Education reforms without input from teachers and proper government funding are a "recipe for failure", the Australian Education Union has warned.
On the back of Australia's poor results for students in reading, maths and science, the nation's education ministers have signed off on a new plan with a focus on literacy and numeracy over the next decade.
The Mparntwe Declaration ensured all governments, school systems and tertiary institutions were "on the same page" in regard to what Australians expected from education, federal Education Minister Dan Tehan said on Thursday.
"Education is now a continuous journey that begins at birth and doesn't stop at the end of high school or after university graduation," he said in a statement.
But the AEU denied any teacher input on a range of commitments including a curriculum review and said the minister had failed to formally engage the teaching profession at any stage.
Federal president Correna Haythorpe said the reform plan failed to mention the most important factor in helping raise student performance - additional funding to replace the billions of dollars cut by the government from public school budgets.
"The PISA 2018 results highlighted the impact of six years of federal coalition failure when it comes to properly funding and resourcing public schools," Ms Haythorpe said.
"Now with this agenda rolling out, (teachers) will be expected to do even more without additional funding support or resources, and while having no input into the reform process.
"This all adds up to a recipe for failure by the government."
Last week's Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) placed Australia 16th in reading, 29th in maths and 17th in science, while the grouped Chinese provinces of Beijing-Shanghai-Jiangsu-Zhejiang topped each category.
Australian students were now three-and-a-half years behind their Chinese counterparts in maths, three years in science and 18 months in reading.
At the time, Mr Tehan said the results should have had alarm bells ringing and ahead of the meeting of ministers in Alice Springs he flagged concerns about the current education curriculum, describing it as "overcrowded".
"Central to improving student outcomes must involve refocusing on literacy and numeracy and de-cluttering the curriculum," he said.
On Thursday he said the Commonwealth had "insisted the updated declaration included a strong focus on the foundational areas of literacy, numeracy and discipline-based knowledge".
"The declaration also acknowledges the need for workforce skills, including communication, teamwork, languages and problem solving," Mr Tehan said.
The Mparntwe Declaration establishes two specific goals for the education system - to promote excellence and equity and to ensure all young Australians become confident and creative individuals and successful lifelong learners.
It also maintained a commitment to a "world-class curriculum" that sets clear and challenging learning goals.