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Home > News > Professional Issues > Professional Issues Volume 12 > Year 12 students to submit essay before they can apply for teacher education studies

Year 12 students to submit essay before they can apply for teacher education studies

high_school_students_web_qual.pngNew initial teacher education (ITE) course entry requirements have been introduced from 2018 onwards, meaning those aspiring to be teachers must meet “non-academic” requirements, including a submission of a 1000 word essay, before they are allowed into a teaching course. 

Issue snapshot:

  • New requirements have been placed on initial teacher education course entry.
  • The new requirements include submission of a 1000 word essay as supplement to the established academic requirements.
  • No communication has occurred between universities and current teachers – those who have direct contact with school leavers wishing to enter the profession.
  • Governing bodies such as AITSL continue to exclude those currently in the profession from the decision making process.

Universities, via the Queensland Tertiary Admissions Centre (QTAC), have changed the procedures for entry to initial teacher education; chiefly by introducing the requirement for applicants to submit a 1000 word personal statement addressing questions relating to their motivation and “suitability” for teaching, demonstrating Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL) competencies.

The new “non-academic” entry requirement means aspiring teachers will need to tick another box before they hope to be accepted into their desired teaching course.

A similar change has recently occurred in Victoria, with aspiring teachers having just learned they must sit a test to assess whether they are able to demonstrate the personal attributes required to be a teacher. 

While changes in Victoria have attracted wide media coverage, changes in Queensland have gone largely unnoticed, leaving teachers and aspiring teachers in the dark.

IEUA-QNT Research Officer Adele Schmidt said universities had failed to communicate with the profession.

“Many currently practising teachers have students who aspire to become teachers themselves, and there has been no attempt to communicate with these teachers, or their students, about the new entry requirements.”

Ms Schmidt said the changes in Queensland are clearly a response by the universities to meet new requirements imposed by AITSL.

“AITSL has also made no attempt to communicate with the profession regarding the changes.

“This course of action further exacerbates one of the main problems with AITSL-driven reforms.  

“AITSL presents itself as an advocate for the profession, but the reality is that they are conducting their activities at a dysfunctional distance from the profession.  

“There are no practising teachers or union representatives on AITSL’s board, or any of its key decision making committees.  

“This is yet another decree from AITSL with significant ramifications for practitioners being enacted not just without consultation, but without even any reasonable attempt at communication.

“As long as practising teachers and union representatives are excluded from decision making processes, any impositions cannot be seen to appropriately consider the perspective of those who actually work in the profession, and the lack of communication from AITSL and universities at a fundamental level is simply unacceptable,” Ms Schmidt said. 

Authorised by Terry Burke, Independent Education Union of Australia – Queensland & Northern Territory Branch, Brisbane.