School Curriculum and Standards Authority roles and responsibilities

Vanessa Peters (08) 9273 6779

School Curriculum and Standards Authority roles and responsibilities
On 1 March 2012, the School Curriculum and Standards Authority’s functions expanded significantly as a result of the proclamation of the School Curriculum and Standards Authority Act 1997 (the Act).

Following feedback from schools and systems and sector representatives, we have developed a poster to explain the Authority’s role for teaching and administrative staff.

All Western Australian schools have been sent a poster and principals have been encouraged to display the poster in their staffroom.

The Authority will continue to provide regular updates to principals, school leaders and teachers through the 11 to 12 Circular aimed at senior secondary teachers and administrative staff and the K to 10 Circular for primary and lower secondary teachers. Principals have also been asked to encourage staff to subscribe to the Authority’s electronic newsletters.

Facebook page for students

Jo Merrey (08) 9273 6348

The Authority will continue to use its Facebook page to provide information to students in 2015.

Students in Years 10, 11 and 12 are welcome to like and follow the Authority’s Facebook page for information, news, reminders and advice.

The page can be found at

Introduction to SIRS 2015

Lynn Galbraith (08) 9273 6702

Limited places are available for school staff who use the Student Information Records System (SIRS) to attend a familiarisation seminar at the Authority. The seminar is aimed at new and existing users who have not previously attended a seminar.

Ideally, two staff members should attend; the clerical staff member who may be responsible for maintaining the changes on the school database and the deputy or associate principal who is responsible for timetable changes for students.

The seminar will cover the basic operations and functions of SIRS as related to secondary student registrations. This includes data transfer and the generation of reports which enable the information transferred to SIRS to be checked.

The seminar will be for two hours. Participants will log into SIRS using their own school login and password.

Seminar dates and times (2015)




Thursday, 5 February



Monday, 9 February



Wednesday, 11 February



Tuesday, 17 February



More sessions may be provided if these sessions are fully booked.

Registrations can be made online at

The seminars will be held in the Authority’s Temby and Louden rooms at 303 Sevenoaks Street, Cannington.  Further details will be supplied to participants once registered.

In 2014, two sessions were held in Bunbury for South West participants, and if we have enough interest for 2015, it may be possible to conduct sessions there again.  Please contact if you would be interested in attending SIRS familiarisation in Bunbury.

Online Literacy and Numeracy Assessment information in schools

Ben Businovski (08) 9273 6378

The following information is provided to assist schools to begin preparations for the March 2015 Online Literacy and Numeracy Assessment (OLNA).

OLNA Handbook (March 2015)
The OLNA Handbook is available on the Authority website at The following updates from 2014 include:

  • principal and coordinator checklists now reflect the timeline for March 2015 delivery (pages 35 and 39–40)
  • further information to assist principals in determining student eligibility for disability adjustments (page 16)
  • important information for managing internet bandwidth and wireless connections during OLNA assessments (page 27).

OLNA website user-guide
The OLNA Website User Guide has been emailed to principals.

OLNA administration forms
The updated OLNA declaration, disability adjustments request and schedule forms have been emailed to principals.

A crucial technical note regarding the availability of bandwidth during OLNA
In order to implement the OLNA, it is crucial to ensure that there is sufficient bandwidth available during scheduled assessments.

All schools need to ensure that internet usage, by other classes during the assessment period is minimised, particularly websites with high bandwidth requirements such as YouTube. This may require a complete quarantine of bandwidth for the OLNA, or rebalancing bandwidth allocation to prioritise the OLNA.

The Authority recommends schools notify teachers and students not involved in the OLNA to avoid connecting their personal devices to the school wireless network during the assessment period.

It is recommended that schools limit the maximum number of devices connected to a wireless access point (WAP) for mission critical periods (such as the OLNA) to 20 devices per session.

Schools who plan to use wireless internet during the OLNA must determine the maximum number of devices that can be simultaneously logged in to a WAP before signal degradation occurs. This can be done using the practice test.

An outcome of the failure to manage bandwidth during the OLNA is probable loss of student responses during assessment submission and a requirement for the student to sit the assessment again. The Authority may not be able to recover incomplete student responses where a school has not managed its bandwidth appropriately.

The Authority recommends:

  • using wired labs for assessments (it may be easier to move classes out of labs and onto laptops than to set-up a WAP for the assessments, also reducing the potential for connectivity issues)
  • planning student sessions against a set number of wired computers, to reduce the movement of additional infrastructure and equipment for the assessment period
  • the IT support person/s are on standby during the assessment period
  • supervision of the OLNA by a deputy or a roster of staff to reduce impacts on teaching time
  • schools with BYO devices ensure devices are updated with the required version of the operating system before the assessment period starts.

Western Australian Curriculum and Assessment Outline – expectations for teaching and reporting on student achievement

Ms Mandy Hudson Manager, Curriculum, Assessment and Moderation
(08) 9273 6755
Ms Vanessa Peters Manager, Policy and Planning
(08) 9273 6779

The Western Australian Curriculum and Assessment Outline (, which already hosts the Phase 1 Australian Curriculum, is the source of Kindergarten to Year 10 curriculum for all Western Australian students.  It provides comprehensive information that schools can use to plan student learning programs, assess student progress and report to parents.

Reporting learning area achievement for English, mathematics, science and history
By mid-2015, schools will report using the achievement standards, outlined in the School Curriculum and Standards Authority’s Reporting Policy: Pre-primary to Year 10, in English and Mathematics (and are strongly encouraged to report in Science) for Pre-primary and English, Mathematics and Science for Years 1 to 10. As the Authority’s work in developing all components of the Humanities and Social Science learning area into one syllabus is currently being completed, schools have the discretion to report student achievement in History and/or the Humanities and Social Sciences until further clarification is provided by the Authority.

For Pre-primary to Year 10, the achievement standards identified within the Western Australian Curriculum and Assessment Outline describe expected achievement at each year level for each learning area.

Reporting learning area achievement using the Curriculum Framework

For those learning areas for which the Australian Curriculum is not yet available, within the Western Australian Curriculum and Assessment Outline, or has not been implemented, schools should continue to report student achievement against the Curriculum Framework using the five levels of achievement defined within the Authority’sReporting Policy: Pre-primary to Year 10.

Phase 2 and 3 Pre-primary to Year 10 Australian Curriculum implementation in Western Australia
A letter to all schools from the Hon Peter Collier MLC, Minister for Education, on 29 January 2015, provided an update on Australian Curriculum implementation in Western Australian Pre-Primary to Year 10.

The Minister’s letter can be accessed via the home page of our website at

In this letter the Minister outlined the following revised timeline for The Arts, Technologies and Languages.

2015 - 16

The School Curriculum and Standards Authority developing the Judging Standards (assessment resource materials) to assist teachers to assess and grade student work and developing syllabus resource materials to assist teachers implement the syllabuses.


The Arts and Technologies Curriculum available to schools for familiarisation at the beginning of Semester 1, 2016.
The Languages Curriculum available to schools for familiarisation at the beginning of Semester 2, 2016.


Full implementation, including teaching, assessing and reporting by schools will be in place with reporting to parents by the end of Semester 1, 2018.

Please note that there is no proposed change to the already published timeline for Humanities and Social Sciences and Health and Physical Education.  Full implementation, including teaching, assessing and reporting by schools for these two learning areas will be in place with reporting to parents by the end of Semester 1, 2017.

Should you have questions in regard to the Western Australian Curriculum and Assessment Outline and/or expectations for reporting on student achievement please contact us by telephone or send us an email

Progress with the Phase 2 and 3 P-10 Australian Curriculum for Western Australian teachers and students

Mandy Hudson (08) 9273 6755
Peter Williams (08) 9273 6733

All teaching staff in K–10 schools are encouraged to keep up to date with the latest news and information via theWestern Australian Curriculum and Assessment Outline website.

The Authority welcomes its primary team for 2015. Teachers will be pleased to know that the identification of year level content for the draft P-10 syllabuses for the Phases 2 and 3 learning areas is complete.  This includes developing all components of the Humanities and Social Science learning area into one syllabus. The next stage is the development of the achievement standards based on the year level content. Schools are reminded that the final P-10 syllabuses and the Judging Standards Materials will be available to schools from the beginning of 2016.

Throughout December and January, staff at the Authority have catalogued over 14,000 work samples that resulted from the administration of 236 common assessment tasks by teachers in 136 schools across the State during Term 4, 2014. The Authority is grateful to teachers and schools who engaged in this work during a very busy term of the school year and for the quality student samples submitted.

These work samples will be used in paired comparison projects this term to develop assessment pointers for the Phase 2-3 learning areas/subjects of the Western Australian Curriculum. Selected work samples will be annotated and, together with the assessment pointers, will be published online later this year in the Judging Standards section of the Western Australian Curriculum and Assessment Outline.

Additional work samples are still required for a range of common assessment tasks and teachers will shortly be invited, through their principals, to participate in administering further common tasks this term. Invitations will also be sent to teachers to participate in paired comparison projects.  These paired comparisons will build on teacher familiarity with the common tasks and the relevant curriculum.

If you have any queries about the Judging Standards project, please contact

The Authority will also continue to work with teachers and professional associations to develop additional resources materials to support teachers with implementation. These include:

  • assessment snapshots and assessment tasks-designed to support teachers in developing effective assessment practice
  • planning support materials - to assist teachers in planning for curriculum delivery in the Arts, Health and Physical Education, Humanities and Social Sciences and Technologies learning areas.

Register for 2015 briefings - K–6 and 7–12

Caroline Walker (08) 9273 6375

Principals and deputy principals are invited to register for briefings on the Authority’s work with schools and teachers in 2015. The briefings will be organised to provide updates on the primary curriculum (Kindergarten to Year 6) in the morning and the secondary curriculum (Years 7 to 12) in the afternoon.

The briefings will be presented by the Authority’s CEO Allan Blagaich across the State in March and April.

Register now at

Registration of secondary students and early registration of Year 10 and Year 11 students in 2015

Lynn Galbraith (08) 9273 6702

Schools and other education providers will be required to register their Year 10 and Year 11 students with the Authority by Friday, 19 February 2015. All other students in Years 7, 8, 9 and 12 must be registered by Friday, 20 March 2015.

All Year 10 and Year 11 students must be registered by 19 February to ensure their inclusion in the compulsory Online Literacy and Numeracy Assessment (OLNA) in March, where required. Demonstrating the minimum standard in the three components of the assessment (reading, writing and numeracy) is a requirement for students to achieve the WACE from 2016.

Please note this is the first year that Year 7 students must be registered with the Authority. The process for registering Year 7 students is the same as all other academic years.

The instructions to assist schools to register students are outlined in the various sections of the Data Procedures Manual or online at

Section 1

A Guide to using the Student Information Records System (SIRS)

  • Part 2-SIRS instructions for requesting student numbers
  • Part 6-SIRS instructions for uploading student registration and demographic information
  • Part 7-SIRS instructions for producing reports to verify student registration and demographic information
Section 9.2 RTP (Reporting to Parents) instructions for extracting student registration and demographic information
Section 10 MAZE instructions for extracting student registration and demographic information
Section 11.2 EXCEL instructions for creating a CSV file of student registration and demographic information

School Curriculum and Standards Authority (SCSA) student numbers
For information about SCSA student numbers, see the relevant item in this Circular.

Transfer of students between schools
There is a legal requirement for an enrolling school to notify a student’s former school that the student has been enrolled and obtain the SCSA student number. Under the Raising the School Leaving Age legislation, the commencement of students at a school should be notified within 14 days and cessations should be notified within seven days.

Maintenance of student registration details
The Authority must be informed, via SIRS, of all changes to a student’s registration details. It is essential that schools maintain accurate student records on school databases and regularly upload details to SIRS via student registration and demographic (SRGDG) files. Unless inaccuracies are corrected on the school database, each upload will overwrite any corrections the Authority has made in SIRS.

Schools can upload SRGDG files for individual or small numbers of students, though many schools have found it is a good practice to upload files to SIRS regularly for all students. This is also better for managing errors.

Please note the registration of students is a separate process to the uploading of school offerings and the enrolment of students in courses.

Requests for SCSA student numbers for 2015

Lynn Galbraith (08) 9273 6702

Schools may request School Curriculum and Standards Authority (SCSA) student numbers automatically through the Student Information Record System (SIRS) for Year 7 and Year 8 students starting in 2015. Details of how to request SCSA student numbers are in Section 1, Part 2 of the Data Procedures Manual, which is online at

For secondary students other than Year 7 or Year 8, schools are encouraged to do an initial search in SIRS for student numbers via Enrolment > Student Enrolment > Find Student Number. If no record is found, schools can email and advise the following:

  • your school code
  • student first name
  • student surname
  • date of birth
  • academic year
  • if the student has arrived in WA from overseas or interstate.

This will enable a more comprehensive search to be undertaken before a new number is issued.

Schools who allocated Year 7 numbers to their students in 2014 are requested to utilise the same number for each student, and upload via their Student registration and demographic (SRGDG) files in 2015 when the students enter Year 8.