The Turnbull Government, with the support of states and territories, has launched a national review of teacher registration to help tackle key inconsistencies in systems across the country.

Minister for Education and Training Simon Birmingham said the National Review of Teacher Registration, which had been endorsed by state and territory ministers at the Education Council, would focus on the registration of early childhood teachers, vocational education and training teachers in schools as well as how new teachers transition into the profession.

“We want to ensure we have teacher registration systems that are high-quality and more consistent and that complement our existing reforms to improve the initial training of teachers,” Minister Birmingham said. “

“There’s inconsistency in our teacher registration systems across the country and we need to understand what’s working and what’s not in key areas to set a bar everyone can work towards.

“Education ministers across the country have agreed to look at potential key changes to registration practices including how early childhood educators and vocational education and training teachers fit into the picture.

“It’s important registration practices and standards for early childhood teachers are considered given the impact they have on some of our littlest learners.

“Australia has fantastic teachers across every part of the education system and parents rightly expect teachers to have the right skills and training before they step into classrooms. We’ve been working hard since our Teacher Education Ministerial Advisory Group to deliver reforms to boost the quality of teaching in Australia.   

“Those reforms include tests to ensure new teachers have literacy and numeracy skills in the top 30 per cent of the adult population, new accreditation standards for teacher training courses and a need for training organisations to demonstrate their graduates have the knowledge and experience to be successful educators.

“As our teacher education reforms flow through, we also want this Review to look at how teaching graduates make the transition to working in schools. Too many teachers report how they struggled making the jump from university to working in a school and so the registration process should ensure classroom proficiency is attained.”

Minister Birmingham said one of the Review’s aims was to explore how school systems could make it easier for people with other real-world skills to become teachers.

“Having a former tradie or nurse as a teacher can bring more perspective to a classroom and can be especially beneficial for the teaching of vocational and trade skills,” Minister Birmingham said.

“Teachers who have been working in other jobs can be a great way for students to learn about life after school and the different options open to them.

“Ensuring effective pathways for tradies to teach their trades in schools could really boost the delivery of vocational education.

“Those different life experiences could shake up Australia’s schools and add more depth to the talented teachers we have.

“Students need to learn from people from all walks of life and if a talented professional wants to change careers to become a teacher, we should be working to ensure that transition is as straightforward as possible.”

Minister Birmingham said the Australian Institute of Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL) would facilitate the review that was being led by Mr Chris Wardlaw PSM, currently Chair of the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority and Deputy Chair of AITSL as well as a panel of eight education experts.

  • Ms Pitsa Binnion – Principal, McKinnon Secondary College Victoria
  • Mr Marino D’Ortenzio, Assistant Principal at Epping Secondary College and Honorary Deputy Vice President (Secondary), AEU Victorian Branch
  • Dr Peter Lind – Registrar of the Teachers Registration Board of South Australia
  • Mr Anthony McClaran – CEO Tertiary Education Quality Standards Agency
  • Emeritus Professor Wendy Patton – Emeritus Professor Queensland University of Technology and Chair Queensland College of Teachers
  • Ms Gabrielle Sinclair – CEO Australian Children’s Education and Care Quality Authority
  • Ms Christine Wilkinson – Teacher St Joseph’s Catholic College East Gosford NSW and President of Independent Education Union of Australia NSW/ACT Branch
  • Mr Dennis Yarrington – President Australian Primary Principals Association
  • One panel member yet to be announced, who will be a practising principal from an Independent school.

Minister Birmingham said he looked forward to constructive suggestions about Australia’s teacher registration systems.

“This is an opportunity to ensure Australia’s teacher registration systems are working as effectively as possible.”

Further information about the Review can be found here.

The Australian Professional Standards for Teachers can be found here.