Australia’s peak teachers union has accused the Federal Government of blindsiding the teaching profession by planning major curriculum changes without any consultation.
The Australian Education Union (AEU) bases its claims on reforms that are allegedly contained in a leaked draft report, titled: the National School Reform Agreement (NSRA), which was discussed by at the Education Council meeting in June.
The reforms include the introduction of learning progressions and online formative assessment across 15 areas of the curriculum, including a phonics test as part of a formative assessment tool, all in the next 2-3 years
AEU federal president, Correna Haythorpe, said that the NSW experience with the Assessing Literacy and Numeracy (ALAN) program had shown these curriculum reforms would leave teachers “overwhelmed”.
“Ignoring the teaching profession when it comes to school reform is simply a recipe for disaster,” Haythorpe said.
“This report is a blueprint for the biggest school reform in decades, all in the next two to three years, without any additional funding or resourcing and without any consultation whatsoever with the teaching profession.”
However, Federal Education Minister, Simon Birmingham, rejected the claims, saying the content of the agreement and its links to future funding was still being drafted with states and territories and non-government school systems.
“Along with states and territories we’re focused on developing reforms that are measurable and proven to lift student achievement, and that don’t create unnecessary admin that takes teachers away from teaching,” Birmingham told The Educator.
“Together with the states and territories we are looking closely at how various reforms could work practically, and how they have been applied and worked in other states or countries to boost student outcomes.”