Monday 4 March 2019

Spotlight on the status of teachers

The standard of teaching graduates entering the classroom in Queensland is at unprecedentedly high levels, but there is a dire need to improve the public perception of the profession, a leading education stakeholder says.

A federal inquiry into the status of the teaching profession is sitting in Brisbane today and will hear from key stakeholders, including the Queensland College of Teachers (QCT), on the issue.

QCT Director John Ryan said almost half of students who chose to study teaching in Queensland already had another degree.

“In addition to this, teacher education students now must pass a rigorous teacher performance assessment, which is moderated across universities to ensure the same high standard is being met, and pass a literacy and numeracy test which puts graduates in the top 30 per cent of the population,” Mr Ryan said.

Mr Ryan said the teaching profession played a fundamental role in society in educating the next generation and the inquiry provided an important opportunity to help lift the status of teachers.

“There is a crucial feedback loop that must be acknowledged: when the profession is seen as high status, highly talented people want to become teachers, which subsequently lifts the status and the quality of the profession,” Mr Ryan said.

In its submission to the inquiry on the Status of the Teaching Profession, being undertaken by the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Employment, Education and Training (SCEET), the QCT notes a teacher’s role has become increasingly complex and makes a number of recommendations, including:

  • teachers being appropriately resourced through professional development
  • equitable government funding to enable conducive conditions for teaching
  • raised awareness among system leaders about working conditions
  • a government audit of administrative responsibilities to reduce workload
  • ensuring every teacher is registered to maintain the standards of the profession.

“The quickest path to improve the status of the teaching profession is to highlight the positive impact that teachers have on students, and not only from a standardised testing point of view,” Mr Ryan said.

You can read the QCT submission on the SCEET webpage: