Landmark education body

The Minister for Education Adrian Piccoli today announced that the NSW Government will introduce landmark reform to drive improvements in student outcomes in NSW.

"All the contemporary evidence tells us that quality teaching is at the heart of improving student outcomes," Mr Piccoli said.

"In NSW we currently have great schools, great teachers and great students – but we can improve the way we capture information and data on standards, and how we apply that information to improving quality teaching and student outcomes.

"The Government will introduce legislation to bring together for the first time in Australia the three cornerstones of education standards: curriculum, student assessment, and teacher quality under a single authority."

Mr Piccoli said that the reform would amalgamate the responsibilities of the Board of Studies NSW and the NSW Institute of Teachers to create a new governance body, the Board of Studies, Teaching and Educational Standards (BoSTES).

"Ultimately, how effective our teachers are in the classroom hinges on their understanding of the curriculum, their capacity to assess students and the maintenance of their professional skills.

"The new body will also continue to register non-government schools.

"It makes a lot of sense to have all these functions being developed and delivered by a single body, and I am encouraged by the positive response we have received from all the school sectors to this reform.

"Modern and effective education policy must be responsive to evidence, and reliable data. BoSTES will create a new capacity for the capture and analysis of that information, as well as being able to use it as the basis for improved policy and services."

Improving teacher quality  

Board of Studies NSW President Tom Alegounarias said that the development of BoSTES built on the measures included in the Government's Great Teaching, Inspired Learning (GTIL) policy to improve teacher quality.

"Some of the core measures in GTIL will now be delivered through BoSTES including:

  • new teachers know the curriculum requirements
  • all teachers meet the literacy and numeracy requirements of their subject areas
  • all teachers are trained to analyse student outcomes data
  • entrants to teacher education meet standards of achievement in HSC English and subjects
  • students entering postgraduate teacher training have appropriate subject content knowledge."

Acting Chief Executive of the NSW Institute of Teachers, Carol Taylor, said BoSTES will continue to deliver the functions of the existing Institute and Board, including those requirements created under GTIL.

"BoSTES will also continue to consult and work closely with teachers and all school sectors, in the development of curriculum, assessment, governance and professional development," Ms Taylor said.

"This ‘vertical integration' will bring together the best data and the best policy development opportunities for education reform. It puts NSW in a unique position in Australia and among a growing list of OECD jurisdictions that place standards at the centre of their education systems."

The amalgamation of the functions of the Board and the Institute will commence once legislation has been passed, with the new BoSTES in place in January 2014.

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