On Monday, a new report outlined 17 recommendations to strengthen teacher registration across Australia.
The report – titled: ‘One Teaching Profession: Teacher Registration in Australia’ – was launched by the Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL) last Wednesday following a national review that began in February this year.
The recommendations include streamlining processes so that teachers can seamlessly transfer across the nation, bringing all early childhood teachers into teacher registration, and making stronger links between teacher registration and the different career stages of the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers.
Below, The Educator speaks to AITSL deputy chair, Professor Chris Wardlaw, to find out more.
TE: I understand that the review’s recommendations will support the professional growth and recognition of teachers. Can you tell us more about how this will be achieved?
CW: Registration is already linked to professional growth as it is for most professions, including the need for teachers to record professional learning. However the Panel noted professional learning is sometimes done to simply tick a box. To better support teaching quality, the Panel believes we should be looking at the outcomes of a teacher’s learning, not just the fact they undertook learning. Another important recommendation is for a teacher’s Highly Accomplished or Lead status to be captured in registration. Embedding the higher career stages of the Australian Professional Standards of Teachers [Teacher Standards] within the registration framework means greater professional recognition of teachers performing at this level, and it should raise the status of teaching more broadly.
TE: The amount of administrative ‘red tape’ has long been a thorn in the side of school leaders, so a reduction in this workload will surely be welcomed by the profession. What can principals expect in terms of how and when this assistance be provided?
CW: The Panel found that the biggest reductions in red tape are made when registration processes also form part of the requirements of a teacher’s everyday practice. This can significantly reduce duplication. There is already good practice in many schools and sectors illustrating this way of embedding these processes for teachers and school leaders.
TE: Streamlining the teacher registration process is clearly a critical part of the overall review. Can you tell us more about the issue of ‘mutual recognition’ and how this part of the review and recommendations addresses this?
CW: The Panel heard about the issues some teachers face when moving interstate or trying to work in more than one jurisdiction. The profession is increasingly mobile and the recommendations call for simplifying the process for teachers wanting their registration recognised in another jurisdiction – through mutual recognition. This involves aligning the processes used by the states and territories, and adopting better information sharing practices.
TE: Is there anything further you would like to add that might be relevant to K-12 school leaders in the context of the report?
CW: The Expert Panel has made 17 recommendations to strengthen the teacher registration system for all Australian children and students and ensure only people who meet standards of quality and suitability can be teachers. One of the Review’s highlights was the realisation of how well the Teacher Standards are embedded across Australia. The role of a quality induction for early career teachers was also highlighted in the report, with the Panel stressing the importance of teacher employers ensuring that this occurs through the training and support of mentors and leaders.