The National Advocates for Arts Education (NAAE) has highly praised the decision to include the visual and performing arts as priority learning areas in the second stage of national curriculum development by the Ministerial Council on Education, Employment, Training and Youth Affairs (MCEETYA).

Comprehensively representing the disciplines of dance, drama, media, music and visual arts education, the NAAE has been calling for the immediate inclusion of the arts in the work of the National Curriculum Board. NAAE had supported their case by presenting international research evidence proving the value of an arts rich education to children’s cognitive development.
“We are delighted that MCEETYA has recognised the central role of performing and visual arts education in fostering creativity, innovation, cultural understanding and social inclusion in Australian children as fundamental skills needed in the 21st Century,” said Julie Dyson a member of NAAE.
NAAE affirmed that the announcement marked important progress in governments’ responses to the recommendations of the two recent inquiries into music and visual education. Both inquiries called for arts subjects to be mandated in the curriculum, a radical overhaul of teacher education and improvements to teachers’ professional development.
NAAE pointed out that greater investment by all Australian governments will need to be provided to enable principals, parents and school communities to achieve effective arts learning by children and eliminate the inequities between public and private school resource provision.
All NAAE members stated their willingness to provide active assistance to the new Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority which will take over responsibility from the National Curriculum Board for national curriculum development.
Recognising the sensitivities regarding time allocations for teaching subjects and disciplines in schools, NAAE will advise on ways that the development of a national arts curriculum for all Australian students can retain each art form’s integrity and be taught sequentially.