The Council of Australian Governments today agreed to establish a new national education authority that will bring together, for the first time, the functions of curriculum, assessment and reporting at the national level.
COAG’s historic decision was driven by the unprecedented agreement reached between Commonwealth, State and Territory education ministers to end the blame game by working collaboratively through the Ministerial Council on Education, Employment, Training and Youth Affairs.
The new authority will be the key driver of the Australian Government’s Education Revolution. It will be responsible for delivering the national curriculum initiative and the transparency and performance reporting agenda announced by the Prime Minister last month.
Australia has been debating the merits of a national curriculum for the last 30 years. It is time to go beyond debate and take national action.
It is internationally recognised that achieving world class education standards requires the close alignment of curriculum, assessment and accountability systems to set high expectations for all students and enable a relentless focus on improving student outcomes.
This new authority will enable that combined focus, including more effective transparency and accountability mechanisms that meet the needs of students, parents, teachers and the broader community.
In April 2008, the Australian Government established the National Curriculum Board to take on the challenge of engaging the community in developing Australia’s first national curriculum in English, mathematics, the sciences and history. The National Curriculum Board will now form part of this new national education authority.
COAG’s decision has shown that education is now at the forefront of the national agenda. The Commonwealth, States and Territories will continue to work together to develop the legislation to establish the new authority.