National Report on Schooling Australia 2012

National initiatives and achievements

2.2 Supporting quality teaching and school leadership

Australian governments are committed to working with all school sectors to attract, develop, support and retain a high-quality teaching and school leadership workforce in Australian schools (Melbourne Declaration 2008).

Among the key strategies in this area agreed by Education Ministers in 2008 were the creation of new professional standards, a framework to guide professional learning for teachers and school leaders, and national consistency in the registration of teachers. Improved pay dispersion to reward quality teaching, improved in-school support for teachers and leaders – particularly in disadvantaged Indigenous, rural/remote and hard-to-staff schools – and joint engagement with higher education to provide improved pre-service teacher education were other agreed strategies.

Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership

In 2012 the Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL) continued to provide national leadership for the Commonwealth, state and territory governments in promoting excellence in the profession of teaching and school leadership. AITSL has responsibility for professional standards and for fostering professional development for teachers and school leaders. AITSL works collaboratively across jurisdictions and engages with key professional bodies.

All states and territories will commence implementation of the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers from 2013. The Australian Professional Standard for Principals complements the professional standards for teachers and is supported by a clearinghouse for school leaders which provides an interactive research repository and online tools. Both standards support the commitment in the Melbourne Declaration and align with aspects of the National Partnership on Improving Teacher Quality.

In 2012, AITSL conducted the second annual Australian Awards for Outstanding Teaching and School Leadership.

Further information on the work AITSL is undertaking to support the teaching profession is available on the AITSL website.

National Partnership Agreement on Improving Teacher Quality

Under the Smarter Schools – Improving Teacher Quality National Partnership, state and territory governments have implemented a range of reforms to attract, train, place, develop and retain quality teachers and leaders in schools and classrooms.

In May 2012, state and territory governments received more than $170 million in reward payments under this partnership for their progress in implementing initiatives to lift teacher quality, provide professional development opportunities and attract high-quality candidates into the profession.

Other key priorities in 2012 included the Rewards for Great Teachers National Partnership and initiatives relating to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education Action Plan (2010–2014).

The Rewards for Great Teachers National Partnership (2011–12 to 2018–19) was established in 2012 to implement the Australian Teacher Performance and Development Framework and a nationally consistent assessment and certification process for teachers performing at the higher levels of the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers.

The More Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Teachers Initiative is aimed at structural reform of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander school workforce. Teach Remote supports strategies to develop a quality teacher workforce in remote communities including a teacher incentive package, development of a national leadership capacity and pre-service and in- service programs for teachers working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander English as an Additional Language/Dialect students.