Investment in inclusion support professional development critical, UNESCO report concludes
A new report published by The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) has found Australian teachers need increased investment in professional development and training to effectively deal with students who have a disability and to reduce student exclusion.
With a theme of ‘inclusion in education’, the 2020 UNESCO Global Education Monitoring (GEM) report found that internationally, educational segregation still exists in some countries and that Australian teachers were not being provided with adequate support to deliver high-quality, inclusive education to students with a disability.
IEUA-QNT Branch Secretary Terry Burke said the UNESCO report highlighted the need for teachers to be provided with ongoing, regular professional development throughout their careers to meet the demands of the profession.
“This report indicates that teachers should undergo regular professional development, so they are adequately prepared to deal with a diverse cohort of students and to ensure students with a disability are properly included in school,” Mr Burke said.
“Employers need to invest properly in their teaching staff to ensure they have access to the necessary resources to achieve the best outcome for vulnerable students and also to ensure staff feel supported and valued.”
More investment in teachers needed
Mr Burke said a teacher’s ability to create opportunity, empower students’ minds and ultimately transform their lives is what makes the teaching profession one to be proud of.
“However, teachers cannot reasonably be expected to achieve this without additional funding to support the additional needs of students with a disability,” Mr Burke said.
“This is something our union has long campaigned for, by educating employers about the importance of investing in professional development for their staff.”
Time for federal government action
Mr Burke said the federal government needed to act and dedicate funding and resources to help vulnerable students access high-quality education.
“If the government is serious about improving inclusive education for students with a disability, they must commit more funding to the ongoing training and professional development of Australian teachers,” he said.
Our union provides exclusive professional development and training for IEU members, so visit the events page on our website to register for upcoming sessions.