NSW Premier Barry O'Farrell and Minister for Education Adrian Piccoli today announced one of the most comprehensive set of reforms to improve teaching quality ever undertaken in Australia.
Great Teaching, Inspired Learning is a detailed plan to lift the performance of the teaching profession in NSW and follows extensive consultation with parents, teachers, universities and other education experts.
"All the evidence tells us the quality of teaching is the single-most important influence on student performance," Mr O'Farrell said.
"We already have a world class teaching profession here in NSW but our performance against international standards tells us we can improve.
"Great teachers have the ability to inspire learning among their students – this should be the benchmark for every classroom in the state.
"We want to attract the best and brightest to our teaching ranks, assist their entry to the classroom as much as possible and provide ongoing professional development throughout their careers.
"In addition to these reforms we are increasing the number of teachers in our schools and have employed an additional 520 teachers since the election."
The key reforms contained in Great Teaching, Inspired Learning will:
- Raise the academic standards required to enter teaching degrees;
- Introduce a mandatory literacy and numeracy assessment that pre-service teachers must pass before acceptance into their final year teaching rounds;
- Undertake annual reviews of universities and publish the results;
- Make sure all new teachers have induction programs including additional support during the first year;
- Manage the performance of teachers in a more rigorous and effective way so that every teacher meets the national teaching standards and their own school-based performance plans;
- Make the processes to remove underperforming teachers more straightforward;
- Link teacher career pathways to the attainment of the national professional teaching standards; and
- Prepare our principals better through having rigorous formal professional learning that must be completed before they are appointed.
"The Great Teaching, Inspired Learning reforms are designed to lift the performance of every student in every class, with every teacher, in every school every day," Mr Piccoli said.
"Educators, parents, students and governments have struggled for decades with the question of how we can make sure the teachers in our classrooms are consistently world class.
"The feedback we received made it very clear that the education community in NSW believes there are changes we can make to improve the quality of teaching and learning in NSW schools.
"Teachers, principals, parents, and education experts have talked about making these changes for too long.
"Reform cannot be put off any longer – it is time for government, schooling authorities and universities to take action.
"We have listened to the experts and considered the research. These reforms will raise the status of the profession and enable us to lift the performance of all students in all schools across NSW.
"These reforms are broad and deep; we are raising the bar for school leavers to get into university to undertake teacher training, raising the bar to get out of university and into classrooms, raising the bar on the support and mentoring our beginning teachers receive, and raising the bar to require all teachers to meet the Institute of Teachers standards.
"This blueprint sets the direction for reform in all NSW schools. I am committed to working with the government and non-government school authorities, teacher education providers and education stakeholders to deliver these reforms for teachers and students in NSW," Mr Piccoli said.
Further information is available on the NSW Public Schools website.