Clarence Valley education first

CLARENCE Valley public schools will be among the first in the State to have an external body monitor teaching standards and curriculum.

The Board of Studies which regulates Catholic and independent schools will amalgamate with the NSW Institute of Teachers to bring together all three cornerstones of education standards: curriculum, student assessment, and teacher quality under one single authority.

NSW Education Minister Adrian Piccoli said the single governance body, the Board of Studies, Teaching and Educational Standards (BoSTES), was good news for our schools.

"It makes a lot of sense to have all these functions being developed and delivered by a single body, and I am encouraged by the positive response we have received from all the school sectors to this reform," Mr Piccoli said.

"Modern and effective education policy must be responsive to evidence and reliable data.

"BoSTES will create a new capacity for the capture and analysis of that information, as well as being able to use it as the basis for improved policy and services."

Unlike other states, the board is independent of the Education Department and with another level of external scrutiny, Mr Piccoli said it would improve the way schools operated throughout the state.

"In NSW we have great schools, great teachers and great students - but we can improve the way we capture information and data on standards and how we apply that information to improving quality teaching and student outcomes," he said.

Acting chief executive of the NSW Institute of Teachers, Carol Taylor, said BoSTES would continue the functions of the institute and board, including those requirements created under the Government's Great Teaching, Inspired Learning (GTIL) policy.

"BoSTES will also continue to consult and work closely with teachers and all school sectors, in the development of curriculum, assessment, governance and professional development," Ms Taylor said.

"This vertical integration will bring together the best data and the best policy development opportunities for education reform.

"It puts NSW in a unique position in Australia and among a growing list of OECD jurisdictions that place standards at the centre of their education systems."

The amalgamation will start once legislation has been passed, with the new BoSTES to be in place in January 2014.

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