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Curriculum questions should Spurr rethink of national review

Media Release
Penny Wright 22 Oct 2014

Australian Greens spokesperson for schools Senator Penny Wright has called on the government to strike out advice to the national curriculum review from the academic at the centre of the racist emails scandal.

In Estimates questioning today it was also revealed that Professor Barry Spurr was paid $8250 for his input into the review of the Australian curriculum, and that the Education Department did not check the qualifications of the appointees.

Senator Wright also raised concerns that a number of other appointees on the review had ties to right-wing think tanks and no expertise in curriculum design.

"Minister Pyne has been at pains to suggest that his curriculum review, with his hand-picked reviewers, has not been an ideological exercise - but he cannot substantiate this any longer," Senator Wright said.

"This rushed and premature curriculum review was Minister Pyne's idea from start to finish. He cannot distance himself now."

Senator Wright said Minister Pyne should reconsider the review's recommendations around the English curriculum in light of Professor Spurr's sentiments revealed in email exchanges.

"How can you separate the opinions and judgment of a man who uses the terms "abos" and "darkies" in personal correspondence with a man who publically recommends decreasing study of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander literature?" Senator Wright says.

"The final report relies very heavily on Professor Spurr's input and the Australian Greens believe Minister Pyne needs to look carefully at the whole curriculum review and remove those parts that relate to his views."


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