Victoria and New South Wales have broken ranks over the move to a national school curriculum, saying it is crucial that educational standards are not eroded.
The two rogue states attacked the federal government for failing to take into account the full impact and considerable cost of implementing the curriculum changes.
They also raised concerns about teacher bonuses and questioned whether there was a need for an Australian Baccalaureate, which would complement existing senior secondary school qualifications.
The dissent is a blow to the federal government and could further delay the national curriculum, a reform priority for Prime Minister Julia Gillard.
The states last year agreed the first four subjects of the national curriculum – maths, science, English and history – would be substantially implemented by 2013.
However, support has been wavering following the election of Coalition governments in Victoria and NSW, with Victoria last week vowing it would not relinquish control over ”critical areas” such as languages. The O’Farrell government has also pledged to refuse to accept the national curriculum if it means NSW standards go down.
Victorian Minister for the Teaching Profession Peter Hall said there was ”some nervousness” among ministers and jurisdictions about proceeding down the track of a national curriculum. ”All states and territories have an obligation to ensure national reform in education does not erode educational standards in the quest for national consistency,” he said.
In a statement released after a meeting of state and federal education ministers yesterday, Victoria and NSW raised concerns about a number of key Gillard policies, including a one-off performance bonus of up to $8100 for one in 10 teachers, which was funded in the budget.
The article from The Age, 9 July 2011: http://www.theage.com.au/national/national-curriculum-under-threat-20110708-1h6u5.html#ixzz1RZeIhNBQ