The Australian Government appreciates the complex role of the teaching profession, and the significant responsibility they have in preparing children to lead successful and productive lives. Along with the Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL) the Government is committed to reaffirming the quality and status of the teaching profession.
Following the 2015 release of the Teacher Education Ministerial Advisory Group (TEMAG) report, Action Now – Classroom Ready Teachers, significant progress has been made on implementing the Government’s response to the report. This includes the introduction of the Literacy and Numeracy Test for Initial Teacher Education Students.
The Australian Professional Standards for Teachers (the Teacher Standards) and have been important milestones in defining what quality means in the profession. All states and territories have linked the Teacher Standards to registration requirements, some referencing the Teacher Standards in the professional learning requirements for teachers and others link salary to the certification of teachers at the Highly Accomplished and Lead Teacher (HALT) levels.
School leaders are working in increasingly complex and challenging environments. The role of the school principal has changed significantly over the past 20 years as outlined in the Australian Professional Standard for Principals (the Principal Standard). As part of the Australian Government’s commitment to support school leaders throughout the lifecycle of their careers, AITSL has been asked to develop a comprehensive national school leadership development framework. This framework will provide national consistency in the preparation of new principals, a new national pre-appointment principal certification process.
While some teacher workforce data is available, the TEMAG report recommends better data collection at the national level. Work is underway on Australian Teacher Workforce Data, a nation-wide collection of data to assist with workforce planning and improve the collective understanding of the teacher workforce.
It is increasingly important to improve our understanding of what impact teachers have on student outcomes and how they can use this information to improve their teaching. The Government commissioned research, Teacher Effectiveness Systems, Frameworks and Measures: A Review, from the University of Melbourne to examine current Australian and international approaches to teacher evaluation.
The Government also undertakes research into, policy development and investigation of flexible pathways into teaching as a way to address teacher shortages and areas of need. The Government currently supports the Teach for Australia program which provides an employment-based pathway into teaching.