Australian Council of Deans of Education (ACDE)

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Australian Council of Deans of Education (ACDE)

Where are you located?

Australian Capital Territory

What type of area do you live in?


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


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?

The Australian Council of Deans of Education (ACDE) supports the importance of overtly valuing the teaching profession as a core plank of a Teacher Workforce Action Plan.

Valuing the profession includes paying attention to wages and conditions alongside non-wage factors. Non-wage factors include the qualifications and skills needed to be successful and build a career (i.e., not diminishing these requirements), cultural expectations of the profession, benefits and supports offered by employers and job satisfaction.

In order to increase the status/ value of the profession, we recommend a move away from promoting teaching only as a ‘caring profession’ – it is an occupation which requires the development of expertise, it is intellectually demanding; built on the use of research evidence to inform practice – as well as caring (see new AITSL Strategi Plan which emphasises expertise - Strategic Plan 2022-2026 (

There is a difference between elevating the status of profession and recognition of individuals. Recognition of individuals particularly relating to HALTS designations (Action 4) is perhaps better addressed in Priority 6 (Career Pathways)

We do not believe that individual rewards (Actions 2, 3) will have significant direct impact on the overall goal of elevating the profession.

This priority could be expanded to include increasing the demand/interest studying to be a teacher (Actions 5, 6, and 7 could be added). This would acknowledge that status and demand/interest in the profession are linked; this also highlights that increasing demand is a key workforce strategy and needs to be more clearly expressed in the Action Plan.

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 agree

Would you like to provide feedback about these actions?

ACDE sees improving the supply of appropriately qualified and experienced teachers as essential. We would recommend this Priority be reviewed to give greater clarify to the twin workforce strategies of supply and retention by using separate actions for each of these aspects of workforce development.

Additions to actions under the priority of retaining teachers could include promoting best practice in retention (recruitment and induction processes; creating support experiences/support that match the stage of career of teachers (new recruit, mid-career, transition to leadership); the use of mechanisms such as exit interviews, promoting flexible work arrangements, secondment opportunities, creating leadership ‘ladders’).

Notions of supply appear to be predicated on existing notions which view teaching as a lifelong career. While this may be the case for many in the profession, it may be better to acknowledge the realities of the current labour market, contemporary working lives and key characteristics of the teaching workforce (it is a large workforce) which requires a variety of employment types (casual/relief; contract and permanent staff) in order to operate effectively. For example, it could be possible to consider the idea of ‘professionalising’ the casual cohort of teachers using a variety of strategies which builds cohorts of specialist teachers who are able to meet the demands of working across schools.

In supporting the need for a robust supply of teachers we would note the following actions:

Funding to support the development of for a variety of pathways (pre-service and in-service/employment-based) to accreditation as teachers are needed needs to be highlighted in the Plan

Supply is connected to career structures – i.e., supporting teacher mobility within sectors/across the profession across a range of roles (not just leadership roles) may promote greater retention and reduce the pressure on the supply side. This could be highlighted under this Priority and the Better Career Pathways Priority

Strengthening Initial Teacher Education (ITE)

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

Somewhat agree

Would you like to provide feedback about these actions?

ACDE acknowledges while that initial teacher education plays an important foundational role in developing the Teaching Workforce, ITE needs to be understood as one part of systemic approach to attract, recruit, educate, motivate, manage and retain the Australian teaching workforce.

Any further recommendations for changes to ITE that might arise out of the EAP need to build on the outcomes of the most recent raft of reforms arising from TEMAG – evidence of impact of these reforms is only now beginning to emerge as full cohorts of Pre-service Teachers who commenced and have completed their studies in programs impacted by these changes are graduating and making their way into the profession.

Regardless of the models of ITE that might be adopted, all models depend upon high quality Work Integrated Learning/Placements. Actions need to explicitly address the need for Work Integrated Learning/Placements to be adequately governed and funded. Actions need to specify the complementary obligations of Pre-service Teachers, employers and ITE Providers in any form of Work Integrated Learning/Placements that are part of an ITE program.

ACDE supports Action 12 which seek to address the development of the Indigenous Teaching Workforce. The actions relating to this priority need to ensure that First Nations Teachers are supported across all stages of their professional development, including clear attention to developing First Nations Leaders for the profession.

Further changes to ITE need to be tested for their potential impact on the diversity of the workforce it will produce and sustain. Actions which build on reforms implemented in a context where ITE programs were predominately pre-service in their orientation need some reflection. For example, Action 13 relating to LANTITE needs to include a reappraisal of the usefulness/place of this test and its efficacy in a system which is moving greater use of employment-based pathways for ITE.

Maximising the time to teach

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

Somewhat agree

Would you like to provide feedback about these actions?

ACDE strongly supports actions to ensure that teachers are able to concentrate on the core components of their role in schools. Actions which build on existing initiatives and innovative HR processes (Action 14) will support the direction of change intended in this priority area.

In supporting the actions within this priority area, ACDE notes the following:

It is important to ensure that there are clear distinctions/understandings of different types of accreditations (provisional/conditional/permission to teach) and what this means for the scale and scope of work that can be undertaken by teachers – particularly where these teachers are Pre-service Teachers completing their ITE program. It is important that these roles allow sufficient scope to effectively combine work and learning in order to facilitate these teachers completing their ITE programs.

In examining actions to better structure teachers’ work, we would suggest that it is important to look holistically at the workforces that schools need. Clear definitions of roles that support the core functions of teaching and learning in schools and recognising teachers’ work as part of multidisciplinary teams (not the lone heroic teacher doing it all) should be a feature how we understand the work of teachers and reflected in actions to support this Priority area achieving the desired outcomes.

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?

Moderately effective

Would you like to provide feedback about these actions?

ACDE supports efforts to increase the quality of data that can be used to better understand the teaching workforce and to support work force planning across all career stages/phases of teaching.

We recommend that any actions which address the collection of data (Actions 19, 20) need to be underpinned/informed by National data sharing protocols. These protocols should outline how participating jurisdictions, government agencies and Higher Education Providers will share, use and disclose data that is collected.

We are unclear what level of consistency is being sought from Action 21. There are already mechanisms in place for mutual recognition and current accreditation processes have measures in place to promote national consistency.

Understanding of workforce planning will need to rely on clear definitions of the various types of accreditations (provisional/conditional/permission to teach) that are in currently in use across states/jurisdictions and what these mean for the supply of teachers. The blurring of boundaries between Pre and In-service/workplace models of teacher development will need to be accounted for when undertaking future workforce modelling.

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 agree

Would you like to provide feedback about these actions?

ACDE supports actions to promote career pathways that will create a diverse teaching workforce. In order to achieve this goal, we recommend that actions under this priority be underpinned by a comprehensive understanding of career development commencing with career education for the profession (career maps/exploration etc.). This needs to be coupled with the provision of responsive, flexible professional learning matched to the various career phases/stages and employment arrangements that are found across the teaching profession.

The conceptualisation of different specialist career pathways (e.g., rural & remote teaching) could provide flexible options that enable teaching to be viewed as an occupational field with a number of different career options which can include, but not only be exclusively, pathways to leadership

Workforce development strategies need to be broadened to include options for development beyond mentoring and induction and be provided across the professional life of a teacher. Workforce development needs to be teacher-centred, enabling teachers to develop the capabilities required by their employers as well as the career capital they desire to build their working lives in the profession.

HALT certification/accreditation needs to be integrated into workforce structures (with designated positions aligned with these levels of capability). Action 4 from Elevating the Profession could be consolidated into this Priority Area.