Survey: Principals want national curriculum with flexibility

PRIMARY school principals believe having a national curriculum with the freedom to adapt it to local needs would provide the best learning outcomes for students.

A School Autonomy in Primary Education survey also found primary principals welcomed more local authority if they had the resources to deliver it effectively.

About 80 principals from around Queensland descended on Brisbane last night (wed) to discuss the findings of the 2014 survey.

Australia Primary Principals Association Norm Hart said the purpose of the survey, which involved responses from 804 school leaders, was to have evidence of what primary school leaders believed was important for them to make decisions at a local level.

He said the research was also for use in advocating for authority sharing where principals believed it made a difference so they could implement decisions about student learning.

"An Australian curriculum that has a strong core on what is essential for each child in Australia to learn with enough space for people in Rockhampton, Toowoomba and Maryborough to adapt that core into a curriculum that meets the needs of their students will get the best outcomes," he said.

"I think each regional area is different. I think even schools are in many ways unique. To say one size fits all in terms of school autonomy or curriculum is a mistake.

"All schools need local decision making capacity to adjust the mandated curriculum."

Mr Hart said any process for making schools more autonomous must have an opt-in quality because schools in remote communities with small populations would find full autonomy impossible.

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