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Statement of Equity Principles

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Statement of Equity Principles

Equity Principles

Guiding Statements

The Statement of Values was endorsed by the former Board of Studies NSW in 2010. This Statement of Equity Principles serves to elucidate the Statement of Values from an equity perspective.

The Equity Principles and related Guiding Statements inform project and writing teams of syllabuses, support documents, examinations, assessment guidelines and other relevant educational materials produced by the NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA).

The Statement of Equity Principles relates to the following strategic objectives of NESA:

  • to strategically review and update NSW syllabuses, courses and support materials that promote high standards of achievement for the full range of students from Kindergarten to Year 12
  • to develop and provide comprehensive assessment resources and advice to schools to ensure the consistent assessment and reporting of student achievement of standards from Kindergarten to Year 12
  • to promote relevant, flexible and inclusive pathways for student learning that enable the full range of students from Kindergarten to Year 12 to maximise their levels of attainment.

The Statement of Equity Principles acknowledges that students come from diverse cultural, linguistic, social, economic, geographic and family backgrounds. These include Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students, students with disabilities and students with language backgrounds other than English, including those who are learning English as an additional language. It also includes students from communities with low socioeconomic status, students from rural and remote areas, refugees, those at risk of disengaging from school and students who can be disadvantaged by various forms of gender stereotyping.

Students might be influenced by multiple contributing factors, in which case their needs in regard to access and participation could be quite complex. It is important that these needs be understood to ensure equitable learning outcomes for every student.
Whole-school approaches, where these principles are reinforced through all aspects of school life, and involve the partnership of school communities, are more likely to succeed.

These are the foundations that will enable quality learning outcomes to be achievable by every student.

Equity Principles

1. Excellence

Syllabuses, support documents and other materials will:
1.1   challenge and engage all students to maximise their individual talents and capabilities
1.2   support quality teaching, learning and assessment practices
1.3   provide an explicit and flexible developmental continuum of learning for all students.

2. Respect and responsibility

Syllabuses, support documents and other materials will:
2.1   encourage every student to develop a positive sense of identity and self-respect
2.2   encourage all students to develop respect for the rights and dignity of all people in society
2.3   prepare all students to participate actively and responsibly as individuals and as members of society.

3. Equity and justice

Syllabuses, support documents and other materials will:
3.1   promote learning that prepares all students to participate in and contribute to a fair and just society
3.2   be free from, and reject, prejudice, discrimination and stereotyping on the basis of cultural and linguistic heritage, gender, age, beliefs, socioeconomic status, location, sexuality or disability
3.3   provide opportunities for cooperative approaches to learning and the peaceful resolution of any conflict that may arise.

4. Inclusivity

Syllabuses, support documents and other materials will:
4.1   promote education that is inclusive of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students and the education of every student about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and their cultures and histories
4.2   be appropriate and relevant to the full range of students, so that every student can demonstrate achievement and experience success
4.3   acknowledge and value diverse cultures, backgrounds, experiences, abilities, religions and beliefs and promote students learning about the complexity of Australia’s diversity.

Guiding Statements

Excellence

Syllabuses, support documents and other materials will:
1.1   challenge and engage all students to maximise their individual talents and capabilities

Material produced by NESA will promote the value of excellence from an equity perspective by:

  • ensuring that curriculum and support materials are expressed in plain English so that they are clear, explicit and easily understood
  • including aims, objectives and outcomes that incorporate rigorous, achievable expectations and describe clear standards for every student
  • clearly identifying essential knowledge, understanding, skills, values and attitudes that provide core learning for students
  • clearly identifying the literacy and numeracy demands of curriculum areas
  • specifying content and providing sample teaching and assessment strategies which develop higher-order skills including problem-solving, critical thinking, abstract thinking, analysis and creativity.

1.2   support quality teaching, learning and assessment practices

Material produced by NESA will promote the value of excellence from an equity perspective by:

  • providing curriculum and support materials that reflect evidence-based research about effective teaching and learning
  • providing opportunities for students to develop a deep understanding of key concepts from a range of perspectives, and the flexibility and opportunity to explore aspects of local relevance and interest
  • explicitly including the English language and literacy demands of the subject in syllabus content and providing opportunities to develop competence in the vocabulary, registers, functions, grammatical features and structure of subject-oriented language
  • clearly articulating the role of talking and listening in the development of deep understanding of subject knowledge
  • encouraging the collection and analysis of evidence of student achievement to inform the development of teaching and learning programs
  • modelling valid and reliable assessment practices that relate to the objectives and outcomes of the syllabus, reinforce the intentions of learning, relate to the standards and are accessible to every student.

1.3   provide an explicit and flexible developmental continuum of learning for all students

Material produced by NESA will promote the value of excellence from an equity perspective by:

  • including objectives, outcomes and content that reflect sequenced learning based on research and developments in the area of study
  • including overarching broad-based goals or concepts that provide a focus and direction for learning for every student
  • integrating the use of current technologies into syllabus content, sample teaching strategies and assessment practices, while providing flexibility and opportunity for the inclusion of new and emerging technologies
  • recognising and building on the significant learning students bring from the years prior to schooling
  • providing curriculum pathways and support materials for students to assist their transition points in schooling, including the transition from school to further education, training or employment
  • providing flexibility for school communities and teachers to develop programs, structures and pedagogical practices that meet local needs and challenge and extend their students
  • providing meaningful learning opportunities for personalised and self-directed learning that allows students of all backgrounds to build on their interests, gifts and talents
  • encouraging students to plan, reflect on and adapt the ways that they learn and develop positive attitudes to lifelong learning
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