Page 1282 - Week 05 - Tuesday, 5 May 2015

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across all sectors—public, Catholic and independent—to promote the role and expectations of teachers as a profession.

The TQI has not only worked as regulator of the teaching profession but also worked hard to promote the understanding and acceptance of the Australian professional standards for teachers. I was very pleased to hear from the minister that these standards had been formally incorporated into TQI regulations. Again, as the minister illustrated, these standards provide quite clear guidance on the types of knowledge that a teacher should have at every stage of their career.

They provide four clear teaching stages: graduate, for those who have just graduated from their teaching qualification; proficient, for those who meet the requirements of full registration, demonstrating achievement of the seven standards at this level. Highly accomplished are those teachers who are recognised as highly effective, skilled classroom practitioners and who routinely work independently and collaboratively to improve their own practice and the practice of colleagues. They are knowledgeable and active members of the school. And, finally, there are leaders, who are recognised and respected by colleagues, parents, carers and community members as exemplary teachers. They have demonstrated consistent and innovative teaching practice over time. They are skilled in mentoring teachers and pre-service teachers, using activities that develop knowledge, practice and professional engagement in others. They promote creative, innovative thinking among colleagues.

These standards are very useful in providing guidance to teachers about their practice and what they should be demonstrating. I am pleased to hear from the minister that the ACT government, through the TQI, takes them seriously. I was also pleased to hear the many examples from the minister about how the ACT was leading the way nationally to improve teacher quality. The fact that specific practices from the ACT were highlighted by the Australian government Teacher Education Ministerial Advisory Group as being great examples of systemic approaches speaks highly of the ACT’s leadership in this area.

I would also like once again to highlight some of the practices of the Education and Training Directorate, which, as the largest employer of teachers in the ACT, is showing great leadership. The directorate has undertaken clear work, as the minister has also noted, in aligning the professional standards with career progression. It is very important that we reward those who seek higher levels of certification, and I understand that the directorate is negotiating to ensure that teachers who do receive certification against the highly accomplished and lead teacher standards will get an increment.

I would also like to congratulate Minister Burch for her leadership in ensuring that those seeking to enter the public system as teachers meet the highest personal standards for literacy and numeracy. From this year all new teachers recruited to the public education system will have to undergo a test to demonstrate that they sit within the top 30 per cent of Australians in literacy and numeracy. It is important to understand that as part of the national standards for teacher education it is expected that universities only take those who have demonstrated that they meet this level of literacy and numeracy or that universities guarantee that their students will, on graduation, have reached this level.

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