Australian Alliance of Associations in Education (AAAE)

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Australian Alliance of Associations in Education (AAAE)

Where are you located?


What type of area do you live in?


Are you an education professional?
(e.g. teacher, school leader, learning support assistant, teacher’s aide)


Which sector do you work in?

Early childhood education and care,Primary,Secondary

What is your occupation?


Elevating the profession

The actions proposed recognise the value teachers bring to students, communities and the economy.

Somewhat agree

Would you like to provide feedback about these actions?

To increase the status and value of teachers, teachers must first be valued. Society's value will only come after teachers are adequately remunerated.
Regarding the concept of a national campaign, AAAE raises the question about why some subject areas are privileged, and others are not included. This can create a tiered value of specific learning areas within education.
Regarding the raise the status and role of teachers, we must flag our concerns, and the concerns of our members, with a number of other initiatives and statements of the government that directly contradict and interfere with this objective. These include dominant narratives about the seemingly urgent need to improve 'teacher quality' - we highly recommend the work of Associate Professor Nicole Mockler (Mockler, 2022), who provides a clear synthesis of the media reporting, including statements by the government, that contribute to this narrative. Additionally, government initiatives - including those with the agreeable outcome of reducing teacher workload - can reinforce teachers' feelings of their professionalism and work being devalued. The recent release of the Grattan Institute's report, Ending the Lesson Lottery (see Hunter, Haywood, & Parkinson, 2022), is a pertinent example of this. The report and the subsequent discussion in the media, including by the Minister and Shadow Minister, made clear suggestions that planning lessons were something that could be taken off teachers' workloads, both as a support and as a way to decrease unacceptable variability in lesson quality. The response from our members is that while easier and more consistent access to high-quality curriculum materials would be a support, it would not be in place of their own planning to tailor these materials to the learning needs, interests, and contexts of their students. To suggest otherwise has been seen as dismissing this critical component of teachers' work.

Improving teacher supply

The actions proposed will be effective in increasing the number of students entering ITE, number of students completing ITE and the number of teachers staying in and/or returning to the profession.

Somewhat disagree

Would you like to provide feedback about these actions?

Please see full response emailed to
Improving teacher supply, the two key issues of teacher remuneration and teacher time/release are critical and must be addressed. AAAE is concerned about the language around “more teaching places at universities in the right subjects.” What are the “right subjects”? This language devalues a range of subject areas within education. We advise the Government not to create a hierarchy of subjects or learning areas within Education. We are also concerned about the language around “best and brightest” as this suggests that those already in the profession or wishing to study teaching are not the best and brightest. In addition, how is the government defining ‘best and brightest’ teachers? Are these teachers with the highest ATAR score, for example?
AAAE suggests that rather than bursaries for high academic achieving students to study education, all ITE students could receive an honorarium for each professional experience period, as this a full-time placement at a school can prevent ITE students from engaging in other employment during these times.
Improving teacher supply must strongly focus on supporting teachers to stay in the profession. Recent reports indicate that around 50% of ITE students complete their qualifications (Department of Education, Skills and Employment, 2021), and between 30-50% of Australian teachers leave within their first five years (Weldon, 2018). Research into the reasons why ITE students do not complete their study, and why such large numbers of early career teachers are leaving the profession is desperately needed. AAAE suggests a federally funded research project to explore this (perhaps in partnership with organisations such as the Australian Research Council, Australian Council of Deans of Education, Australian Association of Research in Education, and AAAE).
Supporting teachers to return to the classroom is an area within this review that AAAE and our member associations are particularly well-placed to support. Professional Teaching Associations deliver high-quality professional development and mentoring to both early career and returning teachers.

Strengthening Initial Teacher Education (ITE)

The actions proposed will ensure initial teacher education supports teacher supply and quality.

Somewhat disagree

Would you like to provide feedback about these actions?

Please see full response emailed to
A paid internship or honorarium for all professional experience placements (not just mid-career entrants) is worthy of exploration. As mentioned previously, professional experience placements can place financial pressure on ITE students.
ITE is a hugely complex area and needs a nuanced discussion and consideration of enrolments and dropout trends between early childhood, primary and secondary, and between undergraduate and postgraduate courses. In addition, the increasing demands on even becoming a teacher, such as pre-requisite school subjects, written entry, unpaid placements during a cost of living crisis, LANTITE, and the TPA all need consideration.
The move away from a one-year Diploma of Education (DipEd) to a Master of Teaching (MTeach) two-year course may have had a negative impact on enrolments and attracting people into teaching. AAAE suggests that this is reviewed.
AAAE also argues that post-graduate qualifications such as Masters and Doctoral degrees could be eligible for a higher level of remuneration.
Action 11 – The subject areas listed are not consistent with AITSL’s research referenced earlier.
Action 12 – AAAE commends the Government on proposed Action 12 and the co-design of actions to attract and retain more First Nations teachers in schools.
Action 13 – The Literacy and Numeracy Test for Initial Teacher Education (LANTITE) needs to be reviewed. There is already a range of entry requirements for different ITE courses.

Maximising the time to teach

The actions proposed will improve retention and free up teachers to focus on teaching and collaboration.

Somewhat disagree

Would you like to provide feedback about these actions?

AAAE notes the recent publication of the Interim Report on the National School Reform Agreement which contained Draft Recommendation 5.2 that reducing teacher workload should be a focus of the next Agreement. The Draft document proposed a number of strategies. AAAE strongly supported this initiative in its submission to the Productivity Commission. We emphasise the importance of collaborative action and coherence in any strategy. As such, AAAE supports the concept of identifying how principals and teachers spend their time and whether their time is spent on low-value or high-value tasks. We strongly suggest that any starting point for the classification of tasks and the rating value must be collaboratively determined. It may need to be an iterative process to allow for maximum flexibility (acknowledging that a task that may be high value in one context and low value in another), yet appropriately consistent. Further, the process that specifies how to remove low-value tasks must be flexible in application. A process may be consistent across contexts, but whether it needs to be applied in all contexts needs consideration. The specification of how teaching assistants can be best used needs to commence with a shared understanding of the work that TAs do.
Professional Teaching Associations play an important role in practically supporting teachers in planning for and delivering curriculum reform. The implementation of the Australian Curriculum: V9.0 will again trigger schools to review curriculum and develop or revise existing work programs. Professional teaching associations will continue to develop resources and deliver professional learning to support our members, however, greater support is needed.
Action 14 – There are a range of studies including AITSL’s Shifting the balance: Increasing the focus on teaching and learning by reducing the burden of compliance and administration – Review to reduce red tape for teachers and school leaders (2020) and the Grattan Institute’s recent report Making time for great teaching: How better government policy can help (Hunter & Sonnemann, 2022) both contain recommendations for schools and systems to reduce teacher workload,

Better understanding future teacher workforce needs

How effective are the proposed actions in better understanding future teacher workforce needs, including the number of teachers required?

Not effective at all

Would you like to provide feedback about these actions?

Please see full response emailed to
Action 20 – much more research needs to be undertaken investigating the reasons why ITE students are not completing their qualifications. There is a presumption from some that early experience in schools through professional placements is essential, however, AAAE is unaware of data supporting these claims.
Action 22 – Regulatory authorities need to make it easier for teachers to return to teaching. Once teacher registration has been relinquished, it can be challenging and time-consuming for registration to be reinstated. A more streamlined process is recommended. Teachers also face challenges when moving across state/territory jurisdictions as each state/territory has its own teacher registration process. AAAE suggests that either a federal teacher registration system or easier transfer from one jurisdiction to another be a focus moving forward.

Better career pathways to support and retain teachers in the profession

The proposed actions will improve career pathways, including through streamlining the process for Highly Accomplished and Lead Teacher (HALT) accreditation, and providing better professional support for teachers to retain them in the profession.

Somewhat disagree

Would you like to provide feedback about these actions?

Please see full response emailed to
Action 24 – Professional Teaching Associations should be considered as providers of short courses and professional learning to retrain into teaching areas.
Action 26 – AAAE commends the Government on this action. Many professional associations have worked in partnership with First Nations peoples and educators to develop guidelines around teaching First Nations content and concepts in specific subjects in appropriate ways. More resources, professional learning and support is required.
Action 28 – While micro-credentialing is worthy of exploration, currently post-graduate qualifications in teaching/education do not attract any additional remuneration. Perhaps this may be an incentive for teachers to consider further study.