The Teacher Education Ministerial Advisory Group (TEMAG) Report into teacher education in Australia was released last week by the Federal Minister for Education and Training, Christopher Pyne. Haileybury had direct input into the report through the work of Deputy Principal John Fleming who is a member of TEMAG.
Numerous studies have clearly demonstrated that after socio-economic factors teacher quality is the single most important factor in good academic outcomes for students. The quality of candidates going into teacher education courses and the quality of the training they get are two very important factors in producing a high-quality teacher pool.
On the first matter, the Federal Government missed an opportunity by not including entrance standards as a part of the TEMAG review. But with regard to the quality of training, the Federal Government's acceptance of nearly all of the TEMAG recommendations reflects a welcome focus on improving teacher quality across the country.
There is a difference in the way that most people become primary teachers or secondary teachers. Most primary teaching courses involve young people going straight into an education degree. In contrast, most secondary teachers have already completed an undergraduate tertiary degree before taking on post graduate teacher education. Much of what is written about in terms of low entry standards applies to primary teaching courses, and in primary education, Australia performs less well against international measures than we do in secondary.
Some of the key recommendations accepted by the government are:
- More rigorous accreditation for the 48 teacher training courses in Australia including proving that their programs are evidence based
- Exit tests for graduate teachers to show they are in the top 30% for literacy and numeracy in the country
- Primary school teachers to have a specialty area (mathematics, science or languages).
Victoria is particularly well served in teacher education by The University of Melbourne and Monash University. The QS World University Rankings by subject have The University of Melbourne's education faculty at number two in the world and Monash's education faculty at number six. Haileybury is pleased to have strong relationships with both education faculties and nearly our entire graduate teacher intake each year is taken from these two.
The TEMAG Report is a good one and the Federal Government is to be congratulated on supporting the findings. Haileybury looks forward to continuing to work with teacher education institutions to raise the standard and the profile of the teaching profession.
One factor in Haileybury's outstanding VCE results is that the School encourages Senior School teachers to be heavily involved in the exam setting and examination process.
In 2014, 63 Haileybury teachers assessed the VCE exams in 30 different subjects. The insight gained from this work develops directly into improvements in the classroom and strong academic outcomes for students.