THERE are growing concerns about changes to the current NSW secondary schools curriculum.
Education groups including Gifted NSW are worried that the changes will disadvantage accelerated students.
The proposed changes have been recommended following the NSW Education Standards Authority's (NESA) review into the NSW curriculum and has three key aims including streamlining the HSC, focusing on key content, and untimed syllabuses.
Craig Petersen, President of the NSW Secondary Principals Council, said that while concerns had been raised, the changes were a step in the right direction for students education.
"There has been a degree of dissatisfaction with the current curriculum meeting the needs of students," he said.
"It really hasn't changed for almost 30 years and the challenge is making sure the changes meet the needs of students now and into the future.
"Recommendations will allow for are a diverse range of students, increasing opportunities for VET courses and being more inclusive for those with disabilities and students who may need mental health support."
While the curriculum changes are aimed at allowing teachers more freedom to teach students individually at a pace that suits their rate of learning, Gifted NSW President Melinda Gindy, said while the changes were well overdue, she was concerned the changes would have a negative effect on gifted students.
"All students have a right to relevant education based on their readiness to learn," she said.
"What is not clear is how the changes will engage gifted and high potential students in rigorous and relevant content at the depth, complexity and pace they deserve.
"Decisions made now are fundamental to the issues of equity and excellence for all students, not just students who are falling behind."
Mr Petersen said he understood the concerns but that the proposed changes were aimed at ensuring each child remained interested in learning, progressed at a level that was reflective of their knowledge and skill levels, and encouraged all students to improve.
"The curriculum is quite cluttered with a lot for teachers and students to get through, so it is about enabling easier and more efficient learning," he said.
"Some students are being pushed quickly through content when they haven't even mastered the basics needed, while others may not be getting the higher levels of learning that they may be capable of.
"The new curriculum will look at core skills and learnings, highlight those and work less essential concepts around those, allowing everyone to learn at a more individual pace."
Other changes to the curriculum include streamlining the HSC and increasing the recognition and academic rigour of VET courses in an effort to reflect their true education potential.
While the improvements have an approximate timeframe of four years, Mr Petersen was worried that time frame was not realistic given the complexity and amount of changes that were being introduced, and instead said eight to ten years would be a more realistic figure for full implementation.
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