The Federal Government has announced it will introduce new, more rigorous standards for teaching training courses in a bid to improve the quality of new graduates coming from universities and being employed in Australian schools.

The Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills, Science and Research, Chris Bowen MP, and the Minister for School Education, Peter Garrett MP, announced the new standards as part of the National Plan for School Improvement.

Mr Bowen said the Government wanted to see comprehensive standards for teaching courses, to ensure all new teachers had the skills and experience they needed before entering the classroom.

“We want to improve the quality of our university teaching graduates and make sure they are meeting the standards we would expect of teachers in the Australian school system,” Mr Bowen said.

“We want to ensure that every single teaching graduate has the required skills to be effective teachers and positive role models, regardless of which subject or at what level they teach.”

Mr Garrett said getting the best and brightest teachers into our classrooms was vital in giving every student the best education possible.

“We already have thousands of great teachers in our schools. But we can always do more to make sure that everyone entering the profession has the skills, personal capacity, and the passion, to be the best teacher possible,” Mr Garrett said.

The four major elements of the plan include:

  • More rigorous and targeted admissions into university courses, potentially including interviews, demonstrated values and aptitude, and a written statement;
  • A new literacy and numeracy test, building on the National Plan for School Improvement, that each teaching student will have to pass before they can graduate;
  • A national approach to teacher practicum to ensure new teachers have the skills, personal capacity and practical experience they need to do well; and
  • A review of all teaching courses by the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA).

These will be developed and implemented in close collaboration with Universities Australia and course providers, and in consultation with other relevant stakeholders.