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Monday, 12 September 2011
Page: 9540

National Schools Curriculum

Dear Mr Murphy

Thank you for your letter of 4 July 2011 concerning the Turkish petition received by the Standing Committee on Petitions regarding the proposed languages in the draft Shape of the Australian Curriculum: Languages paper (Languages Shape paper).

The Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) is currently assessing the feedback from the public consultation on the draft Languages Shape paper. The Languages Shape paper proposed 11 languages for the development of the National Curriculum. While a decision has not yet been made on which languages will be included in the Australian Curriculum, it is important to acknowledge the work of ACARA is complementing other initiatives that support the study of languages in Australian schools. For example, the Collaborative Curriculum and Assessment Framework for Languages (CCAFL) is one initiative that recognises the importance of community languages being taught at the senior secondary level, such as Turkish.

The CCAFL, administered by state and territory certification authorities, allows for the teaching, learning and examination of small candidature languages such as Turkish. The CCAFL process will continue to support languages for which the Australian Curriculum may not be developed. ACARA will work collaboratively with states and territories to ensure students have the opportunities to engage with languages as part of their schooling.

In addition, the Australian Government provides significant funding under the National Education Agreement (NEA) to states and territories for languages education in government and community schools. The NEA allows state and territory education authorities the flexibility to target resources according to individual jurisdictional priorities and educational needs. Funding can be used to support Turkish language programs. The Government is also providing $62.4 million over 2010-2011 to 2013-2014 through the Schools Assistance Act 2008 to support the teaching of languages in non-government schools.

Thank you for writing on this matter.

from the Minister for School Education, Early Childhood and Youth, Mr Garrett