The Victorian Liberal State Government has threatened to break with the Federal Government over key aspects of languages education, refusing to relinquish control over “critical areas” to the Federal Government.


State Education Minister Martin Dixon has vowed to resist the Federal Government’s planned national curriculum for languages, arguing that its implementation would drive down the standards of languages education in Victoria.


The national curriculum suggests that students would only need between 300 to 400 hours of second language schooling between prep and year 6 – half the amount recommended by the Victorian Education Department.


Although the Victorian Government has accepted the majority of the national curriculum, Mr Dixon said that his state would not relinquish authority over crucial areas such as languages.


Mr Dixon's announcement comes as the Federal Government allocated $9.4 million in Smarter Schools National Partnership for Literacy and Numeracy reward funding to Victoria, substantially less than New South Wales ($46.8 million) or Queensland ($48.5 million), which the Federal Government blames on Victoria setting higher standards than other states.