The NSW Government has announced that it will delay its implementation of the national curriculum until 2014 due to concerns about the lack of time it has to implement the curriculum, the curriculum’s standards and the professional development of teachers.
The other states will begin rolling out the Kindergarten to Year 10 national English, maths, science and history curriculum — originally intended to be introduced in 2011 — in 2013.
According to NSW Minister for Education, Adrian Piccoli, "schools needed to know in June of this year precisely the content of the national curriculum and to know that there were funds available for professional development".
"The final document won't be signed off until at least the ministerial council meeting in October, and that simply does not give the schools in NSW and the more than 100,000 teachers the opportunity to receive the professional development, and to be in a position to implement the national curriculum in 2013."
This move by the NSW Government follows the recent criticism of the curriculum’s standards by the Victorian Government, which threatened to rebel against the proposed national language curriculum over the lack of time allocated to language teaching.
Federal Education Minister, Peter Garrett, said that the NSW Government’s move is unjustifiable and will disadvantage NSW students, who will be “a year behind the rest of the country”.
“The NSW Education Minister should stop blaming the Commonwealth for his decision to delay a commitment the NSW Government signed up for in December last year,” he said.
“All states and territories have agreed that it is their responsibility to implement the new curriculum, not the Australian Government’s.”
“The new curriculum will be the highest quality curriculum in the country so to claim that there are concerns over content is just a smokescreen.”
Mr Garrett said the claims that there has not been enough financial support is “plain wrong” because the Gillard Government has invested more than $100 million to help introduce the Australian Curriculum.
“We’ve provided record funding for teacher training including the $550 million Improving Teacher Quality National Partnership and $16 million for the ICT Innovation Fund to help teachers better use ICT in the classroom. We’ve also been working on a professional learning program to support teachers and other staff with the implementation of the Australian Curriculum at the school level,” he said.