Surveys show urgent need for improved teacher training

Media Release
  • Minister for Education
  • Leader of the House

Two reports released today highlight the need to improve teacher training and ‘classroom readiness’ and lift the status of the teaching profession.

The findings reinforce the importance of lifting teacher education across the country, currently the focus of the Australian Government’s Teacher Education Ministerial Advisory Group which will hand down its report later this year.

Releasing the National Teaching Workforce Dataset and the results of the Staff in Australia’s Schools 2013 survey the Hon Christopher Pyne MP, Minister for Education said the reports highlight areas that need urgent attention if Australian students are to get a world-class education.

“While the report shows that we have a workforce overwhelmingly passionate about teaching our young people, it clearly shows that many of them feel underprepared when entering the classroom.

“The Staff in Australia’s Schools survey shows that only about half of new primary school teachers think their initial teacher training was helpful in teaching students with a wide range of backgrounds and abilities,” Mr Pyne said.

“In particular early career teachers were least positive about their teacher education courses in core areas such as understanding students and how they learn, and how to assess students and provide them with feedback through reports.

Mr Pyne said the Australian Government is already acting to address these issues through its Students First approach.

The approach focuses on four key areas that will make a difference to students:

  • teacher quality
  • school autonomy
  • parental engagement
  • strengthening the curriculum.

“To help us build these four pillars of a great education, I established a Teacher Education Ministerial Advisory Group to provide advice on how teacher education could better prepare new teachers with the right mix of academic and practical skills.” Mr Pyne said.

“Adequate teacher training, particularly in helping educators teach literacy and numeracy, was also a key finding in the recently released Review of the National Curriculum.

“What is becoming clearer through these reports and others such as the Review of the National Curriculum is that more needs to be done to prepare our teachers for the classroom.”

The Teacher Education Ministerial Advisory Group final report is due to be released later this year.

The Staff in Australia’s Schools Survey was conducted by the Australian Council for Educational Research. It collected information from over 17,000 teachers and school leaders. It was conducted from May to August 2013.

The National Dataset was developed as part of the former Teacher Quality National Partnership to improve the quality and availability of workforce data. It was compiled by Ernst and Young using predominantly 2012 administrative data.

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