75,000 NSW teachers to be accredited

11 September 2014

Some 75,000 NSW school teachers will be accredited under national standards and required to undertake ongoing professional development, the Minister for Education Adrian Piccoli announced today.

"The NSW Government wants all teachers to be accredited by the end of 2017 and has introduced legislation to make it mandatory," Mr Piccoli said.

"Until now, only those teachers who began teaching after October 2004, or who had a break from teaching of five years or more, have needed to be accredited.

"For these more experienced teachers — who started teaching before 2004 — the accreditation process will recognise their extensive experience and length of service.

"These changes are part of the NSW Government's commitment to further improve the status of the profession and the quality of teaching in all NSW schools, which we outlined in our Great Teaching, Inspired Learning reforms.

"We know that the quality of teaching is the single biggest in-school influence on educational outcomes.

"Bringing all teachers under the same mandatory accreditation system is an important step in ensuring the quality of education provided in all NSW schools.

"Lawyers, accountants, architects and psychologists are among many professions that already require accreditation. It is entirely appropriate a similar system is extended to the highly regarded teaching profession."

Accreditation will mean full-time teachers must:

  • undertake 100 hours of professional development over five years; and
  • demonstrate every five years that their professional practice continues to meet the Standards.

More than 60,000 NSW teachers are already accredited with the Board of Studies, Teaching and Educational Standards (BOSTES) under the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers.

Changes to the Teacher Accreditation Act will mean 5,000 early childhood teachers will join their peers from schools in the accreditation system.

"This means the NSW Government is recognising that all early childhood teachers are professionals – they are university trained, passionate about children and dedicated to their educational development," Mr Piccoli said. "We are also moving to ensure school principals and other senior staff who may not undertake actual classroom teaching are accredited while qualified teachers who work in educational roles outside of schools may choose to seek accreditation." BOSTES President Tom Alegounarias said the new accreditation requirements for school teachers will be rolled out in partnership with the school sectors over the next three years.

"BOSTES recognises the professional standing and experience of pre-2004 school teachers and, in consultation with the school sectors, has designed a straightforward, one- off process for initially accrediting pre-2004 school teachers at the level of Proficient Teacher," he said.

"BOSTES is currently working with key early childhood education stakeholders to develop a suitable process and timeframe for the accreditation of early childhood teachers working in preschools, long day care centres and other early childhood settings."


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