State plan to set high standards for graduate teachers

September 03, 2018

Federation welcomes the announcement by NSW Education Minister Rob Stokes to raise the bar for graduate teachers and protect high teaching standards.

Federation President Maurie Mulheron said the plan to establish higher benchmarks as prerequisites for employment as a teacher in the NSW public school system was “a necessary development”.

“In recent times, Federation has voiced serious concerns at the increasing practice of some universities to accept students into initial teacher education either without an ATAR or with very low scores,” he said. “Too many universities see education courses as a cash cow.

“These new benchmarks announced today clearly signal that at the point of employment, at least, NSW public schools will not employ graduates with a low academic performance.”

Federation will continue to campaign for high academic entry standards into initial teacher education to be strengthened. The new requirements send a clear message to the community that the NSW Department of Education will only accept high performing graduates.

“As well as applying high academic standards at every point, it is critical that graduates are also screened to assess their suitability to work with children and young people including their emotional stability and capacity to work collegially,” Mr Mulheron said.

“Federation members have often reported that many universities pressure schools to pass trainee teachers at their end of their practicum experience even when the supervising teacher has recommended a fail. This is unacceptable and must be regulated.”

The initiatives Mr Stokes announced include:

  • Only employing graduates with a consistent high academic performance throughout their university course
  • Not accepting graduates who complete the bulk of their university teacher education online
  • Applying a rigorous screening process as to suitability for teaching
  • Requiring applicants to produce all practicum reports
  • Requiring applicants to understand and articulate the values that underpin public education.

The Federation will seek further discussions with the Minister and NSW Department of Education concerning the details of the plan and its implementation to ensure that that the NSW public school system continues to lead the way in applying the highest standards for employment.

Read more

Sydney Morning Herald article: New NSW teachers to require a credit average, 'superior' intelligence