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Submission received

Submitter information



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?

Community languages school (CLS) sector

What is your occupation?

Executive Director AFESA-Community Languages Australia

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?

Overall we have seen the value of teachers and the teaching profession impacted.
Teaching is a lifestyle - a dedication to providing students with the highest level of teaching and learning opportunities.
In turn, teachers create attitudinal change by impacting students over 12 -13 years. They are future builders of our communities.
Many who went through teacher training will have come across the analogy - your students are like clay in your hand. You can form them and shape them.
Teachers and the profession must be recognised as critical to forming a better world.
The work of teachers is undervalued.
Parents sometimes do not quite understand the effort that goes into a day in the classroom, a term of work or a year's work.
Providing strong recognition at the school level may increase the awareness of parents and ten community of the work that teachers do.
The recommendations suggest formal recognition of awards etc., is supported.
One strategy that some of our community language schools use is the recognition of teachers - instructors at the school level.
Recognising efforts this way alludes to parents and the broader community to the vital work being done on a local level.
Whilst we need to think nationally, we should not forget to act locally.

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?

The Action Plan speaks about mainstream schools.
Community Language Australia would like to add community language schools, teachers and instructors to the supply discussion.
Over 100,000 students study over 60 languages in the Community Language Schools (CLS) sector. Those delivering instruction in these classes have varied qualifications.
Some have formal teaching qualifications in Australia. There is a cohort that has overseas qualifications which are not recognised. Others have undertaken the AFESA-CLA RTO Certificate IV Community Language School Teaching.
Some have obtained Permission to teach through Institutes of teaching.

CLA believes this is an untapped resource often overlooked. The CLS sector is tied to Education in most jurisdictions.
In some jurisdictions, these schools offer VCE-HSE and SACE programs with solid results.
CLA would recommend that the CLS be included in further discussion on supply as there are possibilities.

We often have those with strong language skills who lack formal language teaching qualifications. In other cases, we have a robust teaching methodology but could do more with stronger language knowledge. Marrying these
two elements could see more robust language education programs.
AFESA-CLA is an RTO registered with VRQA in Victoria. We are now considering obtaining ASQA registration to offer Certificate IV.
Successful candidates may be able to fill the void in the supply area if AFESA-CLA and the Department of Education could agree on some national criteria.

National Summary Data
State Languages Schools Students Teachers
WA 37 59 7129 815
VIC 50 198 47955 2867
TAS 8 8 224 35
SA 47 94 8802 1114
QLD 26 55 5190 482
NSW 62 316 35867 3195
ACT 34 47 1889 185

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?

Attracting people to the teaching profession is critical.
Programs that grow the individual often have more attraction rather than bland methodology programs.
Using life experiences and crediting these experiences add to a person's life skill vault.

Having adequate experiences during the teacher training program, often based on previous experiences, may assist in delivering a better product.

In the CLS sector, many have a range of qualifications s experiences that could be used if the Action Plan finally recommended a process for recognition.

Attracting people from other professions with life skills is another way of not increasing supply but providing quality.
AFESA-CLA fully supports the work required to attract more First Nations teachers

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?

With every change in curriculum nationally or in S&T, teachers need to allocate time to change or modify direction.

The emphasis on assessment, reporting, guidelines in the Child safety area and other legislative requirements diminishes the quality of time in teaching.

The complaint most often heard is - The time I have to spend on administrative tasks. This bites into my teaching time.

Education in Australia needs stability. The chopping and changing impacts on all levels in schools, from the leadership to teachers to teacher aids to administrators

Any system that helps alleviate some administrative tasks will allow for more quality teaching time.

In the CLS, for example, adjusting the curriculum - set nationally or in an S&T requires time.
Ensuring legislative requirements are met requires time.
The more time spent upskilling with professional development and training, the more time spent teaching will improve quality. How the administrative burden can be addressed is the million-dollar question?

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?

AFESA-CLA addresses this area based on language education in Australia.

Whilst there is much talk about the importance of language education, the actions do not follow.
Having an understanding of projections is often blurred by inconsistent S&T national position of language education in the classroom.
Teacher supply will reflect where language education sits in policy terms.
A lack of teachers often reflects the uncertainty of schools providing ongoing language programs.
Supply and demand will also be reflected in our immigration policies. As more people, some from overseas the more the need grows for programming,
CLS, for example, need to monitor their teacher-instruction supply is based on several factors:
a) Enrolment
b) Access to government and independent school facilities in an LGA

Allowing CLS teachers - instructors to register their qualifications (with jurisdictions and not only AFESA-CLA) and express interest in upskilling to meet Australian standards can ease the squeeze in the supply.
National Summary Data

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?

Much of what has been stated in previous sections relates to this area.
a) Creating confidence in the system
b) Recognizing the importance of teaching and teachers
c) Recognizing their efforts
d) Stability in the system
will attract and develop people in the profession

Providing teachers with the opportunity to grow professionally is also essential.
AFESA-CLA - through its training and professional development programs, have been able to retain instructors.

Having a nationally accepted accreditation process attached to recognition is essential.
Career paths are also critical.
There seems to be a disparity between being a 'good teacher in the classroom or a leader in a team of teachers and financial rewards.
Some have no aspiration to be in the upper echelon of a school. They are happy to teach, lead and initiate but need to be rewarded.