12 October 2014

The release of the Abbott Government’s response to the review of the national curriculum has confirmed that it was simply a distraction which will do nothing to close the achievement gaps and lift overall student performance, the AEU said today.

“Nothing in the Government’s response justifies the time and expense taken to review a national curriculum which is not yet fully implemented,” AEU Federal President Angelo Gavrielatos said.

“This entire exercise has been a distraction from the Abbott Government’s abandoning of needs-based Gonski funding agreements and its refusal to properly fund schools.

“No change to the curriculum will address the gaps in funding and achievement between advantaged and disadvantaged schools.

“The overcrowding of the curriculum, especially in primary schools, is a long-standing issue which needs to be addressed, but we did not need a review to tell us that.

“Teachers are already using their professional judgment to integrate the general capabilities and cross-curriculum priorities in the national curriculum, and this review will not change that.

“Schools don’t need curriculum reviews, they need to be properly funded to meet minimum resource standards, and be able to provide the support that students need to reach their full potential.

“Education Minister Christopher Pyne has praised the curriculum review for recognising the needs of students with disability, but at the same time he is cutting $100 million from disability programs from next year, and has broken a promise to increase the “disability loading” given to schools to recognise the costs of properly educating students with disability.”

“This is typical of an attitude that tries to pretend funding of schools doesn’t matter.”

“The suggestion that the Australian Curriculum Assessment and Reporting Authority be changed by removing State and Territory representatives is extraordinary. The only reason we have a national curriculum is because of direct engagement of all State and Territory ministers.”

Media Contact: Ben Ruse 0437 971 291