Status of the profession under threat

February 12, 2018

Federal Education Minister Simon Birmingham's plan to undermine teacher standards risks the quality of education provision and will lower the status of the profession, Federation President Maurie Mulheron said today.

Mr Birmingham said a national review of teacher registration will look at "how school systems could make it easier for people with other real-world skills to become teachers".

“Having a former tradie or nurse as a teacher can bring more perspective to a classroom and can be especially beneficial for the teaching of vocational and trade skills,” Mr Birmingham said.

“Teachers who have been working in other jobs can be a great way for students to learn about life after school and the different options open to them.

“Ensuring effective pathways for tradies to teach their trades in schools could really boost the delivery of vocational education."

Federation supports higher, not lower standards

Federation's policy supports university teacher education entry requirements of at least three HSC Band 5s (one must be English) or equivalent academic standard.

The union supports the development by universities of a five-year teaching degree, with extensive regulated and high-quality practicum experience.

"This reinforced the higher levels of knowledge, skills and expertise required to be a proficient teacher in contemporary public education," Federation policy states. This is also the federal Australian Education Union 's position.

The Australian Education Union Federal Office described Mr Birmingham's announcement to slash teacher registration as an "outrage".

Federal President Correna Haythorpe said: "Teaching is a complex and demanding role, and all teachers should be fully trained and qualified. Therefore, if you want to be a teacher, then you do the training.

"Any discussions regarding teacher registration should be to enhance teaching and learning outcomes in the classrooms, not to diminish them.”