National Review of Teacher Registration
AITSL has produced its national review of teacher registration at the request of the COAG Education Ministers. It can be accessed here
There are 17 recommendations which at first blush may appear innocuous, but when unpacked can have deep ramifications for the profession. The IEU will be making further considered responses to this review.
Whilst recognising the capacity for harmonisation of elements of teacher registration, the lEU notes that individual jurisdictions need to continue to control the mechanisms and processes that underpin their work; mechanisms that have been developed, consulted and agreed over a considerable period of time. It is in this context that the IEU believes that the next steps in relation to further harmonisation should occur. Namely, that individual jurisdictions need to undertake detailed a deliberative consultations with their own stakeholders in relation to the draft recommendations.
These deliberations must ensure that the teacher unions are represented on, and have oversight of the jurisdictional processes, as the voice of the teaching profession. In most jurisdictions such a genuinely consultative process has been the norm and has been evidenced by processes that go well beyond a single, one-off presentation and discussion of recommendations, and instead involve processes of ongoing refinement of propositions.
The IEUA opposes any move that would remove the flexibility and practicality of mechanisms and processes already negotiated and operational at the jurisdictional level.
In relation to the recommendations arising from the Royal Commission, the IEU believes that it is appropriate that existing ‘working with children/vulnerable persons’ checks undertaken by any jurisdiction should be assessed against the threshold requirements of the Royal Commission recommendations. These checks, revised if necessary, should then provide for the equivalence of a national clearance certificate for ‘working with children/vulnerable persons’.
The appropriate response to the Royal Commission findings and recommendations should not be confused with nor conflated with the work of teacher registration authorities with respect to teacher registration, reregistration and related fitness and propriety matters.
The capacity to realize and the potential success of further harmonization of the teacher registration processes in Australia will only be achieved by the capacity that exists at a jurisdictional level for registration boards/colleges/institutes to properly consult and engage with teachers and their unions on the deliberations and recommendations of the expert panel.
That said, the IEU rejects any recommendation that conflates limited authority to teach (for reasons including teacher shortage) with the inappropriate ‘push’ by some policy-makers to create lower threshold alternative pathways into the teaching profession.
Further, the IEU calls on authorities, including governments and registration bodies to require formal commitments by employers (individual and systemic) to genuinely commit to the principles for quality teacher induction by requiring employers to formally state the structure, nature and resourcing of their teacher induction (and mentoring) plan as part of the expectations by governments for the receipt of funding.
Given the significant consultative work required within jurisdictions to consider the recommendations of the expert panel, the lEU believes that it would be inappropriate at this time for Education Ministers to accept the recommendations.