Review of Teacher Education in NSW - Terms of reference  

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The next steps
The Ramsey Review

Quality Matters: the next steps

The review of teacher education in NSW provides an opportunity for teachers and the community to help create the conditions for improving the professional standing and quality of teaching in our schools and colleges.

The Minister for Education and Training in NSW, John Aquilina, has made it clear that teacher quality is a priority for the Government. Following the release of Dr Gregor Ramsey’s review report, Quality Matters in November 2000, the Minister set up a process of consultation to inform the Government’s response to Dr Ramsey’s recommendations, which are available in chapter twelve of the Report.

Having revieved initial advice and written submissions, along with information gathered in an extensive consultation process, the Taskforceis now involved in the negotiation of options and possible directions, and will provide advice to the Minister by late August or early September. An announcement of government decisions in a White Paper will be made by October.

The Ramsey report has been widely distributed. Copies have been sent to all schools, colleges and universities in NSW; and to educational and community organisations. It is also available on the Department’s website.

The report’s findings and recommendations cover a range of issues:

Teachers’ professional standards

One key finding of the Ramsey review is that teacher quality is not a priority for universities and employers. The review also concluded that schools, employers and universities were disconnected from each other in the provision of initial teacher education and ongoing professional development; and that, in the absence of teachers’ self-regulation of their own standards of practice, teaching cannot yet be called a profession.

Ramsey recommends that the Government support the establishment of a professional body for teachers – an Institute of Teachers – with responsibilities for:

  • Developing explicit standards of practice for teachers
  • Accrediting teachers against these standards, at three levels
  • Endorsing the quality of teacher education and professional development programs
  • Accrediting schools for the provision of teacher education
  • Advising the Government on teacher quality issues.

Recommendations 1-6 and 14-16 relate to these issues, on which the Minister has established a small taskforce of teachers, educators, academics and officials to consult and advise. Members of the taskforce are listed here. Representatives of professional and community organisations will support the taskforce through forums and other discussions.

Teacher Supply

The Review found that employers and teachers are currently excluded from decisions about the funding and planning of the supply of teachers. It recommends that the State Government establish a Joint Committee on Teacher Supply to develop improved planning and funding arrangements. It also proposes more targeted scholarships and paid training opportunities to attract talented young people into teaching.

These arrangements are intended to ensure an adequate supply of quality teachers for schools across the State. Recommendations 8-11 refer to these issues.

Australian Graduate School of Teaching

Evidence gathered by the Review noted that teachers generally give low priority to postgraduate study. The report proposes the establishment of a Graduate School of Teaching to deliver high quality programs for teachers and potential leaders.

Recommendation 7 refers to this proposal, which will be negotiated with NSW universities and with the Commonwealth Government.

Quality teachers in public schools

The Review noted issues around the recruitment of teachers in the public school system and proposed a number of changes to current practices, as set out in Recommendations 12 and 13. These changes are intended to enable the public school system to compete on an equal basis with non-government schools for the best teachers and school leaders.

The Department of Education and Training will negotiate with the NSW Teachers Federation, in consultation with relevant organisations, on these matters.

Consultations and submissions

We need your advice on the proposals in the Ramsey report. It would be helpful if any written submissions were forwarded to the secretariat by 18 May 2001.

Contact the executive officer, Bruce Mowbray, if you would like to do this, or if you need further information. Bruce can be contacted on:

Mr Bruce Mowbray
Executive Officer
Teacher Education Review
Level 3, 35 Bridge Street
Sydney NSW 2000

Telephone: (02) 9561 8139
Fax: (02) 9561 8406


J F McMorrow
Teacher Education Review Taskforce



Teachers’ professional standards

Recommendations and policy directions concerned with the establishment of a professional accreditation framework managed through the proposed Institute of Teachers.

Recommendation 1
That the New South Wales Government establish an Institute of Teachers whose primary purpose is to enhance the level of professionalism of teachers and teaching. The Institute to be responsible for:
- the establishment and promulgation of performance standards at designated stages of development as a teacher, together with standards of ethical practice for teachers
- the accreditation and disaccreditation of teachers against such performance and ethical standards, determining related requirements for maintaining and extending or removing such accreditation, and establishing and maintaining records of teachers so accredited
- endorsing and disendorsing courses and programs of teacher education, both initial and continuing
- accrediting those schools and other institutions involved in the provision of professional experience in initial and continuing teacher education
- advising universities on ways to strengthen postgraduate programs and research in pedagogy and teacher education
- advising the Government and the community on issues relating to teacher quality and professional standards, and on the qualifications, profile and experiences of teachers employed throughout the state
- promoting the position and standing of the profession on professional matters
- communicating on professional issues among members
- determining, in cooperation with the Government and in discussion with parties involved in the profession, the fees and other means of providing the resources to be applied in fulfilling its responsibilities
- advising on areas where research is needed, particularly in pedagogy to advance the skill level of teachers in the State.(page 147)

Recommendation 2
That in the development of professional teaching standards the Institute of Teachers :
- establish, articulate and promulgate a clear purpose for such standards
- establish effective processes for the development, validation and assessment of such standards based on appropriate models of teacher development
- make the standards simple ,transparent and easily accessible to all teachers
- consult widely to ensure ownership of and commitment to such standards by teachers
- determine requirements for teachers to maintain their accreditation or to be disaccredited if they do not fulfill the required performance and ethical standards. (page 158)

Recommendation 3
That the standards established by the Institute of Teachers be the basis for a staged accreditation system for practicing teachers at three levels:
- professional competence (Accredited Practicing Teacher 1)
- professional specialisation (Accredited Practicing Teacher 2)
- professional leadership (Accredited Practicing Teacher 3).(page 158)

Recommendation 4
That the Institute of Teachers:
- establish standards and processes for the endorsement of programs of initial teacher education to prepare teachers for New South Wales schools, setting out the outcomes expected of graduates in subject content, pedagogy and ethics
- establish standards for the provision of the professional experience component of initial teacher education, including standards for the supervision and mentoring of student teachers
- in the assessment process, take account of the priority given by the university to teacher education
- develop processes and criteria for reporting on the employment and professional outcomes of graduates from courses of teacher education in New South Wales and elsewhere develop criteria for certifying and recording individual student completions of endorsed programs. (page 161)

Recommendation 5
That the Institute of Teachers establish processes and procedures for the endorsement of programs of continuing teacher education, consistent with the stages of the accreditation system for individual teachers. (page 162)

Recommendation 6
That the New South Wales Government require the Institute of Teachers to:
- work with universities and relevant school systems to develop jointly criteria, processes and procedures for the accreditation of those schools providing professional experience for student teachers
- advise on the possible merit of, and options for, the eventual accreditation of all schools where quality educational practices can be certified
- maintain jointly with the universities a registry of accredited schools.(page 164

Recommendation 14
That the Institute of Teachers coordinate consultation among universities, the TAFE system and employers to:
- define their respective responsibilities in the induction of teachers
- expand, as a priority, current professional development initiatives which equip educational leaders and mentors with the knowledge and skills to fulfill their roles in the induction of new members
- allow new teachers after a period of satisfactory performance to be accredited at Level 1 in the system of teacher accreditation.(page 208)

Recommendation 15
That the Institute of Teachers establish professional standards for advanced accreditation in digital information and communications technology to:
- increase the knowledge and skill base of the profession in information and communications technology
- enable teachers to demonstrate that they have achieved advanced standards in information and communications technology
- strengthen interaction between professional development in information and communications technology and pedagogy at the classroom level. (page 208)

Recommendation 16
That the Institute of Teachers establish professional standards for advanced accreditation in behaviour management to:
- increase the knowledge and skill base of the profession in the management of student behaviour and the creation of positive learning environments
- enable teachers to demonstrate that they have achieved advanced standards in behaviour management, including specific areas such as the management of students with behaviour disorders and drug education.(page 209)

Teacher Supply

Recommendations and policy concerned with the supply of quality teachers to schools

Recommendation 8
That a Joint Committee on Teacher Supply be established representing the New South Wales Government, the Commonwealth Government, the employers, the universities and the Institute of Teachers to: develop improved funding arrangements for teacher education in New South Wales advise the New South Wales Government and the Commonwealth Government on the most appropriate allocation of government resources to ensure the adequate supply of quality teachers in the State. (page 188)

Recommendation 9
That the Joint Committee on Teacher Supply, in consultation with the Institute of Teachers and employers: determine the mechanism whereby the State 's requirements for the supply of quality teachers can be submitted to open tender from potential providers of teacher education courses institute a range of scholarships and paid training opportunities to attract talented young people to teaching, aimed at supporting those teaching subjects and teaching localities where supply problems are apparent seek advice from the universities on the design of specific courses for scholarship holders.(page 188)

Recommendation 10
That the Joint Committee on Teacher Supply work with universities, employers, the TAFE system and the Institute of Teachers to increase the diversity of pathways for entry into teaching, giving priority to strategies which emphasise high quality professional experience in the workplace. (page 199)

Recommendation 11
That the New South Wales Government present the case for the current Taskforce on Teacher Preparation and Recruitment established by the Council of Ministers (MCEETYA), to be replaced by a working group acting for governments, employers and universities to establish an agreed basis for the development of medium and long-term projections of national teacher supply and demand. (page 201)

Australian Graduate School of Teaching

Recommendations and policy directions primarily of concern to universities

Recommendation 7
That a taskforce be formed to provide advice to the Government on the structures, partnerships and resources required to establish an Australian Graduate School of Teaching in New South Wales. The taskforce should include nominees of the Institute of Teachers, employers of teachers and vice-chancellors of universities interested in the proposal.(page 165)

Quality teachers in public schools

Recommendations and policy directions concerned with employment in government schools

Recommendation 12
That the New South Wales Department of Education and Training:
- abolish the waiting lists of people wishing to be employed
- develop and implement a policy which selects the best available applicant for any vacancy at the time
- differentiate between applicants for appointment to particular positions on the basis of qualifications and experience and the extent to which they match the requirements of the position
- give increased priority to: - succession planning, and the open national advertising of educational leadership positions.(page 202)

Recommendation 13
That the Teaching Services Act 1980 be reviewed by the Government with a view to amending those provisions affecting the employment of teachers by the Department of Education and Training to:
- enable the recommendations of this Review to be implemented effectively
- bring the Act up-to-date
- allow for reasonable change without requiring further amendment.(page 203) Recommendation

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