LAST week’s release of David Gonski’s review into Australia’s education system confirms we need to fundamentally change our curriculum and get back to teaching the basics properly, says Shadow Education Minister Tim Smith.

Among the key findings of the review is that over the last 15 years Australian students have dropped from 4th in the world for reading to 16th, from 11th in mathematics to 25th, and from 8th in science to 14th.

The report also shows that there is a growing gap in educational outcomes between Australia and the highest performing countries in both reading and maths.

This decline in educational standards is occurring across all socio-economic sectors, and all education sectors.

When it comes to our schools and what we teach our kids, Daniel Andrews continues to defend the status quo.

The Andrews Labor Government is receiving billions of dollars extra for Victorian schools and yet the NAPLAN results of our students aren’t improving despite all of that extra money, with around 30% of schools “cruising” rather than improving.

One glance at the three dimensional curriculum model, below, shows that the curriculum is grossly over-cluttered. With such complexity, it’s no wonder educational outcomes are in decline.

Something needs to change. Which is why the Victorian Liberal Nationals have announced that if elected we will conduct a major review into our curriculum so that we can get back to basics with what we teach our kids.

Enough overthinking, we must get back to basics and teach young Victorians what really matters - sound literacy and numeracy skills, not unnecessary cross-curricular priorities that further clutter the curriculum.

Labor has been in government for 14 out of the last 18 years in Victoria and student outcomes have been stagnating during that time. Labor is obsessed with trendy educational fads, not the hard policy work of improving standards in our schools.


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