Review of the Australian Curriculum
On 12 June 2020, education ministers agreed that it was timely to review the Foundation – Year 10 Australian Curriculum, which has been in place since 2015.
In preparation for the review, ACARA consulted widely with key education stakeholders and groups to define the approach and scope of the review. This work informed the review's Terms of reference (PDF 94 kb).
Our program of research has benchmarked the Australian Curriculum against the curricula of Singapore, Finland, British Columbia and New Zealand, and we sought feedback from state and territory jurisdictions through our annual monitoring process.
This work found that the Australian Curriculum is consistent with some of the best curricula internationally and is well-regarded by teachers across the country; but that it needs refining, updating and ‘decluttering’ to better support teachers.
We welcome the opportunity to ensure the national curriculum continues to meet the needs of students and teachers across the country, now and into the future.
ACARA looks forward to working closely with teachers, education sectors and all our key stakeholders to ensure Australian students and teachers continue to have access to a truly world-class Australian curriculum.
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See our infographics on the Australian Curriculum review:
Review timeline Review fact sheet Governance and advisory structure
See ACARA CEO, David de Carvalho, speak about the review of the Australian Curriculum:
View the transcript
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Australian Curriculum review: FAQs
What is the purpose of the review?
The Australian Curriculum has been in place for some time now, and education ministers have agreed it is timely that it be reviewed to ensure it continues to meet the needs of students now and into the future. The aim of the review is to improve the Australian Curriculum from Foundation to Year 10 by refining, realigning and reducing the existing content of the curriculum.
When will the review start and how long will it take?
The review process has now commenced, following Education Council's approval of the terms of reference for the review on 12 June 2020. ACARA is to complete the review by the end of 2021. If approved by education ministers, the revised Foundation to Year 10 Australian Curriculum will be released on a redesigned Australian Curriculum website by the start of 2022.
What is the scope of the review? Which areas of the Australian Curriculum will be reviewed?
All eight learning areas from Foundation to Year 10 will be reviewed by the end of 2021, although the review of all 16 Languages subjects will take longer, with Chinese, French, Italian and Japanese completed first, by the end of 2021, and the other languages completed by 2023.
Why is the curriculum being reviewed now?
The Australian Curriculum has been in place for some time now and was last reviewed in 2014. In 2015, education ministers agreed that ACARA should undertake a six-year cycle of review of the Australian Curriculum to ensure it continues to meet the needs of students and it is best practice. The scope of the review has been informed by ACARA‘s research program, which included:
- benchmarking the Australian Curriculum against the curricula of the education systems of Singapore, Finland, British Columbia and New Zealand
- annual monitoring of the effectiveness of the Australian Curriculum with feedback from states and territories
- participation in international projects such as the OECD 2030 Future of Education and Skills project
- ongoing feedback from education authorities and teachers.
How can I input into this review?
There will be broad consultation with stakeholders throughout the review process. ACARA is not calling for public submissions to this review, however, the timeline includes two formal windows for open stakeholder and public feedback on the proposed changes to the curriculum content. The review timeline PDF 3 mb shows when these public comment windows will occur, and updated information will be regularly added to this webpage.
Will individual teachers be involved?
The views and experiences of teachers are key to the review process. There will be opportunities for consultation with teachers throughout the process, through local state/territory and sector forums and mechanisms such as professional teacher associations. We are also establishing new reference groups for each learning area, made up of teacher representatives from all state and territories, and the non-government sectors. The review timeline includes two formal windows for stakeholder feedback on the proposed changes to the curriculum content during 2021, where we hope many teachers will provide their feedback.
Will the review make changes to the structure and dimensions of the Australian Curriculum?
No. The focus of the review is on content refinement and reduction within the existing three dimensions and organising structure of the Australian Curriculum. The eight learning areas, seven general capabilities and three cross-curriculum priorities remain, as do the structural elements of content descriptions, achievement standards and content elaborations.
Are the general capabilities being reviewed or just the learning areas?
The general capabilities are not stand-alone subjects and are taught through the learning areas in the Australian Curriculum. The review will look to declutter the curriculum by improving the relationship of the general capabilities to the content of the learning areas.
Are the cross-curriculum priorities being reviewed?
The cross-curriculum priorities are not stand-alone subjects, and are only addressed through the content in the learning areas in the Australian Curriculum, depending on their relevance to each learning area. The review will look to declutter the curriculum by improving the relationship of the cross-curriculum priorities to the content of the learning areas.
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For further information, email: [email protected]
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