Yesterday, while we were busy at our planning day, the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Employment, Education and Training adopted an inquiry into the Status of the Teaching Profession, following a referral from Federal Education Minister Tehan.
The Australian Council of Deans of Education welcomes this inquiry, noting
The ACDE, which represents all the universities and several private institutions that educate our future teachers, has been advocating strongly for greater attention to be paid to the attraction and retention of teachers.
For two years, the ACDE has been warning of the impending shortage of teachers well beyond the current shortages in specific areas like STEM, remote and regional areas.
‘The significant and continuing drop in those applying to become student teachers must be stemmed if we are to ensure that the rapidly increasing primary school student population has the highest possible quality of teaching,’ ACDE President, Professor Tania Aspland, says.
‘We hope that the inquiry will thoroughly examine the key issues and underpin stronger political leadership in this area,’ she says.
The Deans of Education expect the inquiry to help curb the frequently negative political rhetoric about the teaching profession.
‘ACDE is well aware of how the ongoing public commentary, that often blames teachers for all education ills, adds to the many challenges that deter potential teachers from entering the profession and demoralises many of those already in our nation’s classrooms,’ Professor Aspland says.
ACDE has been disappointed by the Federal Government’s inertia around the recruitment of more Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders teaching students and in addressing the fact that only one in three of those attracted into teaching complete their course.
‘ACDE looks forward to contributing to this important inquiry,’ Professor Aspland says.