Registration review must uphold the professionalism of teachers
- The National Review of Teacher Registration will review the process of teacher registration throughout Australia.
- State and territory teacher registration boards already uphold stringent requirements on registration.
- Registration requirements will be reviewed by a panel to report to the Education Council later in the year.
The key element in the terms of reference of the National Review of Teacher Registration is to consider how the elements of the current national registration framework operate, including implementation, consistency, best practice, challenges and barriers.
The review will also consider early childhood teacher registration, VET teacher registration and the transition of initial teacher education students into the profession.
Despite media reports at the time the review was announced, the review is not about making it easier for people from other working backgrounds such as tradies and nurses to become teachers, it is about identifying how to maintain and raise teaching standards through a rigorous training and registration process.
Any move to a national registration of teachers must preserve the high standards set by the Queensland College of Teachers (QCT) for Queensland teacher registration requirements and not open a pathway for fast-track programmes such as Teach for Australia.
What is the issue?
The review aims to strengthen the professional standing of teachers by streamlining the process for becoming a teacher throughout Australia, including identifying examples of best practice, challenges and barriers.
Our union opposes any weakening of teacher registration requirements as a detriment to the profession and the professional standing of teachers.
Facilitated by the Australian Institute of Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL), the review will consist of a panel of education experts, including IEUA NSW/ACT Branch President Christine Wilkinson advocating for our sector.
The panel will examine current registration requirements for entry into the teaching profession, with a report due to the Education Council later in the year.
The Terms of Reference for a National Review of Teacher Registration states that the review will consider:
- how all elements of the current national registration framework operate, including implementation, consistency, best practice, challenges and barriers;
- the extent to which the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers drive teacher quality and how this could be strengthened;
- how to improve teacher registration arrangements in Australia, with a focus on the current registration operating arrangements and enhancements to better embed the Teacher Standards and strengthen teacher quality;
- how best to implement recommendations;
- expected benefits and success measures for the implementation of the recommended reforms;
- early childhood teacher registration, VET teacher registration, and the transition of initial teacher education students into the profession;
- the current function of regulatory authorities with regard to their legislated responsibility to ensure that registered teachers fulfil the fit and proper person requirement.
The scope of the review will exclude consideration of:
- the appropriateness of the domains, focus areas and careers stage descriptors of the Teacher Standards. These matters will be addressed in a review of the Teacher Standards due this year;
- consideration of the Accreditation of Initial Teacher Education Programs in Australia: Standards and Procedures, which were revised and agreed by ministers in 2015 following the recommendations of the recent Teacher Education Ministerial Advisory Group review.
Announced on the back of an agreement by all Australian Education Ministers, the review is timely as the National Framework used to register teachers against the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers has been in place since 2011.
How will this review impact on teachers?
The review will not only consider registration of primary and secondary teachers, but will also include consideration on the registration of early childhood education teachers and vocational education and training (VET) teachers.
However, our members in early childhood education settings in Queensland are already registered teachers and maintain the registration standards required of them.
Graduate teachers may also be affected as the review will focus on the transition of initial teacher education students into the profession as they are seeking registration and employment.