AEU calls for higher standards in teacher education

The Australian Education Union are recommending that initial teacher training be transitioned to a two-year postgraduate qualification, such as an undergraduate degree combined with a two-year teaching masters, after a survey of members showed that many teachers believed their education could have been more effective.

The survey, which included over 4000 responses, showed that of teachers with less than 4 years’ experience, just 13 per cent rated their initial teacher education as ‘very good’.

Around 79 per cent said training to teach students with a disability was only ‘of some help’ or was ‘not helpful’. Similar strong concern was raised around training for involving parents and guardians, managing students with behavioural needs, and ensuring consistent and comparable assessments.

‘These findings provide significant cause for concern, and highlight the need for urgent action by the Turnbull Government to focus on initial teacher education, mentoring, and support for early-career teachers,’ AEU Deputy Federal President Maurie Mulheron said.

‘You can’t build a high-performing school system without needs-based funding that ensures all schools are properly resourced to 100 per cent of the Schooling Resource Standard (SRS) and students have access to a broad curriculum taught by fully qualified teachers.

‘This includes ensuring that initial teacher education is of the highest possible standard, and appropriate to the needs of the role,’ Mr Mulheron said.