Education Ministers endorse new Australian Curriculum

Education Ministers endorse new Australian Curriculum

Australian schools will teach a new Curriculum from 2023 after all State and Territory Education Ministers endorsed the revised version.

At the virtual meeting on Friday afternoon, the Ministers agreed the Australian Curriculum Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) has met key objectives to refine, realign and declutter the curriculum, with a focus on reducing content in primary years and lifting quality.

Acting Federal Education Minister Stuart Robert said the Australian Curriculum is now “a much stronger document” which can be taught in Australian schools from 2023.

“The Australian Curriculum now sets a higher standard for educational achievement in Australia going forward,” Minister Robert said.

“It has been decluttered, allowing teachers to focus on what matters most, and it is evidence-based, with phonics now embedded in the teaching of English, for example.”

Ministers will also consider continuous updates to the curriculum so that more iterative improvements can be made in the future, Minister Robert added.

In the final version of the Australian Curriculum agreed today, Australian History content is now compulsory in both Year 9 and 10, where it had previously been optional. Minister Robert said this will “strengthen how our young people appreciate our prosperous, democratic country.”

“Importantly, this means high school students will learn post-settlement history from the period 1750 to the First World War. They will also learn the impact of post-Second World War migration in Australia and the significant contributions migrants have made to Australia’s success,” he said.

“Indigenous History remains a prominent part of the curriculum and is embedded across Foundation to Year 10, and for the first-time students will learn Deep Time Indigenous History as a compulsory part of Year 7.”

Setting a new, high benchmark

ACARA CEO, David de Carvalho, said the Australian Curriculum “ensures the same high standard curriculum content is available to every student, regardless of where they live”.

“It reflects the priorities and expectations we hold for our young people, and this curriculum sets a new high benchmark,” de Carvalho said.

“Importantly, this is a more stripped-back and teachable curriculum that identifies the essential content our children should learn. Together with new resources designed to support our teachers, it is expected the Australian Curriculum will lead to improved student outcomes.”

de Carvalho said Ministers considered the final draft earlier this year and were supportive of the revisions to 6 of 8 learning areas, as well as the cross-curriculum priorities and the general capabilities.

Further revisions were requested in Mathematics and the Humanities and Social Sciences, which have now been approved.