Education Ministers yesterday approved the National Teacher Workforce Plan.
We have a teacher shortage in Australia.
Not enough people are becoming teachers and too many are leaving.
The National Teacher Workforce Action Plan sets out 27 actions that the Commonwealth, State and Territory governments will take to turn this around.
The plan sets out actions in five priority areas:
- improving teacher supply;
- strengthening initial teacher education;
- keeping the teachers we have;
- elevating the profession; and
- better understanding future teacher workforce needs.
The plan includes $328 million in Commonwealth investment including $159 million for 4,000 additional university places for teachers, $56 million for bursaries, $68 million to triple the number of mid-career professionals shifting into teaching, and a $30 million Teacher Workload Reduction Fund.
The plan also includes a commitment to independently evaluate State and Territory Government initiatives to reduce teacher workload.
A draft plan was released on 3 November for consultation.
Teachers, principals, education stakeholders and members of the community made 658 submissions. Their feedback has been reflected in this National Plan.
Key changes to draft National Plan include:
- the inclusion of a ‘commitment to teach’ clause for people who receive Commonwealth teaching bursaries to ensure teachers who receive the bursaries work in the classroom for a minimum period of time;
- an additional funding of $5 million to the Teacher Workload Reduction Fund taking the total investment to $30 million;
- an in-principle commitment from States and Territories to contribute $5 million to a national campaign to raise the status of teachers;
- removing the Teacher of the Year Award in direct response to teacher feedback; and
- a commitment to look for more ways to better support early career teachers and encourage experienced teachers who are registered but not currently working as teachers to retain and mentor early career teachers.
The plan recognises the importance of fair pay and conditions as being key parts of attracting more people to teaching and to keeping the teachers we have in the classroom.
It’s also about respect. In the classroom and in the community. We need to stop bagging teachers and start giving them a wrap.
This is not a quick fix. This is a problem 10 years in the making and it will take time to fix.
The National Plan will be a permanent fixture of the Education Ministers Meeting for the next few years - building and expanding on what we have agreed here and reviewing its implementation.
The Plan will also inform the development of the next National School Reform Agreement.
I thank members of the Working Group who developed the plan, everyone who made a submission and pay tribute to the dedication and hard work of our teachers changing lives right across the country.
The Plan can be found here: National Teacher Workforce Action Plan.