ACARA news, December 2020

The Australian Curriculum Review: timeline updated

24 December 2020

When ministers agreed the terms of reference for the review of the F–10 Australian Curriculum in June this year, it was agreed that proposed revisions in Mathematics and Technologies would be the first subjects to go out to public consultation in Term 1 of 2021. Since July this year, ACARA has undertaken extensive consultations with curriculum experts from jurisdictions and with practising classroom teachers through the new reference groups we established for the review. We have also engaged with national subject professional associations, academics and other key stakeholder groups.

Recently Education Council considered the question of whether the timeframe for consultation on the first set of learning area curriculum revisions should be adjusted to give more time to the revision process. On behalf of Education Council, AESOC this week agreed to allow the ACARA Board some flexibility in relation to the timing for public consultation on the proposed revisions, as long as that consultation takes place no later than Term 2, 2021, and that the end date for the review remains unchanged, namely January 2022.  

The ACARA Board has now resolved that the public consultation window for Mathematics, Technologies, the general capabilities and the cross-curriculum priorities be rescheduled to align with the second scheduled public consultation window for the other learning areas in Term 2. This will give more time for the review process for Mathematics and Technologies, and will have the benefit that stakeholders will be able to view and assess the nature and extent of proposed improvements, including content reduction, across all eight learning areas at the same time.

The consultation window for proposed revisions to the F–10 Australian Curriculum in all learning areas, along with the general capabilities and the cross-curriculum priorities, will open on Thursday 29 April and close on Thursday 8 July 2021.

Visit the AC Review page of this website to view the updated information.

Updates to the Measurement Framework for Schooling in Australia

22 December 2020

The Measurement Framework for Schooling in Australia has been updated by ACARA to reflect the Alice Springs (Mparntwe) Declaration and has been published on the ACARA website. 

The measurement framework: 

  • guides the information ACARA collects and reports on schooling in Australia 
  • details the nationally agreed key performance measures (KPMs) for schooling that enable an assessment of the quality of education 
  • underpins the National Report on Schooling in Australia, which updates the key performance measures annually and provides an insight into progress against the Educational Goals for Young Australians. 

View the revised measurement framework on the ACARA website.

Redfern Speech anniversary

21 December 2020

On 10 December we reflected on the landmark Redfern Speech made in 1992 by former Australian Prime Minister, Paul Keating, who described the spot on which he stood saying,

Redfern is a good place to contemplate these things. Just a mile or two from the place where the first European settlers landed, in too many ways it tells us that their failure to bring much more than devastation and demoralisation to Aboriginal Australia continues to be our failure. More I think than most Australians recognise, the plight of Aboriginal Australians affects us all.

This defining address can be studied in the Australian Curriculum in Year 10 History as part of rights and freedoms in Australia.


ACARA CEO meets with teachers

21 December 2020

ACARA CEO, David de Carvalho, recently caught up with board members of the Australian Professional Teachers Association (APTA) to give them an update on the progress of the review of the Australian Curriculum. This followed a briefing in July to over 80 APTA members, which covered the review’s terms of reference and the planned engagement process. David also spoke about the review's upcoming public comment windows in 2021. 

APTA meeting

Updates to the National Report on Schooling data portal

21 December 2020

ACARA’s interactive resource, the National Report on Schooling data portal, has been updated with new data on schools and schooling. 

The data portal revisions include: 

  • key performance measures for schooling in Australia dashboard 
  • teacher education 
  • school students with disability 
  • participation in VET in schools 
  • Year 12 subject enrolments 
  • Year 12 certification rates 
  • participation and attainment in education and work. 

See the National Report on Schooling data portal on the ACARA website

What it takes to deliver high progress in NAPLAN

14 December 2020

The schools that consistently deliver high progress in NAPLAN assessments of reading, writing or numeracy have different approaches but share certain practices.

ACARA has recently updated the profiles of schools that consistently deliver high progress, and ACARA CEO, David de Carvalho, said some of the profiled schools use similar methods, particularly around explicit teaching, data analysis and a focus on professional development. 

The 24 schools profiled are, however, not necessarily those that achieve high average results, which are often strongly correlated with socio-educational advantage.  

"Rather, the focus is on schools that are doing something intentional and that is resulting in progress between NAPLAN scores that are consistently above expectation over several years," Mr de Carvalho said. 

Some of the schools’ practices include: 

  • explicit teaching, including the use of clear learning intentions and success criteria for lessons 
  • use of formative assessment to generate data on student progress 
  • analysis of that data to inform teaching strategies, which can include differentiated teaching depending on the level of support students need 
  • strong focus on sustained professional development, with more skilled teachers acting as instructional leaders and mentors 
  • collaborative approaches to planning and teaching, which build collective efficacy among teaching staff.