The Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) is the independent statutory authority responsible for the overall management and development of a national curriculum, the National Assessment Program and a national data collection and reporting program that supports 21st century learning for all Australian students.
ACARA was established under an Act of Federal Parliament on 8 December 2008 and became operational in mid 2009. ACARA receives direction from the Standing Council on School Education and Early Childhood (SCSEEC). Through SCSEEC, all state, territory and federal ministers of education agree on ACARA’s work plan and set a common direction for the National Assessment Program.
ACARA’s work sits around the three pillars of Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting for school education between Foundation* and Year 12. It is carried out in close consultation and collaboration with a wide range of stakeholders, including teachers, principals, governments, state and territory education authorities, professional education associations, community groups and the general public.
In addition to providing the National Assessment Program, ACARA’s other core areas of activity are:
ACARA is responsible for the development of the Australian Curriculum from Foundation* to Year 12. Once the relevant learning areas of the Australian Curriculum have been substantially implemented in schools, the National Assessment Program tests will reflect the new curriculum framework.
For more information visit the Australian Curriculum website.
ACARA is responsible for the collection and reporting of data on Australian schools. ACARA provides this information in national reports and summary reports for states, territories and jurisdictions.
Another reporting aspect of ACARA’s work is the My School website. This site provides parents and the community with contextualised information about Australian schools, including student make up, school finances and school-level NAPLAN performance.
More information is available on ACARA’s reporting responsibilities on the ACARA website.
*The term Foundation Year is used as a nationally consistent term for the year of schooling prior to Year 1. It does not replace the equivalent terms used in states and territories – Kindergarten (NSW/ACT), Prep (QLD/VIC/TAS), Pre-primary (WA), Reception (SA) and Transition (NT).