Dozens of syllabuses slated for NSW schools will be slashed in a major overhaul of schooling for overworked teachers.
NSW deputy premier Prue Car said up to 26 syllabuses originally slated for release in term 2 will be delayed until term 3 or later for teachers to properly learn the new material before implementing them in classrooms.
Ms Car on Thursday said the revised timeline will give staff more time to prepare for the launch on the overhauled Kindergarten to Year 10 English and maths curriculum slated for the first day of the 2024 school year.
The changes are part of the biggest reform to the state’s curriculum in more than 30 years.
Now only eight syllabuses will be released for Kindergarten to Year 6 in term 3 for creative arts, human society and its environment (HSIE), personal development health and physical education (PDHPE) and science and technology.
New high school syllabuses (Years 7 to 10) will be released for geography, history, PDHPE and visual arts.
“If we are to give students the strongest foundations for success in life then we need to give their teachers time to get to know the English and maths curriculum and implement them well,” Ms Car said.
“Instead of an unworkable release of dozens of syllabuses per term this year, I’ve asked the NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) to lead with those that are core to improving learning outcomes for students.”
Ms Car said the full syllabus overhaul will be held until 2027, with NESA staggering consultations and releases.
Schools will also be given at least a year of planning time to implement the syllabuses once they are received.
Ms Car believes the more realistic syllabus roll out will help keep teachers in their jobs as the sector faces large-scale employment challenges.
“This announcement has not been made in a vacuum. This decision has been made in the environment of a crippling chronic shortage of teachers and teachers who are chronically overworked and burdened with administrative tasks,” said Ms Car.
“We face a workforce in all three sectors (government, Catholic and independent) that have too much administrative work to do, that are overburdened with work that’s seen them leaving in droves.”
The changes will be implemented in line with the NSW Curriculum Review undertaken by Professor Geoff Masters.
In addition to the syllabus delays, the NSW government have also promised to cut five admin hours for teachers every week, and this week announced they would convert 1400 temporary staff to permanent positions, with the ultimate promise of converting 10,000 teaching contracts and 6000 support staff contracts.