

See the National Report on Schooling in Australia and the data portal.

National Reconciliation Week

On May 26, it was National Sorry Day that acknowledges and recognises Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children known as the Stolen Generations. These children were forcibly removed from their families, communities and cultural identities. In the Australian Curriculum, students get the chance to study important days and weeks, such as National Sorry Day.

From 27 May to 3 June, it is National Reconciliation Week, which marks 20 years of Australia’s journey towards a more just, equitable and reconciled nation, and the twentieth anniversary of the reconciliation walks of 2000. This year’s theme is ‘In this together’, reminding us whether in a crisis or in reconciliation, we are in this together.

National Reconciliation Week commemorates two significant milestones, the successful 1967 referendum and the High Court Mabo decision.

On 27 May, it was the anniversary of the historic 1967 referendum, when Australians overwhelmingly voted ‘yes’ to amend the Australian Constitution to count Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People in the census and to give the Commonwealth the power to make laws for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People.

On 2 June, it will be Mabo Day, commemorating Eddie Koiki Mabo’s campaign for Indigenous land rights, which led to a landmark decision of the High Court of Australia in 1992 to overturn the principle of terra nullius or ‘nobody’s land’.

The importance of the referendum and the significance of the Mabo decision are included in the Australian Curriculum.

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Top five qualities of a great teacher

In this vlog, David de Carvalho, ACARA CEO, reflects on five of the most significant qualities he believes make a great teacher. David also reveals how his maths teacher and his passion for mathematics inspired this vlog series, ‘Fanning the flames of wonder’.

Visit the ACARA blog to watch.


Coming soon: website survey

ACARA is embarking on a project to redesign our website portfolio, aiming to optimise user and stakeholder experience of our websites and enhance access to information on ACARA’s work.

Our website portfolio includes the Australian Curriculum website, the National Assessment Program (NAP) website, the My School website and the ACARA website, with a combined audience of over five million visitors a year.

Keep an eye for a survey that will be out from next week on our websites and in a special edition of ACARA Update. Completing the survey will give you an opportunity to share your insights on usability and improvement of our websites, to ensure they are relevant and simple to use.