AEU resolution on the revised Victorian Curriculum

Resolution, 9 December 2022: That the AEU Joint Primary and Secondary Sector Council notes the process set out by the VCAA to revise the Victorian Curriculum (F-10), following the approval of the updated Australian Curriculum in April 2022.

The Joint Council also notes the AEU’s School curriculum development, implementation and review policy. This policy recognises the expertise of teachers and their fundamental role in curriculum development at all levels. The knowledge and skills required of teachers to undertake the complex work to develop and adapt curriculum to meet the learning needs of their students is at the heart of high-quality public education. For this reason, it is essential that the profession is clearly and directly included in any process that involves changes or updates to the curriculum.

The council calls on the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority (VCAA) to expand its process for the curriculum update to engage with the profession beyond the curriculum reference panels that have already been put together.

The changes which will be made to the Victorian curriculum must have an accompanying implementation strategy which includes:

  • recognition that likely changes which update multiple content descriptors across multiple levels are significant, and that the VCAA has an obligation to teachers who will be delivering these new and/or updated sections of the curriculum to provide an opportunity for feedback on those proposed changes before final approval by the VCAA 
  • up to two additional student-free days, to be taken as whole days or spread across a number of weeks, in the year preceding implementation for teachers in subject areas where significant change is proposed, plus additional funding for time-release where needed, to enable teachers to work collaboratively to discuss changes and plan and develop new curriculum 
  • the provision of comprehensive face-to-face professional development in addition to any on-line resources. The professional development should be based on effective professional learning principles and be relevant to teachers at the different stages of schooling and in the different areas of learning 
  • the timely communication to teachers and schools of the results of any curriculum trialling, including adjustments to the curriculum content, standards, assessment and reporting procedures and whole school implementation methodologies as a result of that trialling 
  • staged implementation of the curriculum change.

Placing the profession at the centre of curriculum development, and engaging the profession through development, implementation, and review, is the most effective way to support the learning of Victorian students.  It will also ensure the extreme views of political ideologues and the profit motivated self-interest of edu-business are not able to impact on our students or our profession. 

The council also calls on the VCAA to meet with the AEU to discuss the process for any future whole of curriculum review, and particularly the A-D curriculum, to engage the profession in a timely manner before further changes are proposed, consistent with the AEU’s curriculum policy.

9 December 2022