Blueprint for teacher quality in action
The most comprehensive set of reforms ever undertaken in Australia to improve teacher quality have been released by the NSW Government.
NSW Premier Barry O'Farrell and Minister for Education Adrian Piccoli launched Great Teaching Inspired Learning: A Blueprint for Actionas a detailed plan including 16 reforms and 47 actions to improve the performance of the teaching profession in NSW.
At a press gathering at Sydney's Croydon Public School, Mr O'Farrell said the reforms would lift the standards of those who were entering the teaching profession, attract better teachers and support teachers in classrooms so they could inspire future generations of students across NSW.
"We all remember as students being inspired by great classroom teachers. What this program is designed to do is ensure that that experience is enjoyed by more people across this state," Mr O'Farrell said.
"All the evidence tells us the quality of teaching is the single most important influence on student performance.
"We already have a world class teaching profession here in NSW but our performance against international standards tells us we can improve."
Key reforms include:
- raising the academic standards required to enter teaching degrees with students coming straight from high school having HSC Band 5 results in three or more subjects including English
- introducing a mandatory literacy and numeracy assessment that pre-service teachers must pass before acceptance into their final year teaching placement
- all beginning teachers having access to trained mentor support when they start full-time teaching
- all teachers returning to the classroom after five years required to undertake a refresher course
- all teachers in NSW schools required to be accredited and maintain accreditation against the professional teaching standards
- teacher salary structures linked to professional teaching standards
- new pathways and credentials created for outstanding teachers to become school leaders
- making the processes to remove under-performing teachers more straight forward.
Achieving quality teaching
Mr Piccoli said he had asked each of the three NSW education sectors - government, Catholic and independent – to present him with implementation plans for the blueprint's actions within three months.
Department director-general Michele Bruniges said the blueprint outlines a package of steps to achieving quality teaching in the classroom.
"There is a real sense of urgency in the community. Education and the quality of our teachers and their teaching practice are on the top of everyone's agenda at the moment. This is the time to act. Unless we get the platform right around quality teaching in our classrooms then student outcomes will not improve," Dr Bruniges said.
"This package of reforms gives us an opportunity across the teaching life cycle to address every point that matters to ensure that students' outcomes improve through quality teaching."
Find out more: Great Teaching, Inspired Learning – A Blueprint for Action