Home' Teacher : November 2010 Contents THE NEW NATIONAL CURRICULUM WILL BE READY FOR
IMPLEMENTATION FROM 2011, OR BY 2013, MAYBE.
STEVE HOLDEN REPORTS.
The final version of the national curricu-
lum for English, mathematics, science and
history to Year 10 will be presented by
the Australian Cu rriculum, Assessment
and Reporting Authority (ACARA) to
the Council of Ministers of Education in
December this year.
Speaking at Ironbark Ridge Public
School, Sydney, in September, Common-
wealth Minister for School Education, Early
Childhood and Youth Peter Garrett said
state and territory education ministers have
agreed that the national curriculum will be
phased in from 2011, towards 'substantial
implementation' by the end of 2013.
'The curriculum ensures that from next
year, students across all states and territo-
ries will begin to be taught the same knowl-
edge, skills and u nderstandings,' Garrett
'Feedback from the trials of the new cur-
riculum in English, mathematics, science
and history up to Year 10 is being used to
finalise the curriculu m.
'There has been and will be considerable
consultation on the new draft curriculum
and I welcome the debate that has been
going on across jurisdictions and schools.
This debate will help ensure we get this
right for implementation from 2011' -- or
for substantial implementation by the end
The 2011 or 2013 implementation date
is no small matter. In her prepared response
in May, Australian Science Teachers Asso-
ciation President Anna Davis asked, 'What
does "substantial implementation" mean?'
'Teachers need to know the timelines that
they will need to work within,' Davis wrote.
In his prepared response in June,
Australian Association for the Teaching
of English President Guy Bayly-Jones said,
'The short timeline for the development of
the new curriculum remains a significant
issue,' and suggested the 2011 version be
considered as a draft, 'prior to the publica-
tion of a revised more definitive version for
ACARA Chair Professor Barry McGaw
explained in a statement in September,
'Once ministers endorse the curriculum in
December, it will be available for imple-
mentation from 2011 by those ju risdictions
and schools wanting to commence imple-
mentation in 2011. Ministers have previ-
ously agreed that the nature and timing of
implementation is a matter for individual
jurisdictions and schools as long as there is
substantial implementation in all schools by
the end of 2013.'
Debate is warming up over the Common-
wealth government's Review of Funding
for Schooling for 'a funding system for the
period beyond 2012 which is transparent,
fair, financially sustainable and effective in
promoting excellent educational outcomes
for all Australian students.'
In their public submissions to the review
panel, headed by David Gonski, most stake-
holders have so far agreed on the need for
a fair, transparent funding system in which
government provides a quality education for
all children. If the way is clear, the means by
which a funding formula might reach it is not.
The key question for Gonski's panel is
how to replace the existing, but fraught,
socioeconomic status funding formula
introduced by John Howard in 2001. The
Commonwealth already has in place a new
measure, the Index of Community Socio-
Educational Advantage (ICSEA), used on
its My School website. Using the ICSEA or
a version of it to weight funding for dis-
advantaged schools is something Gonski's
panel will no doubt consider long and hard.
It's expected that the ICSEA will soon
include a measure of school resources in
terms of operational costs, but not assets.
Speaking of assets, the Australian in Octo -
ber reported that Melbourne Grammar has
net assets of $128.3 million, Scotch Col-
lege, Melbourne, has $116.6 million and
Geelong Grammar has $108.9 million.
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