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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 04 Hansard (Thursday, 25 March 2010) . . Page.. 1520 ..

I think it is important to note that, with the implementation of the ACT’s curriculum framework—and it is just that, a framework—and then the national curriculum, which is at a greater level of detail than a framework but is not a national syllabus, no-one has ever suggested that on day one on term one every student in year 7 in Australia would be learning from a particular textbook. That is not what the national curriculum is about. It is not that prescriptive, but it certainly provides a level of guidance and a level of detail that is more than the ACT curriculum framework. The very strong advice I have from education stakeholders and curriculum experts in the ACT is that our curriculum framework and the national curriculum align very well.

MR SPEAKER: Ms Hunter, a supplementary question?

MS HUNTER: Minister, what community consultations will be held in the ACT about the national curriculum and what level of impact can the wishes of ACT school communities have? Will their wishes on the implementation of the national curriculum in their schools be noted?

MR BARR: There is extensive community consultation underway now. All of the papers in relation to the first phase of the national curriculum are on the ACARA website. The public consultation commenced some weeks back. The Deputy Prime Minister and I made an announcement at Telopea Park school, launching the 10 trial schools in the ACT and launching the public consultation.

Of course there had been involvement from stakeholders, from the community, from school communities in the lead-up. This was first announced back in 2008 as part of the Melbourne declaration on the future of schooling in Australia. In the lead-up to that announcement there had been consultation with key education stakeholders and school communities, going back, effectively, to the election of the Rudd Labor government in 2007.

This was a clear election commitment of the federal government and one that all states and territories have worked cooperatively on, regardless of whether the state or territory government is Labor or Liberal. Indeed, the Western Australian government is part of this reform process. I think it is a very good thing that there is that sort of engagement across all states and territories.

Mr Seselja: Soon you’ll have Will Hodgman to deal with and his education minister.

MR BARR: If Mr Seselja is interjecting with some confidence about Mr Hodgman as the Tasmanian Premier, he might want to see the latest count in Denison.

MS LE COUTEUR: I have a supplementary, please, Mr Speaker.

MR SPEAKER: Yes, Ms Le Couteur.

MS LE COUTEUR: Minister, when the trial of the national curriculum being conducted in the ACT, as you have talked about, is complete, are there genuine opportunities for making changes in the curriculum before it is rolled out in the ACT?

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