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CEO's report

Photo of David de Carvalho, ACARA's CEO
David de Carvalho
It would be an understatement to say that 2019–20 has been a period where things have not gone quite to plan for anyone, with COVID-19 causing a significant amount of disruption across the globe. Of course, ACARA has not been immune to this – the effects of COVID-19 have been felt widely within Australia and the education community.

The unique situation united teachers, parents and students to find the best solutions in the most trying of times. We published links to a range of curriculum and assessment resources to help parents and carers navigate this time of change and disruption.

The impact on ACARA’s agreed workplan has, of course, been significant. Education ministers decided that  NAPLAN would not be undertaken in 2020 and the sample assessments in ICT literacy were postponed until 2021. Much work had already been completed to ensure that NAPLAN would be undertaken smoothly, following the previous year’s connectivity issues, and we were confident that would be the case.

It is sometimes difficult to remember a time pre-COVID; however, looking back across the reporting period for this annual report, much was achieved. From August 2019, NAPLAN individual student reports were distributed, providing parents and carers with an opportunity to identify their child’s strengths and achievements in the areas of literacy and numeracy, and to identify any areas where attention is required. The 2019 NAPLAN summary information was published in August 2019, with the 2019 NAPLAN National Report published in February 2020.

The 2018 NAP Sample – Science Literacy (NAP–SL) public report was published in February 2020, and the sixth assessment cycle of the NAP Sample – Civics and Citizenship (NAP–CC) was successfully conducted online in October and November 2019.

The My School website was updated on 18 March 2020. It was released in accordance with Education Council approval of changes that improved the quality and usefulness of the information on the website. The website now has a stronger focus on student progress in a way that is fair and easy to understand. Consultation and collaboration with our stakeholders were key to the success of this project and I thank them all for their input, advice and assistance to us.

A number of resources were published to support the implementation of the Australian Curriculum, including additional elaborations to support the incorporation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Cultures in F–6 Science. An illustration of practice was published to exemplify the Framework for Aboriginal Languages and Torres Strait Islander Languages.

In June 2020, education ministers agreed that it was timely to review the Foundation – Year 10 Australian Curriculum. In preparation for the review, we consulted widely with key education stakeholders and groups to define the approach and scope of the review.

I would like to thank all of our staff, stakeholders and partners who support ACARA’s vision on a daily basis to inspire improvement in the learning of all young Australians.

Mr David de Carvalho