Strong curriculum, quality teaching & orderly classrooms are the Australian Government’s priorities for school education – with Federal Education Minister Alan Tudge signalling further work would still be required on the draft Australian Curriculum.

In a speech to the Centre for Independent Studies on 22 October, Mr Tudge told the audience he had received a briefing on revisions to the Australian Curriculum which had taken it from “an F to perhaps a C, but Australian students deserve an A+”.

Improvements to review requested

Mr Tudge said he had been advised the revised Australian Curriculum draft now had a “stronger, clearer focus on phonics…that maths concepts will remain being taught where they are today & not delayed…nonsensical concepts like ‘mathematising’ have been removed”.

Mr Tudge revealed that he “remained particularly concerned when it comes to the history curriculum” saying if students don’t learn about Australia’s western liberal democracy “they won’t defend it as previous generations did”.

You can read his comments about the draft document – and what he’s asked to be improved –  in full here.

A recap on the review process

The Australian Curriculum is a document that sets out the core knowledge and skills to be taught to students from Prep to Year 10 – wherever they live in Australia.

A review of that document, which is being led by the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA), is one of the biggest items on the national education agenda.

Parents were urged to have their say on the draft revisions during a ten week public consultation period earlier this year.

Who else has given their opinion?

Before the revised document was opened up to public consultation, ACARA consulted with hundreds of teachers, curriculum experts and academics across Australia, which resulted in a number of significant proposed changes to the existing Australian Curriculum.

dedicated public feedback website on those draft changes was launched on April 29 and ended on July 8, 2021.

The final Australian Curriculum document will have to be approved by all Education ministers – including Federal Education Minister Alan Tudge – before it is formalised.

It is hoped that the final version – which ACARA is calling “Version 9.0” – will be published in 2022.

(The current curriculum document in use today is called “Version 8.4”.)

When will the new Curriculum be taught?

In a statement on its website, ACARA says states and territories “implement the Australian Curriculum according to their own timeline”.

“Version 8.4 will remain available on the current Australian Curriculum website at the same time that Version 9.0 is published on the new website, to support transition planning,” the statement says.

“During the transition period over the next few years both Version 8.4 and Version 9.0 will be available.

“Regular visitors to the Australian Curriculum website will start to see Version 8.4 labels begin to appear on the current Curriculum, making it clear to users which version of the Australian Curriculum they are reading and using.”