Biggest education shake up in 30 years

The NSW school curriculum will be overhauled to improve standards, with changes starting in 2021 and all years learning the new curriculum by 2024.

23 June 2020
Two high school girls discuss their notes while studying.
Image: The NSW Government is reforming the curriculum from Kindergarten to Year 12 so every student is prepared and ready for their future.

Unnecessary content will be cut, there will be a greater focus on literacy and numeracy, and TAFE and vocational training pathways will be modernised.

A curriculum review undertaken by Professor Geoff Masters supports the biggest shake up of the education system in more than 30 years.

The Government’s response to the review is based on:

  • decluttering the curriculum by reducing unnecessary subjects
  • a ‘back to basics approach’ that will see a renewed focus on the core subjects of English, Maths and Science
  • Year 11 and Year 12 prequalification for University and TAFE courses.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian said the overhaul would raise standards and equip students for the jobs of the future.

“The NSW Government will be taking a back to basics approach to the curriculum. Literacy and numeracy will remain the focus throughout a student’s school experience,” Ms Berejiklian said.

“We are investing record amounts into education and the results need to match this. We need to make a change if we want NSW to improve by global standards.”

Education Minister Sarah Mitchell said changes to the curriculum will ensure teachers have the time and support to teach the fundamentals, including maths, English and science.

“I want to see all our young people leaving school confident and equipped to succeed in life,” Ms Mitchell said.

“We want a curriculum that leaves no student behind while challenging students who are advancing faster than others.”

“We have listened to the experts when formulating the government response to the Curriculum Review – and I am confident that the changes we will implement will ensure that NSW remains one of the best places to educate our children for decades to come.”

Work to deliver the NSW Government’s new curriculum is already underway.

Facts and figures:

  • Approximately 1.2 million students in Kindergarten to Year 12 attend 3100 schools and are taught by more than 100 000 in-school teaching staff.
  • Consultation completed during the Curriculum Review found 98 per cent of teachers believed excess syllabus content was leading to diminished educational outcomes for students.
  • NAPLAN results for NSW students have stagnated over the last decade.
  • Media releases
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