Initial teacher education discussion paper launched

Today I have launched the discussion paper put together by the Quality Initial Teacher Education (ITE) Review panel, looking at how to attract high-quality teachers, and how to better prepare them to become effective in the classroom.

Improving initial teacher training will be key to reversing the two decade decline in Australia’s school standards.

Quality teaching is the single largest in-school influence on student achievement. How we select and train our next generation of teachers is central to achieving our ambition to return Australia to the top group of education nations by 2030.

The review panel has identified a number of key findings that will further inform discussions on how to improve initial teacher training and ultimately lift Australian school standards.

Importantly, the panel found that not all teacher education courses are meeting the high standards that Australians should expect.

  • Completion rates range from 73 per cent at some institutions to just 34 per cent at others.
  • The number of people completing teaching courses overall has dropped 12 percentage points in the last decade and only 52 per cent of students complete their teaching degree.
  • The number of graduates finding post-study employment ranges from above 90 per cent in some courses to less than 60 per cent in others.
  • While some institutions have 99 per cent of students passing the Literacy and Numeracy Test for Initial Teacher Education (LANTITE) others are as low as 76 per cent.

The panel also noted that completion rates are much better for those entering teacher training courses with higher ATARs.

It is clear that we must do better at recruiting and training our future teachers and that evidence-based practices must be taught in our publicly funded universities.

We also need alternative and shorter pathways into teaching to entice more mid-career professionals into the profession.

The Government has already taken steps to improve teacher training, including through accrediting teaching courses and testing graduate’s literacy and numeracy before they enter the classrooms.

This discussion paper is an important next step to continue those improvements and further lift Australia’s school standards.

The discussion paper is available on the Department of Education, Skills and Employment website. https://www.dese.gov.au/quality-initial-teacher-education-review/resources/quality-initial-teacher-education-review-2021-discussion-paper

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