School students could be learning a simplified version of the national curriculum by 2016 if state education ministers agree to the changes.
Federal Education Minister Christopher Pyne had initially hoped the changes could be made in time for the 2015 school year.
But he conceded on Monday it was now too late for that to happen.
Mr Pyne released a review of the curriculum and his government’s initial response on Sunday.
Reviewers Kevin Donnelly and Ken Wiltshire recommended a de-cluttered, parent friendly and back to basics approach.
In particular, they said primary school students were expected to learn too much.
Education ministers will meet in December to discuss their recommendations.
Mr Pyne hopes to release a final government response early next year.
There was no reason why the new curriculum couldn’t be in place for 2016, he said.
“But we don’t want to get the cart before the horse, we have to get the education ministers to agree that … the curriculum needs to be altered,” he told ABC radio on Monday.
“That might well take time.”
The minister believed simplifying the curriculum would make a big difference to student performance.
He wouldn’t reveal his opinion of the review’s suggestions, saying he preferred to wait until he could work through the issues with his state counterparts.
The body in charge of the curriculum, the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority, only now has the opportunity to read the newly released review.
ACARA chairman Barry McGaw said the authority would give advice to the ministerial meeting in December.
NSW Education Minister Adrian Piccoli said the board of studies would consult with the state’s public, Catholic and independent schools on the review’s recommendations before he formally responds in December.
Mr Piccoli said on Monday he was particularly happy with recommendations which called for improvements in the quality of teaching.