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Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority—Report for 2013-14


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Annual Report 2013-14

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Reporting Authority 2014

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ACARA Annual Report 2013-14

I

Contents

1. Overview 1

1.1 Chair’s foreword 2

1.2 CEO’s report 3

1.3 History and profile 5

1.4 ACARA’s Board and committees 6

2. Performance 7

2.1 Provision of a national curriculum 8

2.2 Provision of a national assessment program 16

2.3 Provision of a national data collection and reporting program 21

3. Management and Accountability 27

3.1 Governance and management framework 28

3.2 Risk management 29

3.3 Financial management 30

3.4 Communications and strategic relations 31

3.5 Workforce management 33

ACARA Annual Report 2013-14

II

4. Financial Performance 37

4.1 Statement by directors 38

4.2 Independent auditor’s report 39

4.3 Financial statements 41

4.4 Notes to financial statements 46

5. Additional Information 73

5.1 Board and committee membership 74

5.2 Board and committee meetings 78

5.3 Advisory groups and membership 79

5.4 Evidence to parliamentary committees 84

5.5 Judicial decisions and reviews by outside bodies 85

5.6 Work health and safety 86

5.7 Legislative reporting requirements 87

5.8 Providing access for people with disability 88

5.9 Sustainable practices 89

5.10 Acronyms and glossary 90

5.11 Compliance index 92

Contents

ACARA Annual Report 2013-14

III

ACARA

Establishment and functions

ACARA’s main functions are the development and

administration of a national school curriculum,

national assessments, and the collection,

management and analysis of school data relating to

school education and performance for publication.

In supporting these functions, ACARA also provides

some school curriculum resources and educational

research services.

ACARA was established on 8 December 2008

under the Australian Curriculum, Assessment

and Reporting Authority Act 2008 (the ACARA

Act) and began operations with the appointment

of the ACARA Board in May 2009. A new ACARA

Board was appointed on 8 May 2012. ACARA is a

cooperative enterprise between state and federal

jurisdictions, receiving funding for its activities jointly

from the Australian Government and state and

territory governments.

Mission

Through world-class school curriculum, assessment

and reporting, ACARA will improve the learning of

all young Australians.

Future directions

At its 13-14 June 2013 meeting, the ACARA Board

endorsed strategic directions to guide the work of

the authority from 2013-14 to 2015-16.

ACARA will continue to work towards:

• developing a rigorous, world-class national curriculum from Foundation to Year 12 called the Australian Curriculum, to cater for and engage all Australian students

• consolidating a robust national assessment program that measures students’ progress

• aligning the National Assessment Program with the Australian Curriculum, as well as bringing the program online

• enhancing national data collection and reporting programs that support accountability and improvement

• building productive partnerships that foster a national approach and support improvement across the sector

• aligning governance and operations within ACARA and creating a high-performance organisation that fully meets the expectations of the Australian public.

However, the strategic directions highlight five

areas of focus to guide how ACARA goes about

its work. These are outlined on the areas of focus

diagram on the next page.

Annual report requirements

This annual report has been prepared in

compliance with the Commonwealth Authorities

and Companies Act 1997 and the Commonwealth

Authorities and Companies (Report of Operations)

Orders 2011.

ACARA Annual Report 2013-14

IV

ACARA

Areas of focus

Partnerships Community engagement Sustainability Performance Capacity

Directions

Collaborate

with ACARA’s

partners in

addressing

and enabling

the national

education

agenda agreed

by ministers.

Engage and

communicate

with parents,

principals,

teachers,

students and

the broader

community about

ACARA’s work.

Increase policy

relevance and

continue to

make a positive

difference within

an evolving

Australian

education

landscape.

Continue to

improve the

quality, timeliness

and impact of all

ACARA’s work.

Attract highly

competent staff,

and promote

and maintain a

positive, agile

and

high-performing

work culture.

How ACARA approaches its work 2013-14 to 2015-16

ACARA Annual Report 2013-14

V

Letter of transmittal

Overview

Annual Report 2013-14

ACARA Annual Report 2013-14

2

1.1 Chair’s foreword

Our children are our nation’s future. For the past

five years, ACARA has built towards a better future

- one where young Australians have access to a

world-class school curriculum, and a world class

assessment and reporting system. ACARA has a vital

role to play in shifting conversations about education

to a national level, with a 21st century focus.

The task of deciding what is essential content for

students to learn and on which to be assessed is

a challenging one. It is ACARA’s role to set the

national expectations for Australian schools but

to do so collaboratively.

With the Australian Curriculum for English and

mathematics, as well as the general capabilities

(numeracy and literacy) being implemented from

Foundation to Year 10 around Australia, ACARA is

working to redesign NAPLAN assessments. This

will ensure alignment with the Australian Curriculum

and we anticipate changes being in place for

NAPLAN in 2016.

Thousands of teachers, academics and community

members actively and productively participate in

ACARA’s work - via email, social media or face-to-face. I would like to thank everyone who has helped

us with our work. Their involvement is valued

and appreciated.

A national approach to curriculum and assessment

means that no matter where students live, they

have access to the same essential curriculum

content. Their teachers have the same achievement

standards to better understand and assess

student learning.

NAPLAN, now in its seventh year, builds on this

national approach by assisting governments,

education authorities and schools determine

whether young Australians are meeting important

goals in literacy and numeracy. It allows those

people with the power to help our children, to direct

resources to where they are most needed. We will

continue to work with all governments to make

changes to NAPLAN so it meets expectations. This

includes consideration of faster turnaround of results

and moving tests online.

The 2014 update of My School builds on four years

of sharing information with the Australian public

about the performance and resources of schools.

My School’s value is that it enables parents,

school communities, educators and community

members to:

• search for schools in their local area or

elsewhere

• view school-level NAPLAN results and

progress over time

• compare schools with students from similar

levels of socio-educational advantage

• identify schools that are doing well and share

successful strategies.

During this year, we farewelled six retiring members

of the ACARA Board: Mr Tony Mackay (Deputy

Chair), Dr Brian Croke, Ms Lesley Englert, Mr Angus

James, Ms Dianne Kerr and Mr Garry Le Duff. I

would like to express my appreciation for the effort

and passion of these members over the past five

years. Professor Brian Caldwell (Deputy Chair),

Dr Paul Sharkey, Ms Valerie Gould, Mr Stephen

Gniel, Ms Patrea Walton and Cr Michael Hewitson,

have been nominated as new members of the

Board. We welcome them.

I am proud to have served as Chairman of the

ACARA Board for the past five years. I look forward

to guiding ACARA to achieve further milestones in

the coming year.

Professor Barry McGaw AO, PhD Chair

ACARA Annual Report 2013-14

3

1.2 CEO’s report

In 2013-14, ACARA’s fifth full year in operation,

the authority continued to grow, to achieve, and to

consolidate its accomplishments in the Australian

education landscape.

Curriculum

Over the last five years, ACARA has undertaken

consultations on F-10 and senior secondary

curriculum. We have received more than 13 000

consultation submissions from individuals, groups

and organisations.

Implementation of the Australian Curriculum

for English, mathematics, science and history

for Foundation to Year 10 is underway across

the country.

In 2013-14, development of the Australian

Curriculum continued with publication of the arts

curriculum in February 2014. The Australian

Curriculum in technologies, health and physical

education, economics and business, and civics and

citizenship was noted and made available for use

in February 2014.

Assessment

For the seventh year, over one million Australian

students across more than 9500 Australian schools

took the NAPLAN tests in May 2014. For the Year

9 students, this was their last round of NAPLAN

testing. They have come full circle from being the

first students to take the tests as third graders

in 2008.

NAPLAN allows every student across the nation to

take the same test at a similar time, resulting in a

national snapshot of the achievement of students in

the vital life skills of literacy and numeracy.

NAPLAN allows us to take stock of where

students are on a national scale, celebrating and

encouraging success or addressing areas for

greater improvement or development.

National sample assessments have been carried

out on a triennial basis since 2003, comprising NAP

- Civics and Citizenship, NAP - Science Literacy

and NAP - ICT Literacy. For the first time, the NAP

- Civics and Citizenship tests were delivered online.

During 2013-14 ACARA has also undertaken

extensive research and planning activities designed

to inform moves over the next few years to deliver

NAPLAN online.

Reporting

The fifth My School release occurred on 5 March

2014. My School provides the opportunity for

educators, parents and the wider community to

view up-to-date information on all schools across

Australia, and to make comparisons between them.

A new feature of this year’s My School release is

a mapping function, which allows visitors to the

site to view the school’s location and other local

schools on the same map. ACARA also enhanced

the calculation of the Index of Community Socio-Educational Advantage (ICSEA). In the last 12

months, there were over 17 million page views of

the My School website.

ACARA’s people

This year we farewelled Peter Adams, General

Manager, Assessment and Reporting. Peter made a

significant contribution to ACARA and we wish him

the very best for the future.

ACARA has a diverse and talented workforce.

We continue to employ a full complement of staff

in our Sydney headquarters, as well as in our

offices in Melbourne and Perth. This year ACARA

developed a performance and recognition system

and undertook training and remuneration reviews.

We continue to work within the requirements of our

enterprise agreement (EA).

ACARA Annual Report 2013-14

4

1.2 CEO’s report

I look forward to welcoming our new General

Manager, Assessment and Reporting and to

working closely with the ACARA Board, executive

and all ACARA staff as ACARA continues on its

journey to provide all Australia’s students with

access to world-class curriculum, assessment

and reporting.

Robert Randall Chief Executive Officer

You’re not alone…

TEACHERS: Help teachers to challenge higher performers and identify students needing support.

NATIONAL STANDARDS: KNOWLEDGE:

Comparable data about literacy and numeracy standards.

EQUITY:

A fair go for all Australian students. Open conversation about the important

skills of literacy and numeracy.

SCHOOLS: Map student progress, identify strengths and weaknesses in teaching programs and set goals.

Students take the test in years 3, 5, 7 and 9.

No pass. No fail. Familiarisation is important. Drilling and excessive practice is unnecessary.

TEST DOMAINS

sit the NAPLAN test.

NAPLAN provides bene*ts from the ground up for students, schools and Australian education systems.

Students and parents: Discuss progress with teachers and compare performance against

national peers.

School systems and governments: Valuable data to support good teaching and

learning, and school improvement.

NAPLAN NAPLAN National Assessment Program - Literacy and Numeracy

The data and information we gain from NAPLAN drives ongoing improvement at school, state and national levels.

www.nap.edu.au

LANGUAGE CONVENTIONS

NUMERACY

WRITING

READING

? ?

? ?

? ?

ACARA Annual Report 2013-14

5

1.3 History and profile

History

ACARA was established in December 2008 and

became operational at the end of May 2009.

On 28 May 2009, the Minister for Education, the

Hon. Julia Gillard MP, announced the appointment

of the inaugural ACARA Board members.

Purpose, enabling legislation and functions

ACARA is responsible for delivering a national

curriculum, a national assessment program,

and national data collection and performance

reporting programs.

ACARA was established under the Australian

Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority

Act 2008 (ACARA Act) by the Parliament of the

Commonwealth of Australia on 8 December 2008.

ACARA is a cooperative enterprise between state,

territory and federal jurisdictions and its activities

are jointly funded by Commonwealth, state and

territory governments.

ACARA’s work contributes to improving the quality

and consistency of school education in Australia

through a national curriculum, national assessment,

data collection and performance reporting.

The ACARA Act outlines the authority’s functions,

which are to:

• develop and administer a national school

curriculum, including curriculum content and

achievement standards, for school subjects

specified by the Ministerial 1 Council’s charter

for ACARA

• develop and administer national assessments

• collect, manage and analyse student

assessment data and other data relating to

schools and comparative school performance

• facilitate information-sharing arrangements

between Australian government bodies in

relation to the collection, management and

analysis of school data

• publish information relating to school

education, including information relating to

comparative school performance

• provide school curriculum resources

services, education research services and

other related services

• provide information, resources, support and

guidance to the teaching profession

• perform other related functions.

Directions of the Standing Council

Section 7 (3) of the ACARA Act requires ACARA to

perform its functions and exercise its powers in line

with the charter set by the Standing Council.

ACARA reports to the Standing Council and to the

federal Minister for Education about requirements

under the Commonwealth Authorities and

Companies Act 1997 (CAC Act).

Responsible minister

For the 2013-14 financial year, the Minister

responsible for ACARA was the Hon. Bill Shorten

MP (from 1 July, 2013 until 18 September 2013)

and the Hon. Christopher Pyne MP, Minister for

Education (from 18 September 2013).

Location

ACARA’s headquarters are at Level 10, 255 Pitt

Street, Sydney NSW 2000.

1 Known as the Standing Council - Standing Council on School Education and Early Childhood.

ACARA Annual Report 2013-14

6

1.4 ACARA’s Board and committees

The ACARA Board

The ACARA Board is responsible for ensuring

the proper and efficient performance of the

Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting

Authority’s functions.

The Board is comprised of 13 members who

are nominated by federal, state and territory

education ministers, as well as by the National

Catholic Education Commission (NCEC) and the

Independent Schools Council of Australia (ISCA).

Changes were made to the membership of the

Board during the reporting period in accordance

with section 14 of the ACARA Act. Six members

retired from the Board in May 2014, with the

appointment process for six new and three re-nominated members to be finalised in July 2014.

The annual review of the Board was facilitated

by the Chair and involved completion of a

questionnaire and board-level discussion.

During the reporting period, the Board was

supported by the Audit and Risk Committee and the

Curriculum Committee. All three bodies comprise

non-executive members.

Audit and Risk Committee

The ACARA Board established the Audit and Risk

Committee at its second meeting on 29 June 2009,

in compliance with section 32 of the CAC Act. The

committee was chaired by Ms Dianne Kerr until

her retirement on 7 May 2014. The Audit and Risk

Committee provides assurance and assistance on

ACARA’s risk, control and compliance framework

and its external accountability responsibilities.

Curriculum Committee

The ACARA Board established the Curriculum

Committee at its meeting of 7 February 2013, in

accordance with section 35 of the ACARA Act. The

committee is chaired by Professor Barry McGaw,

AO, PhD. The committee makes decisions and

provides advice to the Board on matters relating to

the development of the Australian Curriculum.

Annual Report 2013-14

Performance

ACARA Annual Report 2013-14

8

2.1 Provision of a national curriculum

Overview

ACARA leads national collaboration to produce the

Foundation - Year 12 Australian Curriculum.

The Australian Curriculum sets consistent high

standards for what all young Australians should

learn as they progress through schooling. It

prepares Australia’s next generation for the future

and lays the building blocks for generations to

come. It facilitates national collaboration to

develop and share high-quality resources and

teaching practices.

ACARA draws on the best national talent and

expertise to draft the curriculum. Each step in

the development process involves extensive

consultation with teachers, principals, state

and territory education authorities, professional

education associations, business, industry,

community groups, the general public and all

governments in a transparent process to ensure a

balanced, rigorous curriculum is developed. ACARA

considered over 19 500 submissions in developing

the curriculum now available on the Australian

Curriculum website.

The overall development of the Australian

Curriculum has been guided by the Shape of the

Australian Curriculum (v1.0-4.0). The process for

developing the national curriculum has four stages:

shaping, writing, implementation, and monitoring

and evaluation, and is outlined in ACARA’s

Curriculum Development Process (v6.0). Design

specifications for the Australian Curriculum are

outlined in the Curriculum Design Paper (v3.1).

These documents are available on ACARA’s

website.

The Australian Curriculum focuses on learning

area content and achievement standards that

describe what students will learn and teachers

will teach. There are eight learning areas:

English, mathematics, science, humanities and

social sciences (incorporating the subjects of

history, geography, civics and citizenship, and

economics and business), the arts (incorporating

the subjects of dance, drama, media arts, music

and visual arts), health and physical education,

technologies (incorporating the subjects of design

A lot of work goes into a great education...

ACARA improves the learning of all young Australians through world-class school curriculum, assessment and reporting.

Step 1: Blueprint

Step 2: Writing

Step 3: Trialling

young people across Australia will access a world-class curriculum that equips them to become successful learners, confident and creative individuals and active, informed citizens.

Under the new national curriculum

We trial the curriculum to make sure it works in classrooms. 2,168 teachers trialled the curriculum in primary and secondary schools

across Australia.

Step 4: Approval

We work with leading educators to develop a “shape” for the curriculum.

Number of respondents:

across 12 Shape Papers

Educational goals for young Australians Key research Learning needs in the 21st century Leading national and international curriculum

What do we look at?

We work for about 18 months with experts and advisors to draft a curriculum. Public consultation is open for about 10 weeks.

During the writing phase, we received the following number of consultation responses:

Both individuals and groups respond. One submission from a state or territory may represent the views of hundreds of teachers. We analyse feedback and revise the curriculum.

* Figures drawn from 2012 and 2013 consult periods

The curriculum is then approved by the ACARA Board and all Education Ministers.

Step 5: Teaching The Australian curriculum is published at www.australiancurriculum.edu.au

States and territories work with their schools to implement the curriculum. In 2014 all states and territories have begun to implement F-10 Australian Curriculum

Step 6: Monitoring From 2014 we will report annually on feedback about the effectiveness of the curriculum.

We make decisions about change carefully, balanced against the need for curriculum stability.

7,339

ACARA Annual Report 2013-14

9

2.1 Provision of a national curriculum

and technologies, and digital technologies) and

languages (incorporating 11 language-specific

curriculum and a framework for Aboriginal

languages and Torres Strait Islander languages).

The Australian Curriculum gives attention to

seven general capabilities that are important for

life and work in the 21st century and to three

issues identified in the Melbourne Declaration as

needing more attention than they have received in

curriculums to date. The general capabilities and

the cross-curriculum priorities are not added as

extra subjects. They are dealt with, where relevant,

through the learning area content on which the

curriculum is built.

The seven general capabilities are literacy,

numeracy, information and communication

technology (ICT) capability, critical and creative

thinking, personal and social capability, ethical

understanding and intercultural understanding.

The three cross-curriculum priorities are

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and

cultures, Asia and Australia’s engagement with

Asia, and sustainability.

ACARA is continuing to develop subjects within

the Australian Curriculum, including the languages

and work studies curriculums. ACARA is also

developing materials to support teachers as the

curriculum is being implemented.

As a part of agreed monitoring and evaluation

processes, ACARA is gathering information about

the effectiveness of the Australian Curriculum and

identifying ways in which the curriculum could

be improved over time. Considerations include

ensuring the curriculum continues to meet the

needs of students in a changing world, is practical

for teachers across Australia, reflects best practice

nationally and internationally, and requires

comparable achievements to those of other high-performing nations. ACARA uses this information to

prepare a future work plan for consideration by all

education ministers.

ACARA collaborates with other national agencies

in supporting the development and implementation

of the Australian Curriculum. For example,

ACARA continues to work with Education Services

Australia regarding online resource discovery and

the Australian Institute for Teaching and School

Leadership on professional learning requirements

for the Australian Curriculum.

Achievements

During 2013-14, ACARA made significant progress

in developing the Australian Curriculum. Notable

achievements include the following:

• the Australian Curriculum: Geography Years

11-12 was published in August 2013

• F-10 Australian Curriculum for health

and physical education, economics and

business, civics and citizenship, technologies

and the arts were noted by education ministers

and made available for state and territory

use on the Australian Curriculum website in

February 2014

• the F-10 Australian Curriculum for languages

for Chinese, French, Indonesian and Italian

were noted by education ministers and

published on the Australian Curriculum website

in June 2014

• the publication of 132 enhanced student

work sample portfolios for F-10 English,

mathematics, science and history (comprising

over 1080 individual annotated work

samples) that illustrate three levels of student

achievement at each year level

• the addition of 11 illustrations of personalised

learning to the student diversity section of the

Australian Curriculum website; each illustration

ACARA Annual Report 2013-14

10

2.1 Provision of a national curriculum

presents a view of school-based examples of

teaching/learning from diverse school settings.

English, mathematics, science and history

The F-10 Australian Curriculum for English,

mathematics, science and history is being

implemented in all Australian states and territories.

Senior secondary curriculums in 14 subjects for

English, mathematics, science and history are

available on the Australian Curriculum website for

state and territory integration and implementation.

In 2013 and 2014, ACARA continues to work

with states and territories to identify the senior

secondary curriculum content that will be integrated

into their respective courses, and the timelines and

processes for this integration. In 2014, ACARA

is collaborating with states and territories that

have begun or are soon to begin implementation

of courses that incorporate senior secondary

Australian Curriculum content, and is developing

strategies to improve the achievement standards.

Geography, languages and the arts curriculum

development

The senior secondary geography curriculum was

endorsed by education ministers in July 2013. In

2014, states and territories are preparing for the

planning, teaching and assessment of the F-10

geography curriculum.

The languages curriculum includes both language-specific curriculum and a framework for Aboriginal

Languages and Torres Strait Islander Languages.

The organisation of the curriculum addresses the

key variables of learner background in the target

language and time on task. It also takes account

of the different entry points into languages, across

F-10 years, which reflects current practice.

During the reporting year, significant progress

was made on the development of the Australian

Curriculum for languages. Chinese (three

pathways) and Italian were approved by the

ACARA Board in December 2013, and French

and Indonesian were approved in February 2014.

The curriculums for Chinese, French, Indonesian

and Italian were noted by education ministers, and

made available for use; awaiting final endorsement.

The curriculums for Arabic, German, Japanese,

Korean, Modern Greek, Spanish and Vietnamese,

as well as the Framework for Aboriginal Languages

and Torres Strait Islander Languages, are due for

publication in late 2014.

The F-10 Australian Curriculum: The Arts

(comprising five subjects: dance, drama, media

arts, music and visual arts) was endorsed by

education ministers in July 2013, subject to further

consultation with Western Australia, which has now

concluded. In February 2014, the arts curriculum

was made available for state and territory use on

the Australian Curriculum website.

Technologies, health and physical education, civics

and citizenship, and economics and business

curriculum development

The technologies curriculum draws together

the distinct but related subjects of design and

technologies and digital technologies. The

technologies curriculum, comprising design and

technologies and digital technologies subjects,

was noted by education ministers at the November

2013 meeting and has been made available for use

by states and territories. As at June 2014, it was

awaiting final endorsement.

The health and physical education curriculum is

one of five (including English, mathematics, science

and history) that is to be taught to all students from

Foundation through to Year 10. It comprises two

interrelated strands and covers concepts such as

the acquisition of movement skills and development

of health literacy competencies. The health and

ACARA Annual Report 2013-14

11

2.1 Provision of a national curriculum

physical education curriculum was noted by

education ministers at the November 2013 meeting

and has been made available for use by states and

territories. As at June 2014, it was awaiting final

endorsement by education ministers.

The humanities and social sciences learning area

has been finished with the addition of economics

and business, and civics and citizenship. The

humanities and social sciences learning area

now comprises four subjects: history, geography,

economics and business, and civics and

citizenship.

The civics and citizenship curriculum develops

students’ understanding of Australia’s political and

legal systems, as well as effective participatory

citizenship in contemporary Australian society.

The economics and business curriculum equips

students to identify and make informed decisions

and to respond to contemporary economic and

business issues and events in local, national,

regional and global contexts. The economics and

business and civics and citizenship curriculums

were noted by education ministers at the November

2013 meeting and have been made available for

use by the states and territories. As at June 2014,

both curriculums are awaiting final endorsement by

education ministers.

National Trade Cadetships

The draft Australian Curriculum: Work Studies

Years 9-10 underwent national consultation from

September to December 2013. The ACARA Board

approved the revised curriculum in March 2014,

for endorsement at the August 2014 meeting of

education ministers.

In light of the Standing Council decision to

update the 2001 Vocational Education in Schools

framework, the Australian Government is currently

considering whether the National Trade Cadetships

initiative - in its current form - best meets the

needs of industry and students. In May 2014 the

Department of Education requested that ACARA

pause all work on the Year 11-12 curriculum until

further advised.

Primary curriculum

During 2014, ACARA worked with state and

territory curriculum directors and peak bodies

in primary education to help share approaches

being implemented nationally. The authority is

implementing a number of strategies to support

primary schools in their management of the

Australian Curriculum.

ACARA has completed a video collection illustrating

how 10 primary schools from across Australia are

At the ACARA community consultation forum on the draft Framework for Aboriginal Languages and Torres Strait Islander Languages, Port Headland

ACARA Annual Report 2013-14

12

2.1 Provision of a national curriculum

successfully managing the Australian curriculum.

The video is being prepared for publishing on the

Australian Curriculum website, later in 2014. This

will assist primary schools to analyse and plan

effective ways of engaging with the Australian

Curriculum.

In April 2014, ACARA published and distributed the

initial quarterly newsletter entitled Primary Matters

to primary schools across Australia. The Australian

Primary Principals Association supported the

distribution of the newsletter.

ACARA has developed various ways the Australian

Curriculum can be viewed and organised when

accessed through the Australian Curriculum

website. The increased functionality of the

website will be launched in July 2014 and will

further support primary teachers and schools with

programming and planning.

To support primary schools and their principals, the

authority has been involved in many presentations

across Australia regarding the management of the

Australian Curriculum in primary schools.

Senior secondary

In November 2013, ACARA provided SCSEEC

with advice in relation to how the content for the 15

endorsed senior secondary Australian Curriculum

subjects are, or will be, integrated into state and

territory courses.

In 2014, ACARA established a discussion group

with states and territories to develop and undertake

a process to improve the Australian Curriculum

senior secondary achievement standards. In

particular, ACARA is working with the Australian

Capital Territory, as the first jurisdiction where

teachers have begun to use the senior secondary

Australian Curriculum subjects.

ACARA has established a discussion group with all

states and territories to develop agreed processes,

options and timelines for further senior secondary

Australian Curriculum subjects.

General capabilities

General capabilities were first published in 2010

and have continued to be strengthened over time.

The general capabilities continua, available on the

Australian Curriculum website, support teacher

understanding of the progression of learning for

each capability and how they can be used to enrich

teaching and learning.

As ACARA finalises the development of F-10

Australian Curriculum, intensive work has been

undertaken to review the identification of general

capabilities in learning area content. This work

has involved general capabilities being identified,

to the sub-element level, in content descriptions

and content elaborations in the following

curriculum: English, mathematics, science, history,

geography, the arts, health and physical education,

technologies, civics and citizenship, economics

and business, work studies, and the languages of

Chinese, French, Indonesian and Italian.

This process has confirmed that general

capabilities are identified in appropriate learning

area content and will be used to create a general

capabilities view on the Australian Curriculum

website. The data collected from this work will be

analysed and used in the verification of the general

capabilities learning continua, and are contributing

to the 2014 report on monitoring the effectiveness

of the Australian Curriculum.

Cross-curriculum priorities

ACARA formed cross-curriculum writing groups

with specific learning area and priority expertise,

to guide the incorporation of the priorities (in

the shaping and writing stages of curriculum

development) in each learning area. The

development of the priorities continues with

ACARA Annual Report 2013-14

13

2.1 Provision of a national curriculum

the mapping of cross-curriculum priority

organising ideas to content across and between

all learning areas.

Student diversity

The Students with Disability Advisory Group, which

provides ACARA with high-level advice in relation

to students with disability, met four times during

2013-14. The group advised on a range of matters,

from the structure of the Australian Curriculum for

students with disability to suitable adjustments for

students to access assessments.

During the latter half of 2013, ACARA enhanced

student diversity materials for teachers and

school leaders to enable all students, including

students with disability, gifted and talented

students and students for whom English is an

additional language or dialect (EAL/D), to access

and participate in the Australian Curriculum. This

updated advice is available in the student diversity

section of the Australian Curriculum website.

Additionally, new materials were published on the

Australian Curriculum website. These are:

• an extended learning continua for the personal

and social capability

• illustrations of personalised learning

(short videos).

The personalised learning videos are examples

of high-quality educational practice in various

schools and illustrate different approaches that

teachers have taken to ensure that all their

students are able to access and participate in

the Australian Curriculum.

Recognition of alternative curriculum frameworks

ACARA continues to evaluate well-established,

national curriculum frameworks for placement on

the authority’s recognition register. Submissions

made by the International Baccalaureate

Organisation, Steiner Education Australia and the

Montessori Australia Foundation, for the recognition

of geography, were received in 2013 and have been

subject to extensive review.

Resubmissions are being assessed as part of

the 2014 cycle of recognition. Assessments are

published in the recognition register on ACARA’s

website. The process of recognition is being

revised to include the newly available learning

areas and subjects.

New appointments have been made to ACARA’s

Recognition Committee and Recognition Review

Panel, to ensure the broad representation of

sectors, as well as state and territory school

registration authorities.

Monitoring and evaluation

ACARA’s charter requires the authority to

advise on the most effective processes for

ensuring continuous improvement of the

Australian Curriculum.

Following consultation with states and territories,

the ACARA Board in October 2013 approved

processes for monitoring and evaluating the

effectiveness of the Australian Curriculum.

These processes were noted by education

ministers in November 2013 and are published

on the ACARA website. In accordance with these

published processes, the following actions have

been undertaken:

• state and territory school and curriculum

authorities have been invited to contribute

reports of their findings by July 2014

• feedback opportunities have been enhanced

on the Australian Curriculum website,

including specific mechanisms for each content

description and elaboration of each learning area

ACARA Annual Report 2013-14

14

• systematic processes have been established

by ACARA for the collection and analysis of

data including: state and territory reports,

feedback on the Australian Curriculum website,

various forms of correspondence, media,

research or developments in international

curriculum.

The first monitoring report on the findings from

monitoring activities will be provided to the ACARA

Board in October 2014. The Board will review

annual monitoring information to determine if any

identified issues warrant evaluation.

Nationally agreed and consistent approaches for

assessment and reporting

With the Australian Curriculum being progressively

implemented across the country, parents and the

broader community can expect greater consistency

in the assessment and reporting of student learning

and achievement.

ACARA worked with states and territories to

consider approaches to identifying areas of

consistency in assessment and reporting in each

state and territory. ACARA reported the findings

from this work to education ministers in

November 2013.

Functional enhancements to the Australian

Curriculum website

As a result of a usability study of the Australian

Curriculum website carried out with teachers and

other key stakeholders, a number of changes were

recommended to improve visual presentation,

content, structure, functionality and navigation.

These recommendations have been implemented

and new features of the Australian Curriculum

website include:

• home page - a ‘what’s new’ section, a general

monitoring feedback area, an organised area

for guided tours, FAQs, user guides, a state

and territory curriculum resource area and a

section for Australian Curriculum connections

(where content links in and across learning

areas are displayed, as are opportunities for

course development where content is drawn

from two or more learning areas/subjects)

• navigation - more consistent navigation allows

users to better orient themselves on the site

• mega footer - this feature at the bottom of

each learning area page provides quick and

direct access to learning areas and subjects

• feedback icon - this relates to content

descriptions, content elaborations, general

capabilities and cross-curriculum priorities and

allows feedback to be monitored

• curriculum views - this provides the ability to

compare year/band level descriptions, content

descriptions, achievement standards across a

number of year levels

• improved search engine - searches can be

filtered through extra criteria such as year level

• print/download - provides printed material in

both PDF and Word format.

A beta version of the Australian Curriculum

website’s new design was released in April 2014,

with the existing Australian Curriculum website

still being available for three months. This overlap

period allowed ACARA to receive feedback from

stakeholders, make required revisions and allow

users to acquaint themselves with the new site

features. The beta version will be released as

version 7.0 of the Australian Curriculum website in

July 2014.

2.1 Provision of a national curriculum

ACARA Annual Report 2013-14

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Future directions

ACARA will continue the development of Australian

curriculum for Arabic, German, Japanese, Korean,

Modern Greek, Spanish and Vietnamese, as well as

the Framework for Aboriginal Languages and Torres

Strait Islander Languages. Publication is scheduled

for late 2014.

In 2014 and 2015, ACARA will continue to work

with schools across Australia to expand the number

of portfolios of annotated student work samples

for geography. ACARA will also develop portfolios

of annotated student work samples for the arts,

technologies, health and physical education,

economics and business, civics and citizenship,

and languages.

ACARA will work with states and territories

to prepare advice on the integration and

implementation of existing senior secondary

Australian Curriculum subjects, as well as options

for the development of further senior secondary

curriculum. The authority will also continue its

support for the management of the curriculum in

primary schools.

Throughout 2014, the refinement of general

capabilities in the Australian Curriculum will

continue through verification processes. Work will

also include refining website presentation to allow

users to search and view information related to

general capabilities.

The Australian Government’s Review of the

Australian Curriculum will report to the Minister

in mid-2014. ACARA will develop a plan of work

and related budget for Board approval in response

to SCSEEC’s agreed revisions to the Australian

Curriculum.

2.1 Provision of a national curriculum

ACARA Annual Report 2013-14

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2.2 Provision of a national assessment program

Overview

The National Assessment Program (NAP) is

the means by which governments, education

authorities and schools can determine whether

or not young Australians are reaching important

educational goals. The NAP also monitors progress

towards the outcomes and targets of the Melbourne

Declaration and those of the Council of Australian

Governments (COAG).

As children progress through their school years,

it is very important that checks are made along

the way to see how well they are learning the skills

of reading, writing, and mathematics - essential

skills that will set them firmly on the path to success

as adults.

It is important for parents to know that the National

Assessment Program - Literacy and Numeracy

(NAPLAN) is not a pass or fail test. It simply looks

at what level students are achieving in literacy

and numeracy against the national standard and

compared with their peers throughout Australia.

NAPLAN assesses literacy and numeracy skills that

students are already learning through the school

curriculum. Children can prepare for NAPLAN

through studying a broad, rich curriculum. On its

own, NAPLAN is not a test that can be studied for

and students are not expected to do so.

The elements of the NAP managed by

ACARA are NAPLAN and the NAP Sample

Assessments in Science Literacy, Civics and

Citizenship, and Information and Communication

Technology Literacy.

NAP tests are constructed to assess knowledge,

understanding and skills appropriate for students

in particular year levels, to be interesting and

engaging to students throughout Australia, and to

challenge students at all levels of ability.

NAPLAN

NAPLAN testing in the domains of reading, writing,

language conventions and numeracy began in

2008. It is expected that all students in Year 3, 5,

7 and 9 sit the tests to provide a national picture of

performance.

ACARA is responsible for the management of the

test development process, including selection of

subject matter, the creation of test items for review

and trial, and the selection of test items for inclusion

in the final tests.

Administration of the tests is managed by

states and territories and contractors, which are

responsible for printing and distributing the final

materials, and for working directly with schools on

test administration matters.

Test item from Year 7 Numeracy example test

ACARA Annual Report 2013-14

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2.2 Provision of a national assessment program

Achievements

NAPLAN 2014 test development process

The test development process is necessarily

rigorous and comprehensive. For each new cycle

it takes about 18 months to two years to produce

high-quality tests. For example, development

of items for the 2014 NAPLAN tests began in

November 2012, with review and feedback by

states and territories continuing through to July

2013. This preparation ensured the successful

delivery of item trialling in August 2013.

NAPLAN equating and analysis

To ensure valid comparisons can be made between

student performances across time, an equating

study is routinely carried out immediately prior to

and immediately following the test period. This

equating study allows tests in future years to be

measured on the same performance scale as

previous tests. This process underpins the reports

provided to parents, schools, as well as state,

territory and federal governments.

NAPLAN 2014 equating

The equating study for the 2014 NAPLAN tests

was carried out from late April to early May 2014,

with students in approximately 240 schools (which

subsequently participated in the 2014 NAPLAN

tests). The equating analysis began in June 2014.

NAPLAN 2013 performance

In September 2013, ACARA provided the scaled

test results of over one million students to states

and territories for use in schools and for distribution

to parents. ACARA also published the NAPLAN

Summary (Preliminary) Report in September 2013,

which provided an initial overview of NAPLAN

outcomes across Australia.

The provision of individual student reports (ISRs)

to schools, and hence distribution to parents, was

delayed by up to six weeks in some jurisdictions.

The delay was due to an error in the placement of

data on two of the four report shells provided by

ACARA to jurisdictions for the printing of the ISRs.

ACARA has since undertaken a rigorous review

of the ISR production process. For 2014, ACARA

will implement a much improved ISR development

process using new technology to significantly

increase the precision of data placement on the

reports. A new quality assurance process will also

be put in place to further decrease the risk of errors

in future ISR print files.

ACARA Annual Report 2013-14

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2.2 Provision of a national assessment program

In December 2013, ACARA released the

comprehensive 2013 NAPLAN National Report

which provided a more detailed analysis of the 2013

test outcomes, including a detailed breakdown

according to a number of characteristics such as

sex, language background other than English,

location and indigenous status. The report indicated

that performance largely remained steady across

year levels and domains.

NAPLAN test integrity

Reports of improper conduct remain rare in the

context of all the students and schools participating

in NAPLAN across the country.

In December 2013, ACARA published the fourth

annual report on 2013 NAPLAN test incidents

(which are breaches of the National Protocols for

Test Administration) on the ACARA website.

This report reinforces the fact that teachers and

schools work hard to ensure the integrity of

NAPLAN tests. This is demonstrated by both the

very small number of incidents across the entire

country, as well as by the increasing numbers of

schools reporting their own inadvertent breaches.

The report also showed a reduction in the already

small number of substantiated claims of schools

acting with intent to gain advantage, compared

to both 2011 and 2012. There continues to be

an increase in self-reporting of test incidents

by schools, highlighting a greater awareness of

the test protocols and an understanding of the

processes for reporting irregularities. Incidents were

generally of limited impact and of an administrative

nature, such as accidental handling or inappropriate

storage of tests.

ACARA continued to work with stakeholders

during 2013 to bring greater consistency to the

presentation of the test incidents report and

develop a broader understanding of the nature

of test incidents.

NAPLAN 2014 administration

ACARA coordinated the delivery of over one million

NAPLAN tests to students between 13 and 15

May 2014, in collaboration with test administration

authorities in each state and territory. These

tests were administered in accordance with the

agreed framework of ACARA’s National Protocols

for Test Administration.

The protocols were developed in consultation with

test administration authorities and establish both

the standards and quality controls necessary for

the efficient and equitable administration of the

tests. These protocols also address such areas as

test material security; uniform testing conditions;

common directions and information to students,

teachers and principals; and guidelines for

providing adjustments in test sessions for students

with disability.

ACARA has worked with the states and territories

and contractors to enable a faster delivery of

tables for the preparation of students’ reports. This

is being undertaken so that parents and schools

may have the NAPLAN reports earlier than has

previously been the case. Additionally, ACARA is

working on an alternative mechanism for the earlier

delivery of the national summary report tables.

NAPLAN future directions

ACARA constantly reviews its testing program to

ensure that it is of the highest standard with regard

to quality, accessibility, test content and structure.

Online assessment research

At SCSEEC’s direction, ACARA conducted

research into the feasibility of delivering NAPLAN

tests online. Initial findings from pilot studies in

2012 were promising and research continued with a

number of studies in 2013 and 2014.

ACARA Annual Report 2013-14

19

2.2 Provision of a national assessment program

In August 2013, ACARA investigated the feasibility

of proposed multistage, branching test design

(tailored test design) for the implementation of

NAPLAN as a computer-delivered assessment.

More than 23 000 tests in reading, numeracy and

writing were delivered in 250 schools during the

trial period.

In some schools, researchers carried out cognitive

interviews with students, designed to investigate

the impact of the test design on students’ test-taking behaviour and to gather information about

students’ interactions with key branching testlets.

A particular focus was given to how the test may

better accommodate Indigenous students and

students with socioeconomic disadvantage.

Research activities also focused on options

made possible by online assessment delivery

such as automated essay scoring and technically

enhanced item types.

Studies in 2014 will finalise the measurement

aspects of the tailored test design.

National assessment platform

ACARA worked with Education Services Australia

on the initial development of a national online

assessment capability with priority given to work

on an item authoring system, to develop items

for online assessment, including items for the

National Assessment Program.

Alignment of NAPLAN assessments with

Australian Curriculum

Currently, the content of the NAPLAN tests

is informed by the curriculum and learning

frameworks of states and territories (with

reference to the national Statements of Learning).

From 2016, the NAPLAN assessments will

be aligned with the Australian Curriculum,

using an assessment framework that ACARA

has developed in consultation with states and

territories.

NAP Sample Assessments

Test development for NAP Sample Assessments

uses an equally rigorous and comprehensive

process as that used for NAPLAN. For each new

assessment cycle, it takes about two and a half

years to produce the high-quality tests and the

public report that is subsequently published. As

such, work is occurring on a number of cycles at

any one time. In the 2013-14 year the following

has occurred:

NAP - Science Literacy 2012

The public report on the 2012 NAP -

Science Literacy assessment was released

in December 2013.

In October 2012, approximately 13 000 students

in 600 schools sat the NAP - Science Literacy

sample assessment. This assessment comprised

a pencil and paper test, a practical task involving

groups of three students (including an individual

response) and a student survey.

NAP - Civics and Citizenship 2013

In October 2013, approximately 12 000 students in

670 schools sat the NAP - Civics and Citizenship

sample assessment online. The national public

report is due to be released later in 2014.

NAP - ICT Literacy 2014

A field trial for this assessment was held in March

2014. The data collected from the trial are being

used to inform planning and preparation for the

main study to be carried out in October and

ACARA Annual Report 2013-14

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2.2 Provision of a national assessment program

November 2014 with a sample of students. This

sample assessment will be delivered online.

NAP - Science Literacy 2015

Work began on the test development process for

the 2015 NAP - Science Literacy assessment.

A review of the Science Literacy assessment

framework also began, to align the existing

framework with the F-10 Australian Curriculum:

Science. For the first time, NAP - Science Literacy

will be delivered online and will assess the

Australian Curriculum.

Future directions of NAP Sample Assessments

SCSEEC has accepted ACARA’s advice to continue

on the current cycle of NAP Sample Assessments

until 2015. ACARA will review and develop options

for NAP Sample Assessments from 2016 onwards.

National Assessment Program 2013-14 at a glance:

• Around five million NAPLAN test books printed

• Over one million students in Year 3, 5, 7 and 9 participated in NAPLAN tests

• Ten NAPLAN marking centres across Australia

• 1816 NAPLAN test markers

• About 12 thousand students in 670 schools participated in the civics and citizenship sample test

ACARA Annual Report 2013-14

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2.3 Provision of a national data collection and reporting program

Overview

ACARA is committed to working with all school

sectors to enhance and expand public reporting on

school education in Australia. The aim is to publish

information that is relevant locally and nationally,

that is timely, consistent and comparable, and that

can be used to improve school performance and

student outcomes. ACARA publishes information

through the My School website, the National

Report on Schooling in Australia, the NAP Sample

Assessment reports, as well as the NAPLAN

summary and national reports.

Achievements

My School 2014

The My School website provides the opportunity

for educators, parents and the wider community

to view updated information on all schools across

Australia, and to make comparisons between

them. My School also provides an opportunity for

everyone to learn more about Australian schools

and for Australian schools to learn more from

each other.

My School builds on the past years of sharing

information with the Australian public about the

performance and resources of more than 9500

schools throughout the country. The website

presents a detailed profile on all schools, including

outcomes from NAPLAN.

The fifth version of My School was released on

5 March 2014, with that day attracting a 72 per cent

increase in visits on the 2013 figure. This year was

another consolidation period, with limited changes

to the site. The updated site provides:

• a new map/school location function

• an enhanced process for the calculation

of Index of Community Socio-Educational

Advantage (ICSEA), with ICSEA values that

are more representative of each school

• the latest (2013) profile and population data on

each school

• outcomes from the 2013 round of NAPLAN

testing, plus six years of NAPLAN data for

comparison

• the latest financial figures on each school,

including capital expenditure and sources

of funding

• generic information on each school’s profile

page regarding school satisfaction reporting.

National Report on Schooling in Australia

ACARA is responsible under its charter for

compiling the annual National Report on Schooling

in Australia on behalf of SCSEEC. Reports are

prepared in consultation with jurisdictions and

school sectors via ACARA’s National Report on

Schooling Working Group. The report provides

a range of statistical and other information on

schooling in Australia, but its key focus is to report

on progress towards the Melbourne Declaration

on Educational Goals for Young Australians.

The report also addresses key strategies and

joint commitments for schooling and details the

nationally agreed key performance measures

(KPMs) defined in the Measurement Framework for

Schooling in Australia.

The National Report on Schooling in Australia 2011,

with the exception of Parts 7 and 8, was published

on the ACARA website in August 2013, following

approval by SCSEEC. Part 8 was published in June

2014 and Part 7 will be published later in 2014.

During 2013-14, the National Report on Schooling

in Australia 2012, the fourth annual report on

schooling to be produced by ACARA, was prepared

ACARA Annual Report 2013-14

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2.3 Provision of a national data collection and reporting program

and is due to be published early in the second half

of 2014. ACARA also began the collection of data

for the 2013 report.

Measurement Framework for Schooling in Australia

The Measurement Framework for Schooling in

Australia provides the basis for national reporting

on the performance of schooling in Australia as

agreed by education ministers. It defines the

national KPMs for schooling, specifies the data

sources for the KPMs and outlines the reporting

cycle for the following period.

ACARA is responsible for revisions to the

framework, in consultation with jurisdictions and

sectors. The authority maintains the framework on

behalf of SCSEEC and undertakes a full review of

the framework at least every three years.

The current edition of the framework, the

Measurement Framework for Schooling in Australia

2012, was approved and published following a

full review undertaken in 2012. ACARA will initiate

a further periodic review of the measurement

framework in consultation with all jurisdictions and

school sectors as well as other relevant government

agencies in 2014-15.

National school opinion survey

ACARA worked with service delivery partner

Education Services Australia (ESA) to deploy

a survey response data collection tool (School

Survey) in August 2013. Schools and schooling

systems across all states and territories and sectors

accessed the tool to collect school opinion data

from parents/caregivers, students and staff.

School Survey gives participating schools and

schooling systems a way to collect information

about their communities’ perceptions. The system

also allows schools to share relevant response

data with their administrative body in real time,

where agreed.

Nationally agreed parent, staff and student

satisfaction surveys are made available to schools

by jurisdictions that opt to use them, either via

School Survey or locally available data collection

processes. Schools and systems may elect to use

responses to these items as the basis for school

satisfaction reporting required by the Australian

Education Regulation 2013.

Schools are required by the Standing Council to

publish their data in their annual reports with links

to the My School website. My School contains

a section on each school profile page referring

readers to the school’s annual report for information

on school satisfaction.

National Standards for Student Attendance

Data Reporting

To enable nationally comparable reporting,

ACARA finalised the National Standards for

Student Attendance Data Reporting in late 2012,

in collaboration with jurisdictions and sectors.

These standards will apply from 2014 onwards

for all jurisdictions and sectors. This will allow

the reporting of the national key performance

measures (KPM) for student attendance in the

National Report on Schooling in Australia and other

reports from 2015.

At the direction of COAG and SCSEEC, ACARA

also began work in May 2014 on the development

of new national and school measures for student

attendance data.

Senior secondary outcomes

At the direction of COAG and SCSEEC, ACARA

undertook work on new national definitions and

measures for senior secondary outcomes. These

measures are intended to supplement existing

measures of progress towards COAG targets for

the completion of Year 12, or equivalent, using

administrative data. This work was undertaken

ACARA Annual Report 2013-14

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2.3 Provision of a national data collection and reporting program

through ACARA’s Senior Secondary Outcomes

Working Group.

Future directions

ACARA will continue to compile the National Report

on Schooling in Australia. In the coming year, the

authority will undertake work on the reports for

2013 and 2014.

ACARA will initiate a periodic review of the

Measurement Framework for Schooling in

Australia, including consideration of a new KPM for

student attendance data, building on the work of

ACARA’s Student Attendance Data Working Group.

Possible new performance measures for Year 12,

or equivalent attainment/completion, will also be

considered in the light of further work through the

working group.

In preparation for future updates to the My School

website, ACARA will continue to collaborate with

stakeholders to identify a more consistent way of

reporting schooling outcomes and indicators. This

effort will include consideration of extra information

covering the following areas: student attendance,

senior secondary outcomes, post-school

destinations, students with disability.

My School 2014 at a glance:

• Period: 5 March to 30 June 2014

• There were 555 081 visitors to My School 2014

• There were 340 465 unique visitors to My School 2014

ACARA Annual Report 2013-14

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2.3 Provision of a national data collection and reporting program

ACARA Annual Report 2013-14

25

2.3 Provision of a national data collection and reporting program

Annual Report 2013-14

Management and Accountability

ACARA Annual Report 2013-14

28

3.1 Governance and management framework

Overview

ACARA maintains a strong commitment to

transparent and ethical corporate governance.

Among other responsibilities, ACARA Board

members are required to disclose to their fellow

directors any material personal interest they

may have in a matter relating to the affairs of the

authority. So that Board members can disclose

potential or actual conflicts they might otherwise be

unaware of, a list is provided at each Board meeting

of any major procurement undertaken since the

previous meeting. A record of all disclosures is

maintained by ACARA.

ACARA’s Code of Conduct articulates the standards

of behaviour expected from staff. These standards

reflect ACARA’s values, which staff must adhere to

in the performance of their duties.

ACARA’s governance and advisory structure allows

for input and advice from key stakeholder groups

and experts. This advice helps:

• the Executive in making recommendations to

the ACARA Board and to the Standing Council

• ACARA in achieving the objectives

and outcomes set out in its charter in a

collaborative way.

Curriculum Committee

The Curriculum Committee is chaired by Professor

Barry McGaw, AO, PhD, and comprises eight

members. It was established on 7 February 2013,

when there was a significant volume of curriculum

development activity, to make decisions and

provide advice to the Board on matters relating to

the development of the Australian Curriculum.

Audit and Risk Committee

The ACARA Board established an Audit and Risk

Committee at its second meeting on 29 June 2009

in compliance with section 32 of the CAC Act.

The committee was chaired by Ms Dianne Kerr until

her retirement from the Board on 7 May 2014. The

committee usually comprises five or six members,

including one or two members who are independent

of the Board. At the end of June, the committee

had three members. Two or three new members

will be appointed in 2014-15. The Audit and Risk

Committee provides assurance and assistance on

ACARA’s risk, control and compliance framework

and its external accountability responsibilities.

Insurance and indemnities

During 2013-14, ACARA held insurance

protecting directors and officers from liability for

the consequences of managerial misconduct or

negligence, to the extent that the provision of the

indemnity is not prevented by applicable legislation.

ACARA Annual Report 2013-14

29

3.2 Risk management

Overview

ACARA has in place a risk management policy

and a risk management framework. These set

expectations and guidelines for risk management at

all levels of the organisation. The aims are to:

• enable ACARA to proactively identify and

manage its risks in a systematic and

structured way

• integrate the risk management process into

strategic and business planning

• promote risk awareness and attention to the

ongoing review, treatment, monitoring and

reporting of risks throughout the organisation.

The structure of ACARA’s documents and the

corresponding implementation process - including

terminology, assessment and evaluation criteria

- are based on the Australian Standard Risk

management - Principles and guidelines (AS/NZS

ISO 31000:2009).

ACARA established an internal Project and Risk

Gateway Group in early 2014 to provide consistent

oversight and strengthening of project risk

management, as well as identification of risks for

inclusion in the corporate risk register.

Fraud control

Under Australian Government policy, there is a

requirement for all agencies to have in place a

fraud control plan. The core objectives of the fraud

control plan and policy are to identify potential

fraud risk categories to which ACARA is exposed

and to outline responsibilities for fraud control.

The relevant standards are Risk management

- Principles and guidelines (AS/NZS ISO

31000:2009) and Australian Standard Fraud and

corruption control (AS 8001-2008).

ACARA’s fraud control policy and code of conduct

were both updated to address legislative and other

changes. The updated policy was provided to

staff with advice about changes to whistleblowing

provisions, as well as guidance around handling

gifts and benefits offered by stakeholders or service

providers, while engaged in ACARA business.

ACARA Annual Report 2013-14

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3.3 Financial management

ACARA’s financial accountability and reporting

responsibilities are set out in the CAC Act and

are based on the efficient, effective and ethical

use of allocated resources. ACARA works within

a financial control framework which ensures it

administers its responsibilities appropriately and

effectively.

Financial performance and future operations

Analysis of financial performance

ACARA operated within its annual budget for 2013-14

and reported a small operating surplus of $191,000.

The percentage breakdown of expenditure for

2013-14 across the five business units was as follows:

Curriculum including NTC (24.9%), Assessment and

Reporting including NASOP (47.4%), Communications

and Strategic Relations (2.9%), Office of the CEO

including the ACARA Board (11.3%) and Corporate

Services (13.5%). This expenditure enabled a range

of achievements during 2013-14, including releasing

NAPLAN 2013 summary and national reports;

continuation of the NAP sample assessments; conduct

of the 2014 NAPLAN tests; release of My School

2014; publication of the senior secondary Australian

Curriculum: Geography. It also enabled completion of

F-10 curriculum for technologies, health and physical

education, economics and business, civics and

citizenship, the arts and four languages, which have

been noted by ministers and are available for use on

the Australian Curriculum website. This funding also

enabled ACARA to develop annotated samples of

student work, and illustrations of personalised learning

in diverse schooling contexts to support teachers as

they take up the Australian Curriculum.

ACARA continued its substantial research and

consultation work - supported by funding from the

Department of Education - to develop tests that can

be administered online. ACARA continued to work

with Education Services Australia, which is developing

the platform for online assessment, the Department

of Education and representatives from all school

sectors, to progress work towards NAPLAN online.

The ongoing development of the Australian Curriculum

involves extensive consultation with teachers and

other experts from around Australia and trialling in

schools across all sectors.

Staff comprised seconded personnel from state and

territory education agencies, direct hire employees

and temporary/agency staff. Due to the number of key

personnel seconded from other agencies in addition

to projects such as NASOP and the NTC initiative, the

associated costs continue to contribute to some of the

larger financial transactions with third parties.

ACARA is a collaborative initiative funded 50 per cent

by the Australian Government and 50 per cent by

the states and territories of Australia. The Standing

Council on School Education and Early Childhood,

which comprises all the funding parties, approved

$109.2M of funding to meet ACARA’s operational

requirements for the quadrennium of 1 July 2012

to 30 June 2016.

Factors that have affected or may affect operations

No major financial factors have impacted ACARA’s

operations to date. ACARA’s operations are

dependent on funding from state, territory and

Commonwealth governments.

Reportable events

Under section 15 of the CAC Act, ACARA must

notify the federal Minister for Education of

‘significant events’ as defined in the Act. ACARA

experienced no events reportable under these

provisions in 2013-14.

ACARA Annual Report 2013-14

31

3.4 Communications and strategic relations

A key accountability of the ACARA Communications

and Stakeholder Management Strategy is to

establish and maintain strong working relationships

with external partners and stakeholders.

ACARA’s partners and stakeholders are diverse

and committed and offer their time to ACARA

generously. The Communications and Strategic

Relations team’s goal is to work to manage the

expectations and communication needs of all

partners and stakeholders.

The team’s work during 2013-14 has focused

on improving understanding of partners and

stakeholders, including how and when they wish to

receive information, so that ACARA can continue to

engage with them more effectively.

ACARA’s partner and stakeholder map has

been reviewed and expanded, with broader

engagement, participation and consultation in

ACARA’s decision-making, including with

non-traditional stakeholder groups.

From this research and planning, ACARA has

delivered a number of new initiatives and provided

wider and more sustained engagement with

partners and stakeholders. Initiatives introduced

during the past year include:

• unique, creative and innovative approaches to

communications and stakeholder management,

including greater use of technology and videos

and increased focus and reliance on two-way

communications

• monthly CEO videos that allow ACARA to

leverage the success of YouTube as the

world’s fastest growing social media platform

• improvements to the ACARA Update

newsletter, which now has over 30 000

subscribers

• introduction of an ACARA blog, allowing for in-depth discussion of educational issues

• use of targeted surveys that improve ACARA’s

understanding of stakeholders’ engagement

and communication needs

• use of stakeholder briefings for peak executive

and national bodies (directly engaged in

ACARA’s work), prior to release of major

ACARA projects such as My School, national

reports and NAPLAN

• establishment of a corporate communications

calendar to assist with forward planning and

improved communication with partners and

stakeholders

• establishment of a National Assessment

Program National Communications Group,

to provide opportunities for communications

experts to collaborate, share information

and provide advice to ACARA on NAP

communication activities

• development of ACARA’s social media on

multiple platforms

• improved consultation with partners and

stakeholders through technology-based

workshops and roadshows.

ACARA will continue to improve its communications

and stakeholder management by using commonly

available technologies leading to:

• more transparent and improved consultation

processes with partners and stakeholders

• enhanced ability to genuinely communicate

and engage with all stakeholders and partners,

particularly those with limited budgets or those

in regional and remote environments

ACARA Annual Report 2013-14

32

• wider contribution from parents and teachers

on key decisions

• improved ability to receive partner and

stakeholder feedback

• cost-effective consultation with a wider range of

partners and stakeholders.

Social media

Social media allows ACARA to engage and connect

more widely and to directly communicate with its

partners and stakeholders in a timely and sustained

way. ACARA has continued to grow its social media

presence on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn

and Instagram. As at 30 June 2014, ACARA had

more than 2600 Twitter followers. At the same time

last year, ACARA was not active in social media.

This exponential growth has resulted in increased

engagement with key stakeholders (particularly

teachers), more targeted communications to

industry professionals and improved communication

with the general public.

Media mentions

In 2013-14, there was a significant increase in

positive media mentions of ACARA and its work.

This increase in positive media is due to ACARA

taking a more proactive role in its communications

and stakeholder engagement and responding

more promptly to public commentary about key

ACARA work such as NAPLAN, My School and the

Australian Curriculum.

Presentations and publications

ACARA executive and staff members

have presented at national and international

conferences as key speakers and published

articles and editorials in newspapers, journals

and industry publications.

Communicating with stakeholders

ACARA’s monthly newsletter ACARA Update is

sent to 30 000 subscribers - including teachers,

principals, parents, education authorities and

government departments - providing up-to-date

information and latest news about ACARA.

There were 883 953 user sessions of the

ACARA website www.acara.edu.au this year.

Affiliate websites also experienced a high volume

of traffic. The Australian Curriculum website

www.australiancurriculum.edu.au had 3.4 million

user sessions, myschool.edu.au had 1.5 million

user sessions and nap.edu.au had 939 012

user sessions.

As the Communications and Strategic Relations

team ends the reporting year, it has completed work

leading to:

• more engaged stakeholders with enhanced

support and cooperation

• enhanced proactive communications

messaging

• increased positive stories about ACARA

and its work.

3.4 Communications and strategic relations

ACARA Annual Report 2013-14

33

3.5 Workforce management

Overview

ACARA’s staff are committed to improving learning

outcomes for young Australians.

The authority is a respected training ground and

launch pad for professional career development.

ACARA’s unique environment requires that it meets

the highest standards in every aspect of its work -

across all of the programs and projects it delivers.

ACARA recognises that the diversity of Australian

students and their families must be reflected in the

diversity of its people. ACARA people bring energy

and passion to their work.

Highlights

In 2013-14, ACARA continued to focus on

establishing a supportive and productive workplace

environment that balances the need for a healthy

work-life mix with the challenges of delivering core

projects within short timeframes.

Key areas of work include:

• development and implementation of ACARA’s

values: collaboration, respect, integrity,

professionalism and passion

• embedding of the ACARA enterprise

agreement

• development of the Learning and Professional

Development Plan for 2014-2016

• reorganisation of the Curriculum business

unit to support the monitoring and evaluation

aspects of the curriculum that have been

implemented nationally

• elevation of the Communications and Strategic

Relations function to the Executive.

The Communications and Strategic Relations

team works closely with the HR team to establish,

maintain and grow internal communications.

ACARA’s internal communications channels have

been used to inform and educate staff about

ACARA’s values. These channels include: all staff

meetings, ACARA intranet, internal newsletters

and videos.

The HR team in collaboration with the rest of

the organisation is responsible for ensuring

the enterprise agreement supports the needs

of the staff and the organisation and including

performance and recognition reviews.

The Director, Communications and Strategic

Relations began with ACARA in July 2013. A

revised Communications and Strategic Relations

strategy and plan has been developed, and a

restructure of the Communications team (including

incorporating Strategic Relations into the team) has

been completed.

At the ACARA Perth office

ACARA Annual Report 2013-14

34

3.5 Workforce management

Organisational structure

ACARA is made up of five business units. The

two core business activities of Curriculum, and

Assessment and Reporting, are supported by

Communications and Strategic Relations, Corporate

Services and the Office of the Chief Executive Officer

(which includes the Board Secretariat).

The Assessment and Reporting business unit’s

responsibilities include the National Assessment

Program, development and deployment of the My

School website, and preparation and release of the

National Report on Schooling in Australia.

Within the Curriculum business unit, responsibilities

are assigned for each of the learning areas/

subjects under development. In addition, staff work

across teams with defined responsibilities for other

key elements of the curriculum such as general

capabilities and cross-curriculum priorities.

The Office of the CEO is responsible for statutory

reporting, governance (corporate risk management,

providing secretariat support for the Board and Audit

and Risk Committee), legal advice, contracts and

procurement, and policy coordination.

Communications and Strategic Relations is

responsible for managing the expectations and

communication needs of ACARA’s partners and

stakeholders, as well as establishing and maintaining

strong working relationships with both groups.

Corporate Services is responsible for finance,

information and communication technology, human

resources and business services. ACARA engages

specialist outsourcing partners as a cost-effective

means of accessing high-quality finance and IT

services to complement in-house capability.

Staff profile

As at 30 June 2014, ACARA’s workforce comprised

109 direct hires, as well as four staff on secondment

from state and territory agencies.

A key aspect of ACARA’s work involves

collaboration with a broad network of advisory and

reference groups from the states and territories.

Although members of these groups are not

represented in ACARA’s staff profile, they make a

significant national contribution to ACARA’s work

and achievements.

Executive team

The executive team is responsible for ACARA’s

day-to-day operations and contributing to ACARA’s

strategic direction. The team has evolved with

ACARA and comprised the following staff over the

course of the financial year:

• Chief Executive Officer: Mr Robert Randall

(from November 2012)

• General Manager, Curriculum: Dr Phil Lambert

PSM (from April 2013)

• General Manager, Assessment and Reporting:

Mr Peter Adams (from December 2011 to

May 2014)

• Director, Communications and Strategic

Relations: Ms Robyn Ziino

(from July 2013)

• Chief Operating Officer: Ms Deborrah

Lambourne (from September 2010).

ACARA Annual Report 2013-14

35

3.5 Workforce management

Chief Executive Officer: Mr Robert Randall

Robert Randall was appointed as Chief Executive

Officer in November 2012. He has worked at ACARA

since 2009 and was previously Deputy CEO and

General Manager, Curriculum. Prior to joining

ACARA, Robert was General Manager of the Interim

National Curriculum Board.

Robert has significant experience and success in

curriculum, assessment and reporting projects, from

design through to implementation, at both state and

national levels. He led the development of the F-10

Australian Curriculum in English, mathematics,

science and history, which are at various stages of

implementation across Australian states and territories.

Robert began his career as a teacher of mathematics

in Perth, before holding a range of positions within

and beyond schools in Western Australia, including

Project Leader, Monitoring Standards in Education;

Manager, Assessment and Reporting with the

Education Department and Principal Consultant,

Interim Curriculum Council of Western Australia. In

1996, Robert was appointed Director, Curriculum with

the NSW Board of Studies and in 2001 took up the

position of Director of Curriculum K-12 with the NSW

Department of Education and Training.

General Manager, Curriculum: Dr Phil Lambert

PSM FACE FACEL

Adjunct Associate Professor, University of Sydney

Adjunct Professor, Nanjing Normal University, China

Phil Lambert has extensive experience in education

as a principal, inspector, policy director, assistant

director-general, regional director and general

manager. He has authored and co-authored books

and presented a number of papers and keynote

speeches at state, national and international

conferences, covering a range of topics.

Phil has a Master in Educational Administration and

Management and in 2001 completed his doctorate at

the University of Sydney. In 2006, he was conferred

Adjunct Associate Professor at the University of

Sydney and in 2011, Adjunct Professor at Nanjing

Normal University, China. He is also a Fellow of the

Australian College of Educators and the Australian

Council for Educational Leaders. In May 2013, he

was Visiting Professor at Southern Taiwan University

of Science and Technology.

Phil has overseen a number of major policy initiatives

in New South Wales in early childhood, primary

education, rural education and Aboriginal education.

He has received a number of honours, awards and

acknowledgements during his career. In the 2012

Queen’s Birthday Honours, Phil was awarded the

Public Service Medal for his outstanding contribution

to education in New South Wales.

ACARA Annual Report 2013-14

36

3.5 Workforce management

Chief Operating Officer: Ms Deborrah Lambourne

Deborrah Lambourne is a senior executive with

experience as chief operating officer and chief

financial officer. She was Director, Financial Strategy

and Planning and General Manager, Project

Management Office at the University of Sydney.

Deborrah has a strong track record in strategic

planning, implementing change management

initiatives to achieve greater organisational

effectiveness and return on investment.

She has worked in the higher education, financial

services and consumer finance sectors.

General Manager, Assessment and Reporting:

Mr Peter Adams

Peter Adams was General Manager, Assessment

and Reporting at ACARA until May 2014. Peter

had responsibility for the National Assessment

Program, which includes NAPLAN and the sample

assessments in science literacy, ICT literacy and

civics and citizenship.

Peter project-directed the introduction of NAPLAN,

starting in 2008, and, was responsible for project

directing the scope and specification of the Schools

Data and Reporting System, which became the My

School website.

Peter was also responsible for other aspects of

ACARA’s performance data reporting, such as the

annual National Report on Schooling in Australia

and the provision of data for key performance

measurement programs, such as COAG Reform

Council reporting.

Director, Communications and Strategic Relations:

Ms Robyn Ziino

Robyn Ziino is responsible for ACARA’s ongoing

positive collaboration with its partners and

stakeholders, so they are informed and updated

regularly on ACARA’s work via appropriate

communications and stakeholder relationship

initiatives.

Robyn is ACARA’s media spokesperson. She

manages all external and internal communications,

including monitoring of media, newsletters,

publications and social media. Robyn is also

ACARA’s Freedom of Information Officer and an

authorised officer for the purposes of the Public

Interest Disclosure Act 2013.

Robyn has a strong track record covering the

fields of stakeholder relations, communication, law,

compliance, government relations and regulation,

having worked across these fields in various private

sector industries for over 20 years.

Robyn holds a Master of Arts in Professional

Communication (major in journalism and public

relations), as well as Honours degrees in law, English

literature and criminology. She is a qualified lawyer

and a certified compliance professional by the

Australasian Institute of Compliance.

Annual Report 2013-14

Financial Performance

ACARA Annual Report 2013-14

38

4.1 Statement by Directors

ACARA Annual Report 2013-14

39

4.2 Independent auditor’s report

ACARA Annual Report 2013-14

40

4.2 Independent auditor’s report

ACARA Annual Report 2013-14

41

4.3 Financial statements

Statement of Comprehensive Income for the Year Ended 30 June 2014

Note 2014

$’000

2013 $’000

NET COST OF SERVICES Expenses Employee benefits

Supplier expenses

Depreciation and amortisation

Total expenses

Own Source Income Revenue

Revenue from jurisdictions

Interest

Other revenue

Total own source revenue

Net cost of (contribution by) services

Revenue from government

Surplus attributable to the Australian Government Other comprehensive income

Total comprehensive income / (deficit) attributable to the Australian

Government

3(a)

3(b)

3(c)

4(a)

4(c)

4(d)

4(b)

14,761

22,721

756

38,238

14,500

172

2

14,674

(23,564)

23,755

191

-

191

13,914

24,602

862

39,378

15,450

281

215

15,946

(23,432)

23,816

384

-

384

The above statement should be read in conjunction

with the accompanying notes.

ACARA Annual Report 2013-14

42

Statement of Financial Position as at 30 June 2014

Note 2014

$’000

2013 $’000

Assets Financial assets

Cash and cash equivalents

Trade and other receivables

Total financial assets

Non-financial assets

Land and buildings

Plant and equipment

Intangibles

Other non-financial assets

Total non-financial assets

Total assets

Liabilities Payables

Suppliers

Grants in advance (deferred revenue)

Other payables

Total payables

Provisions

Employee provisions

Total provisions

Total liabilities

Net assets Equity

Retained surplus (accumulated deficit)

Total equity

5(a)

5(b)

6(a)

6(b.c)

6(d.e)

6(f)

7(a)

7(b)

7(c)

8

12,647

5,778

18,425

1,110

293

15

90

1,508

19,933

6,865

7,471

1,493

15,829

1,677

1,677

17,506

2,427

2,427

2,427

9,638

1,833

11,471

1,643

288

59

235

2,225

13,696

6,762

1,425

1,703

9,890

1,570

1,570

11,460

2,236

2,236

2,236

The above statement should be read in conjunction

with the accompanying notes.

4.3 Financial statements

ACARA Annual Report 2013-14

43

4.3 Financial statements

Statement of Changes in Equity for the Year Ended 30 June 2014

Retained Earnings 2014 $’000

Retained Earnings 2013 $’000

Total Equity 2014 $’000

Total Equity 2013 $’000

Opening Balance Balance carried forward from previous period

Adjusted opening balance

Comprehensive Income

Surplus for the period(s)

Total comprehensive income

Closing balance as at 30 June

2,236

2,236

191

191

2,427

1,852

1,852

384

384

2,236

2,236

2,236

191

191

2,427

1,852

1,852

384

384

2,236

The above statement should be read in conjunction

with the accompanying notes.

ACARA Annual Report 2013-14

44

4.3 Financial statements

Cash Flow Statement

for the Year Ended 30 June 2014

Note 2014

$’000

2013 $’000

Operating Activities Cash received

Receipts from jurisdictions

Interest

Net GST received

Other cash received

Total cash received

Cash used

Employees

Suppliers

GST paid

Total cash used

Net cash from operating activities

Investing Activities Cash received

Investments

Total cash received

Cash used

Purchase of plant and equipment

Total cash used

Net cash by investing activities

Financing Activities Net cash used by financing activities

Net increase in cash held

Cash and cash equivalents at the beginning of the reporting period

Cash and cash equivalents at the end of the reporting period

4(c)

4(d)

9(b)

5(a)

40,373

172

1,525

2

42,072

(14,486)

(22,856)

(1,537)

(38,879)

3,193

--

(184)

(184)

(184)

-

3,009

9,638

12,647

39,179

281

-

115

39,575

(16,075)

(17,649)

(417)

(34,141)

5,434

--

(190)

(190)

(190)

-

5,244

4,394

9,638

The above statement should be read in conjunction

with the accompanying notes.

ACARA Annual Report 2013-14

45

4.3 Financial statements

Schedule of Commitments

as at 30 June 2014

2014 $’000

2013 $’000

By Type Commitments receivable

Net GST recoverable on commitments

Total commitments receivable

Commitments payable

Other commitments

Operating leases1

Project commitments

Total commitments payable

Net commitments by type

By Maturity Commitments receivable

Other commitments receivable

Within 1 year

Within 1 to 5 years

Total other commitments receivable

Total commitments receivable

Commitments payable

Operating lease commitments

Within 1 year

Within 1 to 5 years

Total operating leases commitments1

Project commitments2

Within 1 year

Within 1 to 5 years

Total project commitments

Total commitments payable

Net commitments by maturity

(898)

(898)

3,162

6,716

9,878

8,980

(578)

(320)

(898)

(898)

1,499

1,663

3,162

4,858

1,858

6,716

9,878

8,980

(1,007)

(1,007)

4,243

6,839

11,082

10,075

(717)

(290)

(1,007)

(1,007)

1,369

2,874

4,243

6,521

318

6,839

11,082

10,075

1

Operating leases represent the accommodation at 255 Pitt St,

Sydney to July 2016.

2 Project commitments represent ACARA contracts for the provision

of services from curriculum writers and advisors, experts in

assessment and reporting from various agencies, organisations

and individuals throughout Australia, as well as corporate service

providers.

The above statement should be read in conjunction

with the accompanying notes.

ACARA Annual Report 2013-14

46

4.4 Notes to financial statements

Index to the Notes to the Financial Statements for the year ended 30 June 2014

Note Contents

1 Summary of significant accounting policies

2 Events After the reporting period

3 Expenses

4 Own-source income

5 Financial assets

6 Non-financial assets

7 Payables

8 Provisions

9 Cash flow reconciliation

10 Contingent assets and liabilities

11 Directors remuneration

12 Related party disclosures

13 Senior executive remuneration

14 Remuneration of auditors

15 Financial instruments

16 Financial assets reconciliation

17 Compensation and debt relief

18 Fair value measurement

18 Reporting of outcomes

ACARA Annual Report 2013-14

47

4.4 Notes to financial statements

1. Summary of Significant Accounting Policies

1.1 Objectives of the Entity

The entity is an Australian Government controlled

entity and not-for-profit entity.

The entity is structured to meet the following

outcomes:

Outcome 1: to improve the quality and consistency

of school education in Australia through the

development of a national curriculum.

Outcome 2: development of a national assessment

program.

Outcome 3: data collection and school performance

reporting system

The continued existence of the entity in its present

form and current programs is dependent on the

Standing Council on Education and Early Childhood

policy, and on continued funding by Commonwealth,

State and Territory governments.

1.2 Basis of Preparation of the Financial Report

The financial statements and notes are general

purpose financial statements required by clause 1(b)

of Schedule 1 to the Commonwealth Authorities and

Companies Act 1997.

The financial statements and notes have been

prepared in accordance with:

• Finance Minister’s Orders (FMO) for reporting

periods ending on or after 1 July 2011; and

• Australian Accounting Standards and

Interpretations issued by the Australian

Accounting Standards Board (AASB) that apply

for the reporting period.

The financial statements have been prepared on an

accrual basis and is in accordance with the historical

cost convention, except for certain assets at fair

value. Except where stated, no allowance is made

for the effect of changing prices on the results of the

financial position.

The financial statements are presented in Australian

dollars and values are rounded to the nearest

thousand dollars unless otherwise specified.

Unless an alternative treatment is specifically

required by an accounting standard or the FMOs,

assets and liabilities are recognised in the statement

of financial position when and only when it is

probable that future economic benefits will flow to

the entity or a future sacrifice of economic benefits

will be required and the amounts of the assets and

liabilities can be reliably measured. However, assets

and liabilities arising under executor contracts are

not recognised unless required by an accounting

standard. Liabilities and assets that are unrecognised

are reported in the schedule of commitments or the

schedule of contingencies.

Unless alterative treatment is specially required by

an accounting standard, income and expenses are

recognised in the Statement of Comprehensive

Income when, and only when, the flow consumption

or loss of economic benefits has occurred and can be

reliably measured.

1.3 Significant Accounting Judgements and

Estimates

No significant accounting assumptions and estimates

have been made that would have a significant impact

on the amounts recorded in the financial statements.

1.4 New Australian Accounting Standards

Adoption of New Australian Accounting Standard

Requirements

ACARA Annual Report 2013-14

48

Standard/Interpretation

Applicable for annual

reporting periods

beginning or ending on

Summary

AASB 1055 Budgetary Reporting 2014-2015 Expected to have no significant impact.

AASB 10 Consolidated Financial

Statements

2014-2015 Expected to have no significant impact.

AASB 9 Financial Instruments 1 July 2016 Expected to have no significant impact.

AASB 2010-7 Amendments to

Australian Accounting Standards

arising from AASB 9 (December

2010)

1 July 2016 Expected to have no significant impact.

Interpretation 21 Levies 2014-2015 Expected to have no significant impact.

AASB 2013-3 Recoverable

Amount Disclosures for

Non-financial Assets

2014-2015 Expected to have no significant impact.

1.5 Revenue

The revenues described in this note are revenues

relating to the core activities of ACARA.

Revenue from jurisdictions

Revenue from jurisdictions is recognised when:

• ACARA has obtained control of the revenue or

the right to receive the revenue;

• The revenue can be reliably measured; and

• It is probable that the economic benefits

associated with the transaction will flow to the

entity.

The distribution of government grant income for

the initial four years of ACARA was determined by

the Ministerial Council on Education, Employment,

Training and Youth Affairs (MCEETYA) following

4.4 Notes to financial statements

No accounting standard has been adopted earlier

than the application date as stated in the standard.

Future Australian accounting standard requirements

New standards, amendments to standards, and

interpretations issued by the AASB are applicable to

future reporting periods and are not expected to have

a material financial impact on ACARA.

Standard/Interpretation Summary

AASB 119 Employee Benefits The impact of AASB 119 did not have a material

impact in the current reporting period.

ACARA Annual Report 2013-14

49

4.4 Notes to financial statements

its April 2009 meeting. Funding for ACARA

for the next four years was determined by the

Ministerial Council for Education, Early Childhood

Development and Youth Affairs (MCEECDYA) at

its October 2011 meeting. As at 30 June 2014, the

relevant body was the Standing Council on School

Education & Early Childhood (SCSEEC).

Grants received in advance

Where ACARA receives grants in advance of the

period to which the funds, or for specific projects

for which work is yet to be completed, the grant is

recognised in the Statement of Financial Position

as a liability, Grants In Advance. At 30 June

2014 the amount recognised was $7,471,245

(2013: $1,425,350) this consisted of a 2014/15

annual contributions from jurisdictions and the

Commonwealth.

Interest revenue

Interest revenue is recognised using the

effective interest rate method as set out in AASB

139 Financial Instruments: Recognition and

Measurement.

Resources received free of charge

Resources received free of charge are recognised

as revenue when, and only when, a fair value can

be reliably determined and the services would have

been purchased if they had not been donated. Use

of the resources is recognised as an expense.

1.6 Lease incentive, plant and equipment

Asset recognition threshold

Purchases of plant and equipment are recognised

initially at cost in the Balance Sheet, except for

purchases costing less than $1,000, which are

expensed in the year of acquisition (other than

where they form part of a group of similar items

which are significant in total).

The initial cost of an asset includes an estimate of

the cost of dismantling and removing the item and

restoring the site on which it is located.

Lease incentives relate to the right to use the office

fit-out being plant and equipment. It is recognised at

fair value on the establishment of the lease.

Revaluations

Fair values for each class of asset are determined

as shown below:

Asset class

Leasehold incentives

Infrastructure, plant and

equipment

Fair value measurement

Depreciated replacement cost

Depreciated replacement cost

Following initial recognition at cost, plant and

equipment were carried at fair value less

subsequent accumulated depreciation and

accumulated impairment losses. Valuations were

conducted with sufficient frequency to ensure

that the carrying amounts of assets did not differ

materially from the assets` fair values as at the

reporting date. The regularity of independent

valuations depended upon the volatility of

movements in market values for the relevant

assets.

Revaluation adjustments were made on a class

basis. Any revaluation increment was credited

to equity under the heading of asset revaluation

reserve except to the extent that it reserved a

previous revaluation decrement of the same asset

class that was previously recognised directly in the

surplus/deficit except to the extent that they reserved

a previous revaluation increment for that class.

Any accumulated depreciation as at the revaluation

date is eliminated against the gross carrying

amount of the asset and the asset restated to the

revalued amount.

ACARA Annual Report 2013-14

50

Depreciation

Depreciable plant and equipment assets are

written-off to their estimated residual values over

their estimated useful lives to ACARA using, in all

cases, the straight-line method of depreciation.

Depreciation rates, residual values and methods

are reviewed at each reporting date and necessary

adjustments are recognised in the current, or

current and future reporting periods, as appropriate.

Furniture & fittings

Leasehold improvements

Equipment

2014

6.75 years

6.75 years

3 years

2013

6.75 years

6.75 years

3 years

Impairment

All assets were assessed for impairment at

30 June 2014. Where indications of impairment

exist, the asset’s recoverable amount is estimated

and an impairment adjustment made if the asset’s

recoverable amount is less than its carrying value.

The recoverable amount of an asset is the higher

of its fair value less costs to sell and its value in

use. Value in use is the present value of the future

cash flows expected to be derived from the asset.

Where the future economic benefit of an asset is

not primarily dependent on the asset’s ability to

generate future cash flows, and the asset would

be replaced if the entity were deprived of the

asset, its value in use is taken to be its depreciated

replacement cost.

Derecognition

An item of plant and equipment is derecognised

upon disposal or when no further future economic

benefits are expected from its use or disposal.

1.7 Intangibles

ACARA’s intangibles comprise of software and are

carried at cost less accumulated amortisation and

accumulated impairment losses.

Software is amortised on a straight line method

over the anticipated useful life. The useful lives of

ACARA’s software are 3 years.

All assets were assessed for indications of

impairment as at 30 June 2014.

1.8 Employee benefits

Liabilities

Liabilities for services rendered by employees are

recognised at the reporting date to the extent that

they have not been settled.

Liabilities for short-term employee benefits (as

defined in AASB 119) and termination benefits

expected within twelve months of the balance date

are measured at their nominal amounts.

The nominal amount is calculated with regard to the

rates expected to be paid on settlement of the liability.

All other employee benefit liabilities are measured

at the present value of the estimated future cash

outflows to be made in respect of services provided

by employees up to the reporting date.

Leave

The liability for employee benefits includes provision

for annual leave and long service leave. No provision

has been made for sick leave as all sick leave

entitlements are non-vesting and the average sick

leave taken in future years by employees of ACARA

is estimated to be less than the annual entitlement for

sick leave.

The leave liabilities are calculated on the basis of

the employees’ remuneration at the estimated salary

4.4 Notes to financial statements

ACARA Annual Report 2013-14

51

4.4 Notes to financial statements

rates that will be applied at the time the leave is

taken, including ACARA’s employer superannuation

contribution rates to the extent that the leave is likely

to be taken during the service rather than paid out on

termination.

The liability for long service leave has been

determined by reference to the Australian

Government shorthand method. In applying this

method, the accrued long service leave for each

employee as at reporting date is probability weighted,

based on the Australian Government probability

profile. The amount obtained for each employee is

then discounted using the ten year Treasury bond

rate. The estimate of the present value of the liability

takes into account attrition rates and pay increases

through promotion and inflation.

Separation and redundancy

ACARA recognises a provision for termination when it

has developed a detailed formal plan for terminations

and has informed those employees affected that it will

carry out terminations.

Superannuation

Upon commencing employment with ACARA,

employees nominate an approved superannuation

scheme of their choice.

No ACARA employees are members of a defined

benefits scheme. ACARA contributes a minimum

of 9.75% of superannuable salaries on behalf of

its employees. The liability for superannuation

recognised as at 30 June represents outstanding

contributions for the final month of the year.

1.9 Leases

A distinction is made between finance leases and

operating leases. Finance leases effectively transfer

from the lessor to the lessee substantially all the risks

and rewards incidental to ownership of leased assets.

An operating lease is a lease that is not a finance

lease. In operating leases, the lessor effectively

retains substantially all such risks and benefits.

Where an asset is acquired by means of a finance

lease, the asset is capitalised at either the fair value

of the lease property or, if lower, the present value

of minimum lease payments at the inception of the

contract and a liability is recognised at the same time

and for the same amount.

The discount rate used is the interest rate implicit

in the lease. Leased assets are amortised over the

period of the lease. Lease payments are allocated

between the principal component and the interest

expense.

Operating lease payments are expensed on a

straight-line basis which is representative of the

pattern of benefits derived from the leased assets.

1.10 Cash

Cash and cash equivalents includes notes and

coins held and any deposits in bank accounts with

an original maturity of 3 months or less that are

readily convertible to known amounts of cash and

subject to insignificant risk of changes in value.

Cash is recognised at its nominal amount.

1.11 Financial assets

ACARA classifies its financial assets as loans and

receivables.

The classification depends on the nature and

purpose of the financial assets and is determined at

the time of initial recognition.

Financial assets are recognised and derecognised

upon ‘trade date’.

Effective interest rate method

The effective interest method is a method of

calculating the amortised cost of a financial asset

and of allocating interest income over the relevant

ACARA Annual Report 2013-14

52

period. The effective interest rate is the rate that

exactly discounts estimated future cash receipts

through the expected life of the financial asset,

or, where appropriate, a shorter period. Income

is recognised on an effective interest rate basis

except for financial assets at fair value through

profit or loss.

Loans and receivables

Trade receivables, loans and other receivables

that have fixed or determinable payments that

are not quoted in an active market are classified

as loans and receivables. They are included in

current assets, except for maturities greater than 12

months after the balance date. These are classified

as non-current assets. Loans and receivables are

measured at amortised cost using the effective

interest method less impairment. Interest is

recognised by applying the effective interest rate.

Impairment of financial assets

Financial assets are assessed for impairment at

each balance date.

• Financial assets held at amortised cost—if

there is objective evidence that an impairment

loss has been incurred for loans and

receivables or held-to-maturity investments

held at amortised cost, the amount of the loss

is measured as the difference between the

asset’s carrying amount and the present value

of estimated future cash flows discounted

at the asset’s original effective interest rate.

The carrying amount is reduced by way of an

allowance account. The loss is recognised in

the Statement of Comprehensive Income.

• Available-for-sale financial assets—if there

is objective evidence that an impairment loss

on an available-for-sale financial asset has

been incurred, the amount of the difference

between its cost, less principal repayments

and amortisation, and its current fair value,

less any impairment loss previously recognised

in expenses, is transferred from equity to the

Statement of Comprehensive Income.

• Financial assets held at cost—if there is

objective evidence that an impairment loss has

been incurred, the amount of the impairment

loss is the difference between the carrying

amount of the asset and the present value of

estimated future cash flows discounted at the

current market rate for similar assets.

1.12 Financial liabilities

Financial liabilities are classified as either financial

liabilities at fair value through profit or loss or other

financial liabilities.

Financial liabilities are recognised and

derecognised upon ‘trade date’.

Financial liabilities at fair value through profit or loss

Financial liabilities at fair value through profit or

loss are initially measured at fair value. Subsequent

fair value adjustments are recognised in profit or

loss. The net gain or loss recognised in profit or

loss incorporates any interest paid on the financial

liability.

Other financial liabilities

Other financial liabilities are initially measured at

fair value, net of transaction costs. These liabilities

are subsequently measured at amortised cost using

the effective interest method, with interest expense

recognised on an effective yield basis.

The effective interest method is a method of

calculating the amortised cost of a financial liability

and of allocating interest expense over the relevant

period. The effective interest rate is the rate that

exactly discounts estimated future cash payments

through the expected life of the financial liability, or,

where appropriate, a shorter period.

4.4 Notes to financial statements

ACARA Annual Report 2013-14

53

Supplier and other payables

Supplier and other payables are recognised at their

nominal amounts, being the amounts at which the

liabilities will be settled. Liabilities are recognised

to the extent that the goods or services have been

received (and irrespective of having been invoiced).

1.13 Contingent liabilities and contingent assets

Contingent liabilities and contingent assets are not

recognised in the Statement of Financial Position

but are reported in the relevant schedules and

notes. They may arise from uncertainty as to

the existence of a liability or asset, or represent

an existing liability or asset in respect of which

settlement is not probable or the amount cannot be

reliably measured. Contingent assets are disclosed

when settlement is probable but not virtually certain

and contingent liabilities are recognised when

settlement is greater than remote.

1.14 Taxation

ACARA is exempt from income tax. All other forms

of taxation are applicable.

Revenues, expenses and assets are recognised

net of GST except:

• where the amount of GST incurred is not

recoverable from the Australian Taxation Office;

and

• for receivables and payables.

1.15 Insurance

ACARA has insured for risks through the

Government’s insurable risk managed fund,

Comcover. In addition ACARA holds a Workers

Compensation policy with the Governments insurer

Comcare.

1.16 Comparatives

Where required by Accounting Standards

comparative figures have been adjusted to conform

with changes to presentation for the current

financial year. Comparative figures represent

financial transactions for the period 1 July 2012 to

30 June 2013.

2. Events After The Reporting Period

Professor Emeritus Brian Caldwell, Ms Valerie Gould,

Dr Paul Sharkey, Ms Patrea Walton, Mr Stephen

Gniel and Cr Michael Hewitson were appointed to the

ACARA Board on 7 July 2014.

ACARA is not aware of any events occurring after the

reporting date that warrants disclosure or recording in

the financial statements.

4.4 Notes to financial statements

ACARA Annual Report 2013-14

54

3. Expenses

2014 $’000

2013 $’000

3(a): Employee benefits Wages and salaries

Superannuation - defined contribution plans

Leave and other entitlements

Separations and redundancies

Total employee benefits

3(b): Suppliers Goods and services

Secondments, casual staff, contractors and consultants

Item development and testing

Website development and maintenance

Travel and accommodation

Staff related expenses - payroll tax and recruitment

Consultants - curriculum development

Office infrastructure

IT expenses

Other operational expenditure

Goods supplied in connection with

Related parties

External parties

Total goods supplied

Services rendered in connection with

Related parties

External parties

Total services rendered

Total goods and services supplied or rendered

Other supplier expenses

Operating lease rentals in connection with

External parties

Minimum lease payments

Workers compensation expense

Total other suppliers

Total suppliers

11,889

1,265

1,137

470

14,761

5,481

9,893

977

1,060

1,073

1,183

427

565

1,434

22,093

-

550

550

5,729

15,814

21,543

22,093

497

131

628

22,721

10,864

1,072

1,978

-

13,914

6,937

7,113

1,332

1,439

947

2,284

401

1,748

1,653

23,854

-

583

583

5,136

18,135

23,271

23,854

595

153

748

24,602

4.4 Notes to financial statements

ACARA Annual Report 2013-14

55

4.4 Notes to financial statements

4. Own-Source Income

2014 $’000

2013 $’000

Own Source

4(a): Revenue from Jurisdictions

State and Territory Governments

Total revenue from jurisdictions

Government

4(b): Revenues from Government Australian Government - Department of Education

Total revenue from Government

4(c): Interest Deposits

Total interest

4(d): Other Revenue Resources received free of charge - services

Total other revenue

14,500

14,500

23,755

23,755

172

172

2

2

15,450

15,450

23,816

23,816

281

281

215

215

2014 $’000

2013 $’000

3(c): Depreciation and amortisation Plant and equipment

Intangibles

Total depreciation and amortisation

712

44

756

714

148

862

3. Expenses continued

ACARA Annual Report 2013-14

56

5. Financial Assets

2014 $’000

2013 $’000

5(a): Cash and cash equivalents

Cash on hand or on deposit

Total cash and cash equivalents

5(b): Trade and other receivables Goods and services receivables in connection with

Related parties

External parties

Total goods and services receivables

Other receivables:

GST

Total trade and other receivables

Trade and other receivables expected to be recovered

No more than 12 months

More than 12 Months

Total trade and other receivables

Trade and other receivables are aged as follows

Not overdue

Overdue by:

0 to 30 days

30 to 60 days

60 to 90 days

More than 90 days

Total trade and other receivables

12,647

12,647

278

5,261

5,539

239

5,778

5,778

-

5,778

887

-

2,778

-

2,113

5,778

9,638

9,638

-

1,612

1,612

221

1,833

1,833

-

1,833

1,823

--

-

10

1,833

There are no trade and other receivable impairments for

this year or last year. Credit terms for goods and services

receivable are 30 days from the due date.

4.4 Notes to financial statements

ACARA Annual Report 2013-14

57

6. Non-Financial Assets

2014 $’000

2013 $’000

6(a): Land and Buildings Leasehold incentives

Fair value

Accumulated depreciation

Total leasehold incentives

6(b): Plant and Equipment Fair value

Accumulated depreciation

Total plant and equipment

Total non-financial assets

3,554

(2,444)

1,110

976

(683)

293

1,403

3,554

(1,911)

1,643

854

(566)

288

1,931

Leasehold improvements $’000

Plant and equipment $’000

Total

$’000

As at 1 July 2013 Additions - by purchase Depreciation / amortisation expense Net book value at 30 June 2014

1,643 -

(533) 1,110

288 184 (179) 293

1,931 184 (712) 1,403

Leasehold improvements $’000

Plant and equipment $’000

Total $’000

As at 1 July 2012 Additions - by purchase Disposals Depreciation / amortisation expense Net book value at 30 June 2013

2,175 --

(532) 1,643

289 181 -(182) 288

2,464 181 -(714) 1,931

No indications of impairment were found for leasehold incentives, plant and equipment.

Revaluations are conducted in accordance with the revaluation policy stated at note 18.

No revaluation or decrements were recorded during the year.

6(c): Reconciliation of Opening and Closing Balances Leasehold incentives, Plant and Equipment 2014

4.4 Notes to financial statements

Reconciliation of Opening and Closing Balances Leasehold Incentives, Plant and Equipment 2013

ACARA Annual Report 2013-14

58

6(d): Intangibles

2014 $’000

2013 $’000

Computer software

Software at cost

Accumulated amortisation

Total computer software

Total Intangibles

599

(584)

15

15

599

(540)

59

59

2014 $’000

2013 $’000

Total as at 1 July 2013

Additions -external purchases

Disposals

Amortisation expense

Total as at 30 June 2014

59

--

(44)

15

199

8

-

(148)

59

6(f): Other Non-Financial Assets

2014

$’000

2013

$’000

Prepayments - no more than 12 months Total other non-financial assets

90 90

235 235

No indications of impairment were found for intangibles. No intangibles are expected to be sold or disposed

of within the next 12 months.

6(e): Reconciliation of Opening and Closing Balances Intangibles (software)

No indicators of impairment were found for other non-financial assets.

4.4 Notes to financial statements

ACARA Annual Report 2013-14

59

7. Payables

2014 $’000

2013 $’000

7(a): Suppliers

Trade creditors and accruals

Operating lease rentals

Total suppliers

Suppliers expected to be settled

No more than 12 months

More than 12 months

Total suppliers

Suppliers in connection with

Related parties

External parties

Total suppliers

Settlement was usually made net 30 days

7(b): Grants in advance State Grant 2014/15 Contribution

Commonwealth Project Funds

Total grants in advance

7(c): Other payables

Wages and salaries

Superannuation

Provision for redundancies

Rent subsidy - 255 Pitt St Sydney

Total other payables

Other payables are expected to be settled

No more than 12 months

More than 12 months

Total other payables

6,865

-

6,865

6,865

-

6,865

1,783

5,082

6,865

7,471

-

7,471

327

32

148

986

1,493

957

536

1,493

6,762

-

6,762

6,444

318

6,762

4,377

2,385

6,762

1,425

-

1,425

285

25

-

1,393

1,703

688

1,015

1,703

4.4 Notes to financial statements

ACARA Annual Report 2013-14

60

8. Provisions

2014 $’000

2013 $’000

Employee provisions Leave

Total employee provisions

Employee provisions expected to be settled

Not more than 12 months

More than 12 months

Total employee provisions

1,677

1,677

1,030

647

1,677

1,570

1,570

933

637

1,570

4.4 Notes to financial statements

ACARA Annual Report 2013-14

61

9. Cash Flow Reconciliation

Reconciliation of cash and cash equivalents as

per Statement of Financial Position to Cash Flow

Statement

2014 $’000

2013 $’000

(a) Cash and cash equivalents as per:

Cash flow statement

Statement of financial position

Discrepancy

(b) Reconciliation of net cost of services to net cash from operating activities Net cost of services

Add revenue from Government and Interest

Total comprehensive income / (deficit)

Adjustments for non-cash items

Depreciation / amortisation

Leasehold incentive

Changes in assets/liabilities:

(Increase) / Decrease in net receivables

(Increase) / Decrease in other non-financial assets

Increase / (Decrease) in suppliers payables

Increase / (Decrease) in grants in advance

Increase / (Decrease) in other payables

Increase / (Decrease) in employee provisions

Net cash from operating activities

5(a)

12,647

12,647

-

(38,238)

38,429

191

756

-

(3,946)

145

102

6,046

(208)

107

3,193

9,638

9,638

-

(39,378)

39,762

384

862

-

13,504

(169)

4,588

(14,115)

(371)

751

5,434

4.4 Notes to financial statements

ACARA Annual Report 2013-14

62

10. Contingent Assets and Liabilities

There are no contingent assets or liabilities at

30 June 2014.

11. Directors’ Remuneration

The number of directors of ACARA included

in these figures is shown below in the relevant

remuneration bands.

2014 2013

$Nil - $29,999

$30,000 - $59,999

$60,000 - $89,000

$90,000 - $119,999

Total number of non-executive directors

The total remuneration received or due and receivable by non-executive

directors of ACARA

11

1

-1

13

$206,194

13

1

-1

15

$189,504

The directors of ACARA are appointed

by the Minister for Education

4.4 Notes to financial statements

ACARA Annual Report 2013-14

63

2014 $

2013 $

Transactions with directors or director related entities 5,333,864 5,136,365

2014 $

2013 $

Australian Council for Educational Research

Education Services Australia

Victorian Curriculum Assessment Authority

SA Dept. of Education and Child Development

University of Melbourne

Queensland Dept. of Education, Training and Employment

WA School Curriculum and Standards Authority

Office of Board of Studies, Teaching and Educational Standards NSW

Department of Education Tasmania

Association of Independent Schools of South Australia

Northern Territory Dept. of Education

4,485,325

943,545

62,036

27,856

40,663

1,018

29,636

108,096

10,810

18,821

775

5,728,581

3,798,855

601,499

275,377

563

56,090

2,004

318,805

-

42,452

29,789

10,931

5,136,365

Details of companies and government agencies

which ACARA has engaged for services and in

which ACARA Directors are associated.

4.4 Notes to financial statements

12. Related Party Disclosures

The following persons were Directors of ACARA

during the year:

Professor Barry McGaw, Mr Anthony Mackay, Mr Tom

Alegounarias, Dr Brian Croke, Ms Lesley Englert,

Mr John Firth, Mr Angus James, Ms Dianne Kerr, Mr

Garry Le Duff, Ms Helen Wildash, Professor Patrick

Garnett, Ms Liz Banks and Ms Susan Bowden.

The following directors retired at 7th of May 2014: Mr

Anthony Mackay, Dr Brian Croke, Ms Lesley Englert,

Mr Angus James and Mr Garry Le Duff.

Several directors of ACARA held directorships or

senior roles with other companies or government

agencies. All transactions between ACARA and

companies with a Director or key management

personnel common to ACARA are conducted using

commercial and arm-length principles.

ACARA Annual Report 2013-14

64

2014 $

2013 $

Short-term employee benefits:

Salary

Change in annual leave provisions

Allowances

Total short-term employee benefits

Post-employment benefits:

Superannuation

Total post-employment benefits

Other long-term benefits:

Annual leave accrued

Long-service leave

Total other long-term benefits

Termination benefits

Total senior executive remuneration expenses

1,344,093

21,769

-

1,365,862

120,091

120,091

36,991

36,991

-

1,522,944

898,784

44,446

-

943,230

76,517

76,517

31,357

31,357

-

1,051,104

Notes

1. Note 13a was prepared on an accrual basis. There were no bonus payments during the year 2013/14.

2. Note 13a excludes acting arrangements and part-year service where remuneration expensed was less than $195,000.

13. Senior Executive Remuneration

13(a). Senior Executive Remuneration Expense for the Reporting Period

4.4 Notes to financial statements

ACARA Annual Report 2013-14

65

Notes

1 This table reports substantive senior executives who received

remuneration during the period. Each row is an averaged figure

based on headcount for individuals in the band.

2 ˋReportable salaryˊ includes the following:

a) Gross payments

b) Reportable fringe benefits; and

b) Salary sacrificed benefits

3 The ˋcontributed superannuationˊ amount is the average

cost to the entity for the provision of superannuation benefits to

substantive senior executives in that reportable remuneration band

during the reporting period.

13(b). Average Annual Reportable Remuneration Paid to Substantive Senior Executives During the Reporting Period

Average annual reportable remuneration paid to substantive senior executives in 2014

Average annual reportable remuneration paid to substantive senior executives in 2013

Average annual reportable remuneration1

Substantive Senior Executives

Reportable Salary2 Contributed Superannuation3

Reportable allowances Bonus Paid

Total Reportable Remuneration

No. $ $ $ $ $

Total remuneration (including part-time arrangements):

less than $195,000 $195,000 to $224,999 $225,000 to $254,999 $285,000 to $314,999 $405,000 to $434,999

Total

-1 1 2 1

5

-

201,045 218,067 270,280 384,421

-

19,602 24,811 25,339 25,000

--

--

-

--

--

-

-

220,647 242,878 295,619 409,421

4.4 Notes to financial statements

Average annual reportable remuneration

Substantive Senior Executives

Reportable Salary Contributed Superannuation

Reportable allowances Bonus Paid

Total Reportable Remuneration

No. $ $ $ $ $

Total remuneration (including part-time arrangements):

less than $195,000 $225,000 to $254,999 $285,000 to $314,999 $375,000 to $404,999

Total

1 1 1 1

4

49,164 215,919 268,705 364,996

4,547 23,520 23,450 25,000

--

--

--

--

53,711 239,439 292,155 389,996

ACARA Annual Report 2013-14

66

Notes

1 This table reports staff:

a) who are employed by the entity during the reporting period;

b) whose reportable remuneration was $195,000 or more for the

financial period; and

c) were not required to be disclosed in Tables A, B or director

disclosures.

Each row is an averaged figure based on headcount for individuals

in the band.

2

ˋReportable salaryˊ include the following:

a) gross payments (less any bonuses paid, which are separated out

and disclosed in the ˋbonuses paidˊ column);

b) reportable fringe benefits (at the net amount prior to ‘grossing up’

for tax purposes);

c) salary sacrificed benefits

The ‘contributed superannuation’ amount is the average cost to entity

for the provision of superannuation benefits to substantive senior

executives in that reportable remuneration band during the reporting

period.

ˋReportable allowancesˊ are the average actual allowances paid as

per the ˋtotal allowancesˊ line on individual’s payment summaries.

13c. Other Highly Paid Staff

Average annual reportable remuneration1

Other Highly Paid Staff

Reportable Salary2 Contributed Superannuation

Reportable allowances Bonus Paid

Total Reportable Remuneration

No. $ $ $ $ $

Total remuneration (including part-time arrangements):

$195,000 to $224,999 $255,000 to $284,999

Total number of other highly paid staff

2 1

3

186,122 260,645

27,265 23,155

--

--

213,387 283,800

4.4 Notes to financial statements

Average annual reportable remuneration1

Other Highly Paid Staff

Reportable Salary2 Contributed Superannuation

Reportable allowances Bonus Paid

Total Reportable Remuneration

No. $ $ $ $ $

Total remuneration (including part-time arrangements):

$195,000 to $224,999

Total number of other highly paid staff

2

2

180,089 16,559

-

- 196,6569

Average annual reportable remuneration to other highly paid staff in 2014

Average annual reportable remuneration to other highly paid staff in 2013

ACARA Annual Report 2013-14

67

14. Remuneration of Auditors

Financial statement audit services provided by the

Australian National Audit Office (ANAO)

2014

$

2013

$

Fair value of the services provided

Financial statement audit services 47,500 45,000

No other services were provided by the ANAO.

15. Financial Instruments

(a) Categories of financial instruments

2014 $’000

2013 $’000

Financial Assets

Loans and receivables

Cash on hand or cash equivalents

Trade and other receivables

Total loans and receivables

Total financial assets

Financial liabilities

Financial liabilities measured at amortised costs

Trade creditors

Other payables

Total financial liabilities measured at amortised cost

Total financial liabilities

5(a)

5(b)

7(a)

7(c)

12,647

5,539

18,186

18,186

6,865

1,493

8,358

8,358

9,638

1,612

11,250

11,250

6,762

1,703

8,465

8,465

Note GST is not a financial instrument and has not

been included.

Fair value of financial instruments

The fair value of each class of ACARA’s financial

assets and liabilities equal the carrying amount for

the current reporting period.

4.4 Notes to financial statements

ACARA Annual Report 2013-14

68

(b) Net gains or lossess on financial assets

2014 $’000

2013 $’000

Loans and receivables

Interest revenue from deposits

Net gain from loans and receivables

Net gain from financial assets

4(c) 172

172

172

281

281

281

2014 $’000

2013 $’000

Financial assets

Trade and other receivables:

Debtors

Total

5(b) 5,539

5,539

1,612

1,612

Debtors

Total

Not past due nor

impaired

2014

$’000

648

648

Not past due nor

impaired

2013

$’000

1,602

1,602

Past due or

impaired

2014

$’000

4,891

4,891

Past due or

impaired

2013

$’000

10

10

(c) Credit risk

ACARA is exposed to minimal credit risk as financial

assets consist of cash held with NAB and trade

receivables. The maximum exposure to credit risk is

the risk that arises from potential default of a debtor.

This amount is equal to the total amount of trade

receivables $5,539,962 (2013: $1,612,351).

For debtors other than government, it is ACARA’s

policy to only deal with entities with high credit ratings.

There are no financial assets that have had their

terms renegotiated so as to prevent them from being

past due or impaired, and they are stated at the

carrying amounts as indicated. The following tables

disclose the ageing of financial assets that are

past due:

4.4 Notes to financial statements

The following table illustrates ACARA’s exposure to credit risk, excluding any collateral or credit enhancements.

Credit quality of financial instruments not past due or individually determined as impaired

ACARA Annual Report 2013-14

69

On Demdand Within 1 year $’000 1-2 years

$’000

Total $’000

Maturities for non-derivative financial liabilities in 2014

Trade creditors Total

7(a) 6,865

6,865

--

6,865

6,865

4.4 Notes to financial statements

(d) Liquidity risk

ACARA financial liabilities are payables. The

exposure to liquidity risk is based on the notion that

ACARA will encounter difficulty in meeting obligations

associated with its financial liabilities. This is unlikely

as ACARA manages its budgeted funds to ensure

it has adequate funds to meet payments as they

fall due.

On Demdand Within 1 year $’000 1-2 years

$’000

Total $’000

Maturities for non-derivative financial liabilities in 2013

Trade creditors Total

7(a) 6,444

6,444

318

318

6,762

6,762

ACARA had no derivative financial liabilities in either

2014 or 2013

(e) Market risk

ACARA holds basic financial instruments that did

not expose ACARA to certain market risks, such as

‘Currency risk’ and ‘Other price risk’.

(f) Interest rate risk

ACARA exposure to interest rate risk is limited to

interest bearing deposits held with banks. ACARA

does not hold any interest-bearing liabilities.

ACARA Annual Report 2013-14

70

4.4 Notes to financial statements

17. Compensation and Debt Relief

There were no Act of Grace payments, or payments

made under s73 of the Public Service Act 1999 or

waivers during 2013-14 (2012-13: nil).

2014 $’000

2013 $’000

Financial assets

Total financial assets as per statement of financial position

Less: non-financial instrument components

Other receivables

Total non-financial instrument components

Total financial assets per financial instruments note

18,425

239

239

18,186

11,471

221

221

11,250

16. Financial Assets Reconciliation

18. Fair Value Measurement

18(a) Fair value measurements

The following table provides an analysis of assets

and liabilities that are measured at fair value.

The different levels of hierarchy are defined below.

Level 1: Quoted prices (adjusted) in active markets

for identical assets or liabilities that the entity can

access at measurement date.

Level 2: Inputs other than quoted prices included

within Level 1 that are observable for the asset or

liability, either directly or indirectly.

Level 3: Unobservable inputs for the asset or liability.

Fair value $’000

Level 1 inputs $’000

Level 2 inputs $’000

Level 3 inputs $’000

Non-financial assets Lease incentives Plant and equipment

Total fair value measurements of assets in the statement of financial position

1,110 293

1,403

--

-

--

-

1,110 293

1,403

Fair value measurements at the end of the reporting period using hierarchy for assets and liabilities in 2014

ACARA Annual Report 2013-14

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4.4 Notes to financial statements

18(b): Level 1 and level 2 transfers for recurring fair

value measurements

Recurring fair value measurements transferred

between level 1 and level 2 for assets and liabilities

There has been no transfer between level 1 and level

2 for fair value measurement during 2013-2014.

18(c) Valuation technique and inputs for level 2 and

level 3 fair value measurements

Recurring and non-recurring level 3 fair value

measurements - valuation processes

Management have used current replacement cost

which reflects depreciated cost price on the basis

that plant and equipment is less than three years old.

Depreciation is calculated using standard rates.

Category

Fair value $’000

Valuation technique1

Non-financial assets Lease incentives Other plant and equipment

Level 3 Level 3

1,110 293

Current replacement cost Current replacement cost

1 No change in valuation technique occurred during the year.

Non-financial assets

Other plant and equipment 2014 $’000

Total 2014 $’000

Opening balance Purchases Disposals Closing balance

288 184 (179) 293

288 184 (179) 293

Level 2 and 3 measurements - valuation technique and the inputs used for assets and liabilities during 2014

18(d) Reconciliation for recurring level 3 fair value measurements

Recurring level 3 fair value measurements - reconciliation for assets

ACARA Annual Report 2013-14

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4.4 Notes to financial statements

19. Reporting of Outcomes

ACARA’s work contributes towards the Outcome of

improved quality and consistency of school education

in Australia through a national curriculum, national

assessment, data collection and performance

reporting system, as described in Note 1.

a) Net cost of outcome delivery

Outcome Total

Expenses Employee benefits Supplier expenses Depreciation and amortization Total expenses

Own-source income Revenue from jurisdictions Interest Other revenue Total own source income Net cost / (contribution of outcome)

2014 $’000

14,761 22,721 756 38,238

14,500 172 2

14,674 23,564

2013 $’000

13,914 24,602 862 39,378

15,450 281 215

15,946 23,432

2014 $’000

14,761 22,721 756 38,238

14,500 172 2

14,674 23,564

2013 $’000

13,914 24,602 862 39,378

15,450 281 215

15,946 23,432

b) Major classes of assets and liabilities by outcome

Outcome Total

Assets Cash and cash equivalents Trade and other receivables Other non-financial assets Plant and equipment Intangibles Total assets

Liabilities Suppliers Grants in advance (deferred revenue) Other payables Employee provisions Total liabilities

2014 $’000

12,647 5,778 90 1,403

15

19,933

6,865 7,471 1,493 1,677 17,506

2013 $’000

9,638 1,833 235 1,931

59

13,696

6,762 1,425 1,703 1,570 11,460

2014 $’000 0 12,647

5,778 90

1,403 15

19,933

6,865 7,471 1,493 1,677 17,506

2013 $’000

9,638 1,833 235 1,931

59

13,696

6,762 1,425 1,703 1,570 11,460

Annual Report 2013-14

Additional Information

ACARA Annual Report 2013-14

74

5.1 Board and committee membership

Board membership

Membership of the ACARA Board is established

under section 13 of the ACARA Act, and comprises

nominees of education ministers and national

peak non-government school bodies, agreed to

by the Standing Council. The ACARA Board held

six meetings and one teleconference during the

2013-14 reporting period.

Chair - Professor Barry McGaw AO

Professor Barry McGaw holds the position of Vice-

Chancellor’s Fellow, University of Melbourne. He

was previously Director for Education, Organisation

for Economic Co-operation and Development

(OECD) and Executive Director, Australian Council

for Educational Research (ACER). Qualifications

held: BSc, DipEd, BEd (Hons), EdM, PhD.

Deputy Chair - Mr Tony Mackay

Mr Tony Mackay is Executive Director of the

Centre for Strategic Education in Melbourne and

Chair of the Australian Institute of Teaching and

School Leadership. He is an Honorary Fellow in

the Graduate School of Education at the University

of Melbourne, a Board Director of the Australian

Council for Educational Research, a member of the

Advisory Board of the Asia Education Foundation

and a Board Director of the Foundation for Young

Australians. Qualifications held: BEc, BEd, MA.

Retired from the Board on 7 May 2014

Mr Tom Alegounarias

Tom Alegounarias is President of the Board of

Studies, Teaching and Educational Standards

(BOSTES) (incorporating the former New South

Wales Board of Studies), and nominee of the NSW

education minister. Qualifications held: BEc, DipEd.

Ms Liz Banks

Liz Banks is Deputy Secretary of the Tasmanian

Department of Education, and nominee of the

Tasmanian education minister. Qualifications held:

Tasmanian Teaching Cert, DipTeaching.

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5.1 Board and committee membership

Dr Brian Croke

Brian Croke is Executive Director of the Catholic

Education Commission, New South Wales, and

nominee of the National Catholic Education

Commission. Qualifications held: BA (Hons), DipEd,

DPhil, DLitt (Hons).

Retired from the Board on 7 May 2014

Ms Lesley Englert

Lesley Englert is the former Assistant Director

General, Curriculum, Queensland Department of

Education and Training, former Principal of Upper

Coomera State College, and nominee of the

Queensland education minister. Qualifications held:

BA, TCert, Cert IV Training and Assessment.

Retired from the Board on 7 May 2014

Mr John Firth

John Firth is Chief Executive Officer of the Victorian

Curriculum and Assessment Authority, and nominee

of the Victorian education minister. Qualifications

held: BComm, DipEd.

Emeritus Professor Patrick Garnett

Patrick Garnett is Chair of the School Curriculum and

Standards Authority, Western Australia, and nominee

of the WA education minister. Qualifications held:

BSc (Hons), PhD, BEd, MA, HonDEd, FRACI,

CChem, CompIEAust.

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5.1 Board and committee membership

Mr Angus James

Angus James is Principal Partner of Aquasia P/L

and nominee of the federal education minister.

Qualifications held: BEc.

Retired from the Board on 7 May 2014

Ms Helen Wildash

Helen Wildash is Executive Director, Teaching and

Learning Services, South Australian Department for

Education and Child Development and nominee of

the SA education minister. Qualifications held: MEd

(Hons), GradDipTeaching, BEd.

Mr Garry Le Duff

Garry Le Duff is former Chief Executive of the

Association of Independent Schools of South

Australia, and nominee of the Independent Schools

Council of Australia. Qualifications held: BA (Hons),

DipEd, MEd, GradDip EdAdmin, FACE.

Retired from the Board on 7 May 2014

Ms Dianne Kerr

Dianne Kerr is former Chair, Government Schools

Education Council, Australian Capital Territory and

nominee of the ACT education minister. Qualifications

held: BA, DipEd, FACE.

Retired from the Board on 7 May 2014

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Audit and Risk Committee membership

The Audit and Risk Committee comprises members

of the ACARA Board and two independent members.

The Audit and Risk Committee held four meetings

during the 2013-14 reporting period.

Ms Dianne Kerr (Chair) (retired from the Board May 2014)

Ms Liz Banks

Mr Paul Crombie (independent member)

Mr Angus James (retired from the Board May 2014)

Mr Tony Mackay (retired from the Board May 2014)

Mr Gilbert Smith (independent member, appointed to the Committee November 2013)

Curriculum Committee membership

The Curriculum Committee comprises members of

the ACARA Board. The Curriculum Committee held

five meetings during the 2013-14 reporting period.

Prof. Barry McGaw AO (Chair)

Mr Tom Alegounarias

Ms Lesley Englert (retired from the Board May 2014)

Mr John Firth

Ms Dianne Kerr (retired from the Board May 2014)

Mr Garry Le Duff (retired from the Board May 2014)

Mr Tony Mackay (retired from the Board May 2014)

Ms Helen Wildash

5.1 Board and committee membership

Members Initial appointment Appointment ending

Prof. Barry McGaw AO May 2009 May 2015

Tony Mackay May 2009 May 2014

Tom Alegounarias May 2009 May 2015

Liz Banks May 2012 May 2015

Dr Brian Croke May 2009 May 2014

Lesley Englert May 2009 May 2014

John Firth May 2009 May 2015

Prof. Patrick Garnett May 2012 May 2015

Angus James May 2009 May 2014

Dianne Kerr May 2009 May 2014

Garry Le Duff May 2009 May 2014

Helen Wildash May 2009 May 2015

Board members may be reappointed. The maximum period of appointment cannot exceed six years.

ACARA Annual Report 2013-14

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5.2 Board and commitee meetings

Date Meeting Apologies Location

25 July 2013 Meeting 45 John Firth, Patrick Garnett Telepresence

28 August 2013 Teleconference Tom Alegounarias, Brian Croke, Patrick Garnett, Angus James

Teleconference

5 September 2013 Meeting 46 Nil 255 Pitt Street, Sydney

17 October 2013 Meeting 47 Tony Mackay 255 Pitt Street, Sydney

5 December 2013 Meeting 48 Brian Croke, Garry Le Duff,

Tony Mackay

255 Pitt Street, Sydney

24 February 2014 Meeting 49 Liz Banks 255 Pitt Street, Sydney

3 April 2014 Meeting 50 Brian Croke, Angus James 255 Pitt Street, Sydney

Date Meeting Apologies Location

21 August 2013 Meeting 21 Nil 255 Pitt Street, Sydney

20 November 2013 Meeting 22 Nil 255 Pitt Street, Sydney

18 February 2014 Meeting 23 Angus James 255 Pitt Street, Sydney

29 April 2014 Meeting 24 Tony Mackay 255 Pitt Street, Sydney

Board

Committees of the Board

Audit and Risk Committee

Curriculum Committee

Date Meeting Apologies Location

25 July 2013 Meeting 4 Tom Alegounarias, John Firth Telepresence

5 September 2013 Meeting 5 Nil 255 Pitt Street, Sydney

17 October 2013 Meeting 6 Nil 255 Pitt Street, Sydney

5 December 2013 Meeting 7 Tom Alegounarias,

Garry Le Duff, Tony Mackay 255 Pitt Street, Sydney

24 February 2014 Meeting 8 Tom Alegounarias 255 Pitt Street, Sydney

ACARA Annual Report 2013-14

79

5.3 Advisory groups and membership

ACARA is supported by a number of advisory

groups that provide input and expertise across all

ACARA’s work priorities.

ACARA’s reference groups ensure that jurisdictions/

organisations have regular and meaningful

opportunities to provide advice to ACARA.

Members are required to represent the high-level

views of their jurisdiction/organisation on matters

discussed by the reference groups and ensure, as

far as practicable, that information relating to the

work of the reference groups is communicated to all

relevant parts of their jurisdiction/organisation. The

member organisations are listed below under their

respective reference group.

All other groups provide expert advice and

development input. Membership is granted

through a nomination process by jurisdictions

and organisations and/or due to expertise in a

given field.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Advisory Group

The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Advisory

Group provides ACARA with expert guidance

and advice about representation of Aboriginal

and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures

across ACARA’s areas of responsibility. The group

comprises people with demonstrated expertise in

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander education.

ACARA Research and Data Committee

The ACARA Research and Data Committee

considers data requests for research and from

third parties, other than requests from education

ministers, for unpublished or sensitive data. The

committee uses the framework set by the Data

Access Protocols 2012 and the Principles and

protocols for reporting on schooling in Australia,

2009 to make its decisions.

Curriculum Directors Group

The Curriculum Directors Group advises on

ACARA’s curriculum development program. By

keeping informed of work in progress, members are

able to play a key communication role within their

jurisdictions.

F-12 Curriculum Reference Group

The F-12 Curriculum Reference Group gives high-level advice to the ACARA Executive to advance

strategic priorities in ACARA’s work plan. It advises

on: F-12 curriculum design and development

policies and practices, strategies to respond to

issues raised during curriculum development and

consultation, and curriculum and implementation

support strategies and materials. The group also

reviews and provides feedback on draft curriculum

documents.

It has representatives from the following

organisations:

• Australian Capital Territory Government

Education and Training Directorate

• Australian Capital Territory Board of Senior

Secondary Studies

• Australian Curriculum, Assessment and

Reporting Authority

• Department for Education and Child

Development, South Australia

• Department of Education, Northern Territory

• Department of Education, Tasmania

• Australian Government / Department of

Education (formerly the Department of

Education, Employment and Workplace

Relations)

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5.3 Advisory groups and membership

• School Curriculum and Standards Authority,

Western Australia

• Independent Schools Council of Australia

• National Catholic Education Commission

• Board of Studies, Teaching and Educational

Standards (incorporating the former Board of

Studies NSW)

• Queensland Studies Authority

• South Australian Certificate of Education Board

• Tasmanian Qualifications Authority

• Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority.

Finance Data Working Group

The Finance Data Working Group gives advice

and assistance to ACARA’s Executive on ACARA’s

national responsibilities associated with financial

reporting on schooling and Australia’s schools.

This helps ACARA in the collection and reporting of

school finance data.

General Capabilities Advisory Group

The General Capabilities Advisory Group provides

ACARA with expert guidance and advice on the

further development of general capabilities and

their representation across the curriculum. The

group consists of leading academics with expertise

in general capabilities, members of peak national

bodies aligned with the general capabilities,

community members, school educators and

representatives of education authorities.

Learning area/subject national panels and advisory groups

National panels are responsible for providing

state, territory, and professional association

feedback to ACARA at key points in the shaping

and writing phases of the curriculum development

process. In particular, the panels identify from

their perspectives the key risks, challenges and

opportunities at those critical points.

Learning area/subject advisory groups provide

guidance and advice to writing teams at prescribed

points throughout projects, provide advice on

groups or individuals to be consulted and review

documentation prepared during the curriculum

development process. Advisory groups comprise

education professionals, teachers and education

authority representatives with particular expertise in

the relevant learning area/subject.

In 2013-14, national panels and advisory groups

met for the following learning areas/subjects:

• Aboriginal Languages and Torres Strait

Islander Languages

• Civics and Citizenship

• Economics and Business Studies

• Health and Physical Education

• Languages

• National Trade Cadetship Years 11-12

• Technologies

• Work Studies Years 9-10.

Marking Quality Team

The Marking Quality Team develops consensus

scores for the training and control materials used

to ensure national consistency of marking for the

NAPLAN writing test. Members attend training in

how to receive and then deliver a common marker

training package in their jurisdiction to their state

and territory markers. The group also advises on

required changes to marking guide exemplars.

The Marking Quality Team works closely with the

National Testing Working Group.

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5.3 Advisory groups and membership

Measurement Advisory Group

The Measurement Advisory Group gives ACARA’s

Executive technical and quality assurance advice

for the National Assessment Program (NAP), and

in particular, the National Assessment Program -

Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN).

NAP - Civics and Citizenship Working Group

The NAP - Civics and Citizenship Working Group

gives ACARA advice about proposed civics and

citizenship assessment materials from curriculum,

psychometric, equity and technology perspectives.

It examines draft assessment instruments to make

sure they are of appropriate difficulty and are valid,

free of bias and accessible to all participating

students.

NAP - ICT Literacy Working Group

The NAP - ICT Literacy Working Group gives

ACARA advice about proposed information

and communication technology assessment

materials from curriculum, psychometric and

equity perspectives. It examines draft assessment

instruments to make sure they are of appropriate

difficulty and are valid, free of bias and accessible

to all participating students.

NAP - Science Literacy Working Group

The NAP - Science Literacy Working Group

advises ACARA about proposed science

literacy assessment materials from curriculum,

psychometric, equity and technology perspectives.

It examines draft assessment instruments to make

sure they are of appropriate difficulty and are valid,

free of bias and accessible to all participating

students.

NAPLAN Reporting Working Group

The NAPLAN Reporting Working Group advises

on the reporting of NAPLAN national results. The

working group considers the intersection of national

reporting and the needs of jurisdictions for their

own reporting, advises on reporting options which

best represent an increasing number of years of

data, and identifies enhancements to established

modes of reporting including the faster turnaround

of NAPLAN results. The working group considers

the NAPLAN summary report (preliminary results)

and the final NAPLAN national report, and the

dynamic presentation of NAPLAN results on the

National Assessment Program website (www.

nap.edu.au). Recommendations from the group

are provided to the National Assessment, Data,

Analysis and Reporting Reference Group for review

and endorsement.

National Assessment Program National Communications Group

The NAP National Communications Group provides

opportunities for communication experts from the

education sector to provide advice to ACARA on

its planned communications activities, as well as

collaborate and share information on NAP and

other online assessment communication activities.

A particular focus of this group is to ensure that

information about local readiness activities is

disseminated to schools Australia-wide in a

timely manner.

National Assessment, Data, Analysis and Reporting Reference Group

The National Assessment, Data, Analysis and

Reporting Reference Group (NADAR) provides

ACARA’s Executive with high-level advice on the

appropriateness and suitability of, and opportunities

and potential risks associated with, the work

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82

5.3 Advisory groups and membership

proposed and undertaken by ACARA’s assessment

and reporting teams. The group ensures that

jurisdictions/organisations have regular and

meaningful opportunities to provide advice to

ACARA on its assessment and reporting work

program. Members are required to represent the

high-level views of their jurisdiction/organisation

on matters of national assessment, data collection

and analysis, and reporting on schools, and to

communicate about the work of the group to

relevant parts of their jurisdiction/organisation.

NADAR has representatives from the following

organisations:

• Australian Bureau of Statistics

• Australian Curriculum, Assessment and

Reporting Authority

• Australian Capital Territory Government

Education and Training Directorate

• Australian Government Department of

Education (formerly the Department of

Education, Employment and Workplace

Relations)

• Board of Studies, Teaching and Educational

Standards (incorporating the former Board of

Studies NSW)

• Department for Education and Child

Development, South Australia

• Department of Education, Northern Territory

• Department of Education, Tasmania

• Department of Education, Western Australia

• Department of Education and Early Childhood

Development, Victoria

• Department of Education, Training and

Employment, Queensland

• Independent Schools Council of Australia

• Measurement Advisory Group (ACARA

advisory group)

• National Catholic Education Commission

• NSW Department of Education and

Communities

• Productivity Commission

• Secretariat for the Review of Government

Service Provision

• Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority

• Western Australia School Curriculum and

Standards Authority.

National Report on Schooling Working Group

The National Report on Schooling Working Group

helps to develop the planning framework for the

annual National Report on Schooling in Australia

and reviews and comments on the draft report.

National School Opinion Survey Working Group

The National School Opinion Survey Working

Group provides ACARA with high-level advice on

implementation and reporting parameters for the

National School Opinion Survey.

National Testing Working Group

The National Testing Working Group is a forum

for information sharing and collaboration among

ACARA, testing authorities and stakeholders

about NAPLAN. The group gives feedback during

item development, advises on administration and

reporting activities and provides quality assurance

to achieve high-quality tests in a nationally

consistent framework.

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83

5.3 Advisory groups and membership

Primary Perspectives Advisory Group

The Primary Perspectives Advisory Group provides

ACARA with guidance and expert advice relating

to issues that have been raised and actions that

could be facilitated by ACARA regarding the

implementation of the Australian Curriculum in

primary schools.

Recognition Committee

The Recognition Committee oversees the process

of assessing curriculum frameworks for recognition

as an alternative means of delivering the Australian

Curriculum, as well as the work of recognition

review panels. The committee also provides advice

to the ACARA CEO and the ACARA Board on

refinements to the assessment process.

Recognition review panels

Recognition review panels conduct the assessment

of curriculum frameworks submitted for recognition

as an alternative means of delivering the Australian

Curriculum. The panels record and certify

recommendations to the Recognition Committee,

as well as providing explanatory comments. The

panels also contribute advice to regular reviews of

the assessment process.

Senior Secondary Outcomes Working Group

The Senior Secondary Outcomes Working Group

gives ACARA high-level advice on developing

recommendations to AEEYSOC and SCSEEC for

possible new national definitions and measures

on senior secondary (and equivalent) outcomes,

to inform COAG and SCSEEC reporting and,

subsidiary to this, options for reporting senior

secondary outcome measures on My School.

Student Attendance Data Working Group

The Student Attendance Data Working Group

advises ACARA about the development and

implementation of a student attendance data

methodology to collect and report consistent

student attendance data across jurisdictions

and Sector.

Students with Disability Advisory Group

The Students with Disability Advisory Group

provides ACARA with high-level advice in relation

to students with disability. This advice helps ACARA

to contribute towards the goals of the Melbourne

Declaration for students with disability.

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84

ACARA attended the following hearings of the

Senate Education, Employment and Workplace

Relations Committee to give evidence:

• Supplementary Budget Estimates (20

November 2013)

• Additional Estimates (26 February 2014)

• Budget Estimates (4 June 2014).

ACARA also gave evidence to the Senate Select

Committee on School Funding on 16 May 2014.

Full transcripts of these hearings are available

in Hansard.

5.4 Evidence to parliamentary committees

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85

5.5 Judicial decisions and reviews by outside bodies

For the financial year ending 30 June 2014:

• there were no judicial decisions or decisions of

administrative tribunals that had, or may have,

a significant effect on ACARA’s operations

• there were no reports made about

ACARA’s performance or ACARA’s officers

or employees by the Auditor-General,

parliamentary committees, the Commonwealth

Ombudsman or the Office of the Australian

Information Commissioner.

The Senate Education and Employment

References Committee published its final report

titled Effectiveness of the National Assessment

Program - Literacy and Numeracy, dated March

2014, which relates to part of ACARA’s work

program. The report is available on the Australian

parliamentary website (www.aph.gov.au).

ACARA Annual Report 2013-14

86

5.6 Work health and safety

Overview

Work health and safety (WHS) at ACARA

covers a broad range of elements that bring

together a common goal to provide a workplace

where people feel safe and are not at risk of

physical or mental injury.

ACARA’s training program is a key part of how

the organisation ensures staff understand their

obligations and ACARA’s role in providing and

maintaining a safe workplace. This training takes

the form of inductions, refresher courses and

monthly presentations to business units. Workers

learn about ACARA’s WHS policy; their legal WHS

responsibilities; emergency evacuation instructions;

how to report hazards, incidents and injury; work

station ergonomics; and manual handling. Where

practicable, demonstrations are provided to

reinforce key concepts.

Monthly WHS presentations were launched in

June 2014 to provide a reminder to staff of the

importance of maintaining an understanding of

work-related risks. Presentation themes include

mental health, being active at work and travelling to

work. Workers are exposed to risks when travelling

to and from work and at work itself, and attention is

placed on mitigating these risks to avoid physical or

mental injury.

ACARA’s commitment to providing a safe workplace

is implemented through its WHS Committee, which

is made up of staff from each business group. The

committee promotes awareness of WHS in the

workplace and meets every two months to discuss

health and safety issues identified by staff or during

workplace inspections. ACARA’s two satellite

offices in Perth and Melbourne each have a WHS

representative on the committee to provide training

to new workers, identify any hazards and report

WHS issues. Regular WHS audits ensure

continued improvement.

A review was carried out in February 2014 as

part of ACARA’s regular internal audit program.

The review assessed the WHS operation within

ACARA’s Safety Management System and

ACARA’s compliance with the Work Health and

Safety Act 2011 (the WHS Act). The following

comment was made by the internal auditor on

completion of the report: ‘The review and staff

survey indicated that ACARA has built a robust and

active framework which supports work health and

safety’.

WHS performance

During 2013-14, one claim was submitted to

Comcare. No Provisional Improvement Notices

(section 90 of the WHS Act), Prohibition Notices

(section 195) or Improvement Notices (section

191) were issued. There were no investigations

undertaken by Comcare arising out of ACARA’s

responsibility as a ‘person conducting a business or

undertaking’ in accordance with the Act.

WHS has become a regular agenda item at all team

meetings to provide and maintain a continuous

improvement framework. Issues raised are then

referred to the WHS Committee for resolution.

ACARA’s Audit and Risk Committee is advised of

any issues arising and the actions carried out to

mitigate WHS risks.

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5.7 Legislative reporting requirements

Ministerial directions

ACARA is required, under clause 12 of the

Commonwealth Authorities and Companies (Report

of Operations) Orders 2011, to provide particulars

of any directions issued by the responsible

minister, or other minister, under ACARA’s enabling

legislation or other legislation. During 2013-14

ACARA was not subject to any Commonwealth

ministerial directions.

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5.8 Providing access for people with disability

Access to premises and facilities

ACARA’s main office is accessible to people with

disability through the use of ramps, braille signage

to bathrooms and specially designed toilet and

shower facilities.

Where staff have specific requirements due

to a disability, their work space is modified to

accommodate their needs.

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5.9 Sustainable practices

Office environment

ACARA has maintained its commitment to reduce

the consumption of raw materials by:

• using recycled paper in all printers

• reviewing drafts electronically.

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5.10 Acronyms and glossary

Acronym Title

ACARA Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting

Authority

ACARA Act Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting

Authority Act 2008

ACER Australian Council for Educational Research

Achievement standards the quality of learning (the depth of understanding,

extent of knowledge and sophistication of skill) demonstrated by students within a given subject

AEEYSOC Australian Education, Early Childhood Development

and Youth Affairs Senior Officials Committee

AG Australian Government

AITSL Australian Institute for Teaching and School

Leadership

Band level The NAPLAN assessment scale is divided into 10

bands, used to report student progress through Years 3, 5, 7 and 9. Band 1 is the lowest band and band 10 is the highest band. A band has a high and low range and is not a specific point.

CAC Act Commonwealth Authorities and Companies Act

1997

CEO chief executive officer

COAG Council of Australian Governments

Content descriptions the specific subject-based knowledge,

understanding and skills to be taught and learned as part of the Australian Curriculum

Content elaborations support material providing illustration or

exemplification of Australian Curriculum content descriptions

Cross-curriculum priorities Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and

cultures; Asia and Australia’s engagement with Asia; and sustainability

Domain relating predominantly to NAP tests, this refers to

particular learning areas (for example, reading, writing, language conventions, numeracy)

EAL/D English as an Additional Language/Dialect

EA enterprise agreement

ESA Education Services Australia

F Foundation - denotes the year prior to Year 1, which

is known variously as kindergarten, preparatory (prep), reception, transition, or pre-primary in different states and territories. This terminology was adopted with the publication of the Australian Curriculum.

F-10 school years from Foundation to Year 10

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5.10 Acronyms and glossary

Acronym Title

F-12 school years from Foundation to Year 12

FMO Finance Minister’s Orders

General capabilities literacy; numeracy; information and communication

technology capability; critical and creative thinking; personal and social capability; ethical understanding; intercultural understanding

ICSEA Index of Community Socio-Educational Advantage

ICT information and communication technology

Learning continua a sequence that describes the knowledge, skills

and behaviours that students can reasonably be expected to have developed by the end of particular year of schooling, with respect to general capabilities as defined in the Australian Curriculum

LBOTE Language Background Other than English (see

EAL/D)

Melbourne Declaration Melbourne Declaration on Educational Goals for

Young Australians 2008, which sets the direction of Australian schooling for the next 10 years

My School a website which has been developed so that parents

and the community have access to information about their child’s school and other schools in Australia

NTC National Trade Cadetships

NAP National Assessment Program

NAPLAN National Assessment Program - Literacy and

Numeracy

SCSEEC Standing Council on School Education and Early

Childhood (also referred to in this annual report as ‘the Standing Council’)

Senior secondary final two years of secondary schooling, generally

Year 11 and 12

Standing Council Standing Council on School Education and Early

Childhood (also referred to in this annual report as ‘SCSEEC’)

Statements of learning statements agreed by ministers for education on

essential skills, knowledge, understandings and capacities that all young Australians should have the opportunity to learn in particular learning areas

SWD students with disability

Testlet a self-contained set of test items; in the context of

multistage adaptive testing students would progress through a number of testlets as part of a test

WHS work health and safety

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5.11 Compliance index

Requirement Reference Annual report section

Commonwealth Authorities and Companies Act 1997

Financial statements Schedule 1, subclause 1(b)

and subclause 2(1)

Section 4

Financial statements certification: a statement, signed by the directors Schedule 1, subclause 2(3) Section 4

Financial statements certification: Auditor-General’s Report Schedule 1, subclause 1(c) Section 4

Commonwealth Authorities and Companies (Annual Reporting) Orders 2011

Approval of the report by directors Clause 6 Letter of transmittal

Audit committee Clause 14 Sections 1.4, 3.1, 5.1

Ecologically sustainable development and environmental performance Clause 12, with reference to the Environment

Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999, section 516A

Section 5.9

Effects of ministerial directions and notification of general policies of government Clause 12 Sections 1.3, 5.7

Enabling legislation, functions and objectives Clause 10 Section 1.3

Indemnities and insurance premiums for officers Clause 19 Section 3.1

Information about directors Clause 13 and 14 Sections 1.4, 5.1, 5.2

Judicial decisions and reviews by outside bodies Clause 17 a. Section 5.5

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5.11 Compliance index

Requirement Reference Annual report section

Key activities and changes affecting the authority Clause 16 Section 3.5

Location of major activities and facilities Clause 14 Section 1.3

Organisational structure Clause 14 Section 3.5

Related entity transactions Clause 15 Notes to the financial

statements - note 12

Reports on the operations of the authority by the Auditor-General, a Parliamentary committee, the Commonwealth Ombudsman or the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner

Clause 17 b. Section 5.4

Responsible minister(s) Clause 11 Section 1.3

Significant events referred to in section 15 of the Commonwealth Authorities and Companies Act 1997

Clause 16 Notes to the financial

statements - Note 2

Statement on governance Clause 14 Section 3.1

Work health and safety Clause 12, with reference

to the Work Health and Safety Act 2011, Schedule 2, Part 4

Section 5.6