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The story so far

Page history last edited by wordmagic@iprimus.com.au 15 years ago


The story so far outlines the events leading up to June 2009 and explains the key players, organisations and events in this issue:


  • The idea of a national curriculum has been around for a long time and is supported by both sides of Parliament, initially pushed by Liberals, now backed by Labor
  • A National Curriculum Board (NCB) was appointed by Deputy Prime Minister Julia Gillard early in 2008
  • Four Framing Papers were produced for comment in November 2008 (History, English, Maths and Science)
  • The RSSA (Rudolf Steiner Schools Association) Executive corresponded with and held a number of face-to-face meetings with the National Curriculum Board (NCB) around the issue of the national curriculum and its impact on Steiner education
  • In December 2008, the School Assistance Bill was passed after at first being opposed. Christopher Pyne and Jamie Briggs were the only politicians to speak out against the national curriculum and to support the rights of independent schools, specifically mentioning Steiner and Montessori, however, the threat that independent schools would not receive Commonwealth funding changed their position. All Australian schools were forced to sign up to the national curriculum or they would receive no funding – despite it not being written
  • February 2009, a few teachers, from around Australia including Anne Jacobson and John Blackwood, gathered at the Mt Barker Waldorf School, South Australia and wrote an 80-page submission to the Framing Papers which was sent to the NCB under the umbrella of the RSSA
  • In May 2009, the NCB became ACARA (Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority).  http://www.acara.edu.au/home_page.html

    Work has begun on the writing of the national curriculum with the goal of achieving draft curricula ready for comment by the end of 2009

  • Julia Gillard’s public statements on record are that Steiner, Montessori and IB (International Baccalaureate) education must not be compromised; later…. "independent schools must comply with the NC or a recognised alternative". Of particular interest to Steiner education, is the comment - "national identification process for legitimate internationally recognized curricula" which Julia Gillard has directed NCB/ACARA to work on.
  • The RSSA is working with the ACARA working party. Step 1 in this process, we have been advised, is to look at the diverse ways in which such curricula as ours are accommodated/recognised by state authorities in Australia, and in overseas countries such as NZ and UK. The key issues for the working party to resolve are “comparable educational outcomes" and the level of specificity which will be required as a basis for “equivalency”.  The time-line for a decision on the process is mid-September 2009. 


 Peter Glasby

16 June 2009


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