NSW school curriculum to be overhauled

Parliamentary Secretary for the Central Coast, Adam Crouch, with local students

Central Coast Council of Parents and Citizens Association President, Sharryn Brownlee, has welcomed the announcement of a major overhaul of the NSW school curriculum.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian announced this week that changes would start from 2021 with all years learning under the new curriculum by 2024.

Unnecessary content will be cut, there will be a greater focus on literacy and numeracy, and TAFE and vocational training pathways will be modernized, Berejiklian said.

A curriculum review undertaken by Professor Geoff Masters supports the biggest shake up of the education system in more than 30 years with the government set to cut unnecessary subjects and introduce a “back to basics approach” that will see a renewed focus on the core subjects of English, Maths and Science as well as Year 11 and Year 12 prequalification for University and TAFE courses.

Berejiklian said the overhaul would raise standards and equip students for the jobs of the future.

Education Minister Sarah Mitchell said the changes would ensure teachers have the time and support to teach the fundamentals.

“We have listened to the experts when formulating the government response to the Curriculum Review – and I am confident that the changes we will implement will ensure that NSW remains one of the best places to educate our children for decades to come,” he said.

Parliamentary Secretary for the Central Coast, Adam Crouch, said the changes include trimming unnecessary subjects.

“This is the biggest overhaul in over three decades and it will help to lift student results right across the public education system, including on the Central Coast,” Crouch said.

“Changes to the curriculum will be made very quickly and by 2022, new and strong foundations in literacy and numeracy for Kindergarten to Year 2 will be implemented.”

Brownlee said the changes signalled exciting times.

“After being on several review committees which tried to make changes in various subject areas it is great to see it now happening across all of them so they can be decluttered and relevant for this generation of students,” she said.

The NSW Teachers Federation has welcomed the unhurried approach and commitment to working with teachers in the development and implementation of the new curriculum.

Flohm said a recommendation for more individualised attention for students would be embraced by all teachers as long as it is accompanied by appropriate support and resourcing.

“To make the new curriculum a success, our schools will require additional resourcing and additional funding to reach the Schooling Resource Standard (SRS,” she said).

The Independent Education Union (IEU), which represents staff in non-government schools, says the timeline set for implementing the changes is not achievable.

“The union is also concerned that the Berejiklian government’s ‘back to basics’ response to this complex and extensive report is too simplistic,” IEU Assistant Secretary, Pam Smith, said.

Smith said the review summary says it could take up to a decade to development and introduce the changes.

“Syllabus development needs to be done in a planned, structured and informed fashion, with extensive input from teachers.”

Media releases, Jun 23
NSW Premier, Gladys Berejiklian and NSW Teachers Federation and Independent Education Union
Media statements, Jun 23
Parliamentary Secretary for the Central Coast, Adam Crouch and Central Coast Council of Parents and Citizens Association President, Sharryn Brownlee

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