Bill's Media Releases

Teacher Quality foundations overwhelmingly achieved


Minister for Education Bill Shorten today welcomed the COAG Reform Council Report on the Teacher Quality National Partnership released today.

Research has consistently shown that there is nothing which affects student performance more than the quality of the teacher standing in front of the class. 

The Report released today indicates that 94 per cent of the Teacher Quality milestones have been achieved by states and territories to date. A further 5 per cent are expected to be met by the end of the year.

Most Australians remember the teacher that had the biggest impact on them at school for the rest of their life. 

The Labor Government’s historic education reform program was established by the then Minister for Education, Julia Gillard through a number of National Partnerships and is now continuing through Labor’s Better Schools Plan.

The Teacher Quality National Partnership, for the first time in Australia’s history, set ambitious but achievable goals for each state and territory, building the strong foundations needed for improved learning outcomes. 

Of the 122 milestones set out in the Teacher Quality National Partnership, 115 have been met by the states and territories. While the Report notes that some of these could have been more ambitious they have delivered important foundations on which further reforms can be achieved.

Six milestones (four in Victoria and two in Western Australia) have been partially progressed and expected to be met by the end of the year while one milestone in WA relating to the employment of Aboriginal and Islander Education Officers is not expected to be met. 

Overall, the report demonstrates Australia is making good progress when it comes to improving teacher quality which experts agree is the biggest determinant in student achievement. However there is much more we can do. This is why Quality Teaching is one of the five key reform areas of the Better Schools Plan.

Under the Better Schools Plan, the Australian Government will work with participating states and territories and non-government schools to improve the quality of initial teacher education and induction, as well as ensuring teachers get the professional development, feedback and support they need to be the best they can be. 

This is why the Victorian, Queensland, Western Australian and Northern Territory governments need to work with the Australian Government and sign up to the Better Schools Plan. By doing so, schools, teachers, parents and the community can be confident there will be a great teacher in front of every classroom and that every teacher will get the support they need.

The $550 million Smarter Schools National Partnership on Improving Teacher Quality was a revolutionary agreement between the Australian Government and states and territories. It commenced on 1 January 2009 and will conclude at the end of this year.

The National Partnership has also delivered a number of national measures to drive improvements in teacher quality including:

1.    Australian Professional Standards for Teachers

2.    Australian Professional Standard for Principals

3.    National approach to the Certification of Highly Accomplished and Lead Teachers

4.    Nationally consistent approach to teacher registration

5.    A national approach to accreditation of initial teacher education programs

6.    Professional Development and support for Principals.

These reforms have been delivered through the Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL). 

The 2012 Report and final reward payments represent the finalisation of the 5 year Teacher Quality National Partnership.

Final reward payments, worth up to $175 million, that will flow to states and territories are likely to be finalised in late July this year.

These reforms will make a real difference to student outcomes in each and every Australian school.

The Report is available here

MEDIA CONTACT: Kimberley Gardiner 0427 138 106