Home' Teacher : December 2010 Contents Full steam ahead
The Ministerial Council for Education,
Early Childhood Development and Youth
Affairs (MCEECDYA) met in Canberra
in October to discuss finalisation of the
Kindergarten to Year 10 (K-10) national
curriculum and to discuss 'enhancements'
being made to the My School website by
the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and
Reporting Authority (ACARA).
According to MCEECDYA's communi-
qué, 'Ministers reaffirmed their commit-
ment to achieve substantial implementa-
tion of the K-10 Australian Curriculum in
English, mathematics, science and history
by the end of 2013, subject to there being
a three-year implementation period to
commence from when the K-10 Australian
Curriculum (content, standards and support
materials) becomes available.'
The distinction between implementation
and substantial implementation was drawn
a month earlier by ACARA Chair Professor
Barry McGaw in a statement in September.
'Once ministers endorse the curriculum in
December, it will be available for imple-
mentation from 2011 by those jurisdictions
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' -- over a three-year imple-
mentation period that commences when the
content, standards and support materials
The Australian Curriculum Coalition,
representing education's 13 national peak
professional and industrial bodies, wrote
to Commonwealth Minister for Schools,
Early Childhood and Youth Peter Garrett
in October to express 'concerns about the
process of development, work to date, con-
ceptual framework and structural issues of
the first drafts, assessment and reporting
issues and finally, implementation issues.'
The Australian Cu rriculum Coalition
urged MCEECDYA to:
extend the implementation timeline
increase the involvement of teachers and
make public the consultation submis-
sions to ACARA and ACARA's response,
including changes to the curriculum
develop greater conceptual coherence
and consistency; reduce the volume of
material to avoid curriculum overcrowd-
clarify assessment and achievement
standards; clarify ACARA's role and the
role of states and territories in the rollout
fund and otherwise support professional
The big question for MCEECDYA on
My School was whether revision of the
Index of Community Socio-Educational
Advantage (ICSEA) would include a meas-
ure of school resources.
According to MCEECDYA's communi-
qué, the Ministers agreed to 'enhancements'
to the My School website. Speaking at a
press conference after the meeting, Garrett
indicated that meant My School would pro-
vide 'a richer data set,' including 'additional
financial information and additional infor-
mation in relation to socioeconomic status.'
Does that mean My School will report
'additional financial information' about
schools' assets? According to Garrett, no.
The ICSEA will include 'recurrent expend-
iture,' he said, but made no reference to
MCEECDYA also received a progress
report on the implementation of the national
quality agenda to ensure high-quality and
consistent early-childhood education and
care across Australia. Victorian legislation to
enable implementation of the national qual-
ity agenda for early-childhood education and
care was passed in October. All other states
and territories are expected to introduce leg-
islation over the next 12 months.
AUSTRALIA'S EDUCATION MINISTERS WANT TO PUSH ON WITH THEIR NATIONAL EDUCATION REFORMS,
BUT NOT EVERYONE IS HAPPY. STEVE HOLDEN REPORTS.
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