The Review of the Australian Curriculum report and the Federal Government's initial response will not alter the implementation of the new NSW syllabuses or the schedule for implementation, the Board of Studies, Teaching and Educational Standards (BOSTES) has confirmed.
The confirmation was at Federation's request and follows a Board Bulletin on January 24, in which President Tom Alegounarias stated: "There are no implications for the implementation of the NSW syllabus arising from this Review."
Federation, working with professional teacher associations, was successful in ensuring that the implementation of the Australian Curriculum was delayed in NSW. The delay allowed time for the Board of Studies (now BOSTES) to conduct extensive consultation with teachers in developing the new syllabuses in English, Mathematics, Science and History which incorporated the Australian Curriculum while maintaining features of NSW syllabuses. These features included maintaining objectives and outcomes, organising content in stages, and emphasising the importance of teachers' professional judgement in determining content that is appropriate to cater for the diverse learning needs of students.
Importantly, each new syllabus states "in considering the intended learning, teachers will make decisions about the sequence, the emphasis to be given to particular areas of content, and any adjustments required based on needs, interests and abilities of their students".
Federation also pursued the need for implementation of the new syllabuses to be phased in over time. The Board response was a timeline with 2013 for familiarisation, planning and preparation, and the implementation of the four new syllabuses K-10 from 2014 to 2016.
BOSTES is currently consulting with primary and secondary teachers on the draft K-10 Geography syllabus which will take account of the Australian Curriculum. Consultation on the proposed directions for the development of new stage 6 English, Mathematics, Science and History syllabuses has also commenced.
Federation will continue to pursue the need for BOSTES to ensure effective and extensive consultation, and an appropriate timeline for implementation of any new syllabus.
The union will also continue to pursue the need for additional funds, resources and support for implementing any curriculum change.
The Federal Government has noted that decisions around how the "findings of this Review translate into actions" is "a matter of national collaboration that requires the endorsement of all education ministers". Federation will monitor any developments that come out of the review.