Minister urges cap on student teachers

Minister urges cap on student teachers

The NSW Education Minister has warned the Federal Government that an oversupply of underperforming teaching graduates is hurting the quality of education in classrooms.

In a statement, NSW Education Minister, Adrian Piccoli, said a cap on the number of student teachers was necessary to address this issue.  

“Where there are a limited number of places or jobs available, they should be capping places,” he said.
“Why are we training all of these people when the majority of them won't get jobs?”

The Minister’s comments follow reports that student teachers in NSW will have to sit army-style personality tests from next year in a move designed to assess teacher quality.

The NSW Board of Studies (BOSTES) unveiled the initiative which will be carried out at all universities across the state.

Under a recent pilot test designed to evaluate basic literacy and numeracy skills, almost one in 10 trainee teachers failed to pass, a result Federal Education Minister, Simon Birmingham said was concerning.

A prospective cap on university places for teaching graduates would see ATAR minimum entry cut-offs put in place, as students would have to compete for a limited number of taxpayer funded enrolments.

Last month, Piccoli said universities were using students as “cash cows” under the demand-driven system introduced by the Gillard Government in 2012.
“I'm not sure I want someone teaching my children who got an ATAR of 35,” Piccoli said.
“It's the same in nursing, there are only a certain number of places in hospitals”.

HAVE YOUR SAY: Would a cap on student teaching graduates improve the quality of education in our classrooms?