The Australian Government is committed to placing more emphasis on the quality of school education and to ensuring students have access to the knowledge and skills they need to succeed.
We have worked to restore the focus on a back to basics approach through the Australian Government’s Review of the Australian Curriculum which was completed in 2014. We are also placing a greater emphasis on science, technology, engineering and mathematics in schools, and conducting research into the provision of foreign languages education across jurisdictions in the senior secondary years.
Agreed Australian Curriculum
In January 2014 the Australian Government announced a review to evaluate the robustness, independence and balance of the Australian Curriculum, examining the content and development process. The final report from this review was released in October 2014. More information about the review is available.
The National Innovation and Science Agenda – Inspiring all Australians in digital literacy and STEM
On 7 December 2015 the Government released the National Innovation and Science Agenda. More information about the Agenda is available at www.innovation.gov.au
Under the Agenda’s Inspiring all Australians in digital literacy and STEM measure, a variety of initiatives will be introduced to increase the participation of all students and the community in ICT and improve their digital literacy. They include:
- Initiatives to inspire curiosity and develop science and maths knowledge in early childhood;
- online computing challenges for Year 5 and 7 students nationally
- ICT summer schools for Year 9 and 10; and
- support for school leaders to drive digital literacy and partnerships between ICT leaders and schools.
There will be a focus on tackling the digital divide by ensuring that students most at risk of falling behind in the digital age are given opportunities to participate and engage.
Total funding for Inspiring all Australians in digital literacy and STEM is $112.2 million. The Department of Education and Training’s initiatives total $64.6 million. These will be provided over four years and commence from July 2016.
More information about the initiatives can be found on the Inspiring all Australians in digital literacy and STEM page.
Restoring the focus on science, technology, engineering and mathematics at school
On 14 October 2014 the Australian Government announced an additional $12 million for initiatives aimed at increasing the focus on science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subjects in primary and secondary schools. This forms a key element of its Industry Innovation and Competitiveness Agenda aimed at increasing STEM skills in Australia’s workforce. More information about the Restoring the focus on STEM in schools initiative is available.
Improving the take up of foreign languages
The Australian Government is working to revise the teaching of foreign languages in Australian schools with the goal of ensuring that at least 40 per cent of Year 12 students are studying a language other than English within a decade.