Elliott Welcomes New Standards For Beginning Teachers

Member for Baulkham Hills David Elliott has welcomed the announcement of a new literacy and numeracy test for teacher education students in NSW.

Mr Elliott said the test will be trialled this year and is part of the Government’s Great Teaching, Inspired Learning reforms, designed to increase quality teaching in NSW schools.

“We have great teachers in NSW and now we are taking further steps to improve the quality of teaching for the next generation of teachers,” Mr Elliott said.

“The NSW Government has now announced a new online literacy and numeracy trial test for teacher education students at NSW universities.

“The test is expected to be fully available next year and from 2016 all teacher education students will need to have passed it before undertaking their final practicum.

“This measure will help ensure that we can have confidence that every student graduating from a teaching course has the necessary literacy and numeracy skills for their chosen career.”

The tests are being developed by the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER).

Education Minister Adrian Piccoli also announced a new Framework to better co-ordinate and manage the professional experience — the practicum — that teacher education students undertake in NSW schools.

“‘Prac’ teaching should be an opportunity for intensive learning for teacher education students, as they put their theoretical skills into practice in the real world under the supervision of a teacher who can provide support and mentoring,” Mr Piccoli said.

The Framework sets standards for high quality placements including:

  • best practice guidelines for teachers, teacher educators and teacher education students;
  • an evidence guide for supervising teachers;
  • a common report template;
  • a statement of common roles and responsibilities; and
  • data exchange guidelines.

Mr Piccoli said these measures would deliver on commitments made under the Great Teaching, Inspired Learning (GTIL) reform package. They combine with other GTIL initiatives to continue to strengthen the quality of teaching, including:

  • Raising the academic standards required to enter teaching degrees  — people entering from the HSC will need to have three Band 5 HSC results, one of which must be English;
  • All teachers will be required to undertake 100 hours of professional development over five years to maintain their accreditation; and
  • Creating better systems for managing underperforming teachers, and for recognising and rewarding high performing teachers, including a salary of more than $100,000 for highly accomplished classroom teachers in public schools from 2016.

“These are all important steps to lift the status of teaching. Teaching should be recognised as an incredibly valuable profession – and one that requires great commitment from talented individuals and ongoing development and support,” Mr Piccoli said.