Rushed HSC plans put education at risk

Media release

New South Wales Greens Education spokesperson Tamara Smith, MP for Ballina, says the rush to get new HSC syllabuses into schools will sabotage government initiatives to support teaching and learning in NSW.

“New HSC syllabus drafts have recently been made available for teachers to look at but the seriously flawed consultation process has caused dismay amongst principals and teachers who believe the timeline for the syllabuses to be implemented is impossible to meet,” said Ms Smith.

“John Ryan, a Head Teacher of English and former branch President of the English Teachers Association on the NSW north coast, has told me the changes in English courses alone will mean writing 10 separate programs before the end of next year.”

Each of these programs must cover 8-10 weeks of teaching and a further 14 programs will need to be completed by the end of term three in 2018.

"English Teachers have been advised by Board of Studies officials that the Prescriptions document which lists the textbook choices and provides a description of each of the electives won't be published until the end of term one next year at the earliest. Without these teachers can't even make a start as they tell them the details and focus of each course.”

“It looks like teachers won't have a clear idea what the HSC exam will look like either. Teachers don't just cobble together resources and make it up as they go along. Teachers are trying to follow Professional Standards and the Excellence in Schools Framework, and to provide the very best learning environment for students; it’s very hard for them to also be in the dark about what they are supposed to be teaching."

“Given that teachers have also expressed serious concerns at the poor quality of the draft syllabuses in a number of subjects, I would ask Education Minister Piccoli to listen to teachers and delay the implementation until 2020. Such a decision can only benefit the quality of education for the students of NSW,” said Ms Smith.

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