ACARA publications

Annual reports and corporate plans

View ACARA's annual reports and corporate plans.

Review of the National School Reform Agreement: The National Measurement Framework for Schooling in Australia

July 2022

Read ACARA’s submission to the Productivity Commission’s review of the National School Reform Agreement.

The COVID-19 education impact – are parents more engaged?

06 April 2021

According to new research conducted for ACARA, COVID-19 has had a significant impact on parents’ understanding of their children’s education, with parents across Australia reporting that they have far greater insight now into their children’s schooling, irrespective of the length of time families had spent on remote learning.

While experiences differed from school to school and family to family, remote learning gave parents surveyed a unique and often frustrating understanding into the mechanics of schooling and education, with many finding a new appreciation for teachers and their skills.

Key facts:

  • Due to COVID-19, parents across Australia said that they have far greater insight and involvement now into their children’s learning, irrespective of the length of time families have been learning remotely.
  • COVID-19 has challenged parents to consider schooling in new ways, refocusing on what is important and what they want out of student assessments and the ability to use those results as a resource.
  • Many parents feel they now have a greater idea of what were previously implicit benefits of the importance of social aspects of class learning.
  • The pandemic has assisted parents to consider what types of feedback parents and students consider to be the most valuable.
  • Pre-COVID, parents prominently relied on conversations with teachers to determine how their child is progressing. As a result of COVID-19, some parents now feel more empowered to bring their own observations of their child to those conversations.
  • Parents have a better understanding of student assessments such as NAPLAN and the ability to use results as a resource.
  • There was more acknowledgement that, particularly for the first years of primary school, children who are struggling need more support and contact from educators.

Read more about the research here

Perspectives on the My School website

ACARA commissioned Colmar Brunton to conduct research with parents, principals, partners, and parent and principal representative groups about the My School website.

The report states that, generally, parents appreciate having a range of information about schools available in the central online location. The report also shows My School is used by parents as part of a suite of information sources to make informed decisions about their child’s education.

The report states that, overall, My School provides information in one accessible place, in a format that is relatively easy to navigate and understand, but there is some scope to make improvements.

ACARA welcomes any research and advice that will improve the My School website. We have already acted on a number of the report’s findings. For example, we have created a new infographic that explains in plain English what ICSEA is, and the introduction video for the My School homepage has been updated to better explain the purpose of My School.

Read the Perspectives on the My School website report [PDF 991 kb].

Research shows parents value NAPLAN, believe the move to online will improve NAPLAN

Research undertaken by Colmar Brunton on behalf of ACARA shows that the majority of parents believe that NAPLAN is valuable, particularly for the national snapshot it provides on their child’s progress in literacy and numeracy. Parents are also generally accepting of the move to NAPLAN Online and believe it will contribute to an overall improvement in NAPLAN.

In 2018, ACARA commissioned a research with parents about their perceptions of NAPLAN, their understanding of its purpose and of the move to NAPLAN Online. The research included a quantitative survey of 1,200 parents in all states and territories. Qualitative research was also undertaken with 16 ninety-minute focus groups.

Read the Colmar Brunton: ACARA NAPLAN research (PDF 2.1 mb) 

Curriculum publications

These documents provide information on the curriculum development process that will be used to develop the national curriculum, including background information to guide the writing of the national curriculum.

Curriculum development process: describes the process that will be used to develop the national curriculum. It also describes the structure of writing teams and consultation groups that will be involved in the national curriculum development.

Curriculum design: The curriculum design paper provides guidelines for the writing of the Australian curriculum.

The Shape of the Australian Curriculum: English, mathematics, science and history includes key foundational documents that will shape the Australian Curriculum.

A brief precis publication summarises the ten documents, along with the consultation processes and curriculum development work of the Board.

Full copies of the documents along with their matching consultation reports are available below.

Assessment publications

Visit the 'NAPLAN results and reports' page of the NAP website.