Education Ministers have agreed in principle to major reforms to how we train teachers, following the release of the report of the Teacher Education Expert Panel.
The Panel, led by Professor Mark Scott, was established by Minister for Education, Jason Clare to provide advice on how to improve initial teacher education (ITE) to better prepare teachers for the classroom.
The report notes that: “too many beginning teachers have reported that they felt they needed to be better equipped for the challenges they faced in the classroom on starting their teaching careers.”
The report makes clear that by ensuring all ITE students learn and can apply the teaching practices that work best, teachers will be better prepared for the classroom and more likely to stay in teaching.
One of the best ways to help teachers from day one is to improve the training they receive at university.
If we get this right, we can ensure more teaching students complete their course and stay in the profession.
According to the report, “a 10 percentage point uplift in ITE retention rates would result in nearly three thousand additional graduates” each year.
The report contains 14 recommendations across four key areas of reform. The proposed reforms are designed to:
- Strengthen initial teacher education programs, including establishing and embedding core content and mandating it in national accreditation. (Recommendations 1-3)
- Draw a stronger link between performance and funding of initial teacher education, including establishing an ITE Quality Assurance Board to monitor the quality and consistency of ITE programs and their outcomes. (Recommendations 4-7)
- Improve practical teaching experience, including better coordination of practical experience delivery and national guidelines, and professional recognition of mentor teachers to support teachers in mentoring ITE students. (Recommendations 8-11)
- Enhance postgraduate teacher education for mid-career entrants, including developing and scaling high-quality mid-career programs, such as paid, employment-based pathways (Recommendation 12-14).
Education Ministers have agreed in principle to all the report’s recommendations.
Ministers have agreed to the following immediate steps:
- Develop national practical teaching guidelines by the end of 2023.
- Amend accreditation standards and procedures by the end of 2023.
- Ensure core content is embedded in all ITE programs before the end of 2025.
The Panel’s report is available from here.
The Panel members included:
- Professor Mark Scott AO
- Emeritus Professor Bill Louden AM
- Professor Michele Simons
- Dr Jenny Donovan
- Mr Andrew Peach
- Ms Rebecca West
Quotes attributable to Minister for Education Jason Clare:
“Our teachers are awesome and teaching is one of the most important jobs in the world.
“Teaching is a tough and complex job and this is all about making sure they are better prepared from day one.
“A lot of teachers tell me they did not feel like they were prepared for the classroom when they finished university.
“That their university course didn’t prepare them well enough to teach things like literacy and numeracy and manage classroom behaviour, and that prac wasn’t up to scratch.
“This report is about fixing that.
“If we get this right, more student teachers will complete their degrees and more teachers will stay in the profession.
“I thank Professor Scott and all Panel members for all their hard work in preparing and delivering this report.”
Quotes attributable to Teacher Education Expert Panel Chair Professor Mark Scott AO:
“Preparing beginning teachers to confidently and successfully step into the classroom relies on quality initial teacher education.
“Teachers have the biggest impact on student learning in the classroom. We want to make sure that all beginning teachers learn and can apply the teaching practices which work best.
“The panel’s recommendations will support beginning teachers to successfully transition into the profession and will make them more likely to stay in teaching. The recommendations will make a crucial contribution to addressing workforce shortages.
“I would like to thank the many stakeholders who engaged constructively with the Panel throughout this review and extend my appreciation to my fellow Panel members who supported this important work.”