Report says students must move from year-based curriculum to one that’s independent of age or grade

Australia’s education system has “failed a generation” of school children, with student outcomes declining in reading, science, and maths over the last 18 years, requiring urgent action from government, according to a landmark report.
A review chaired by businessman David Gonski found Australia needs to overhaul its “industrial model” of school education, declaring it no longer helps students maximise their learning growth.
The new report, titled Through Growth to Achievement, makes 23 recommendations around assessment and reporting regimes for federal, state and territory governments.
Its chief insight is that Australia needs to shift away from a year-based curriculum to a curriculum expressed as “learning progressions”, independent of year or age.
It says Australia’s industrial model of school education, which reflects a 20th century aspiration to deliver mass education to all children, is detrimental to individual student outcomes because it focuses on trying to ensure that millions of students attain specified learning outcomes for their grade and age before moving them in lock-step to the next year of schooling.
“It is not designed to differentiate learning or stretch all students to ensure they achieve maximum learning growth every year, nor does it incentivise schools to innovate and continuously improve,” the report says.
“Australia needs to review and change its model for school education,” it says.
The report was commissioned by Simon Birmingham, the federal education minister, after the Turnbull government’s “Gonski 2.0” school funding plan was passed by parliament last year.