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Educational red tape

Posted by Garry Collins, ETAQ Immediate Past President on 9 May 2015

The Courier-Mail of Thursday 7 May 2015 carried, on Page 13, a story that reported that $17 million was being provided to AITSL (Australian Institute of Teaching and School Leadership) to fund:

  • mandatory literacy and numeracy tests for teaching graduates
  • an overhaul of practice teaching requirements
  • development of subject specialisations for primary teacher graduates
  • audits of teacher education programs

The following letter was submitted in response with the hope that it would appear on Saturday 9 May. Unfortunately, it was not selected for publication.

Spending education funds wisely

You report that the side of politics that claims to believe in small government is to spend $17 million on new bureaucratic measures supposedly aimed at improving teacher quality ("Unis facing testing for teachers", May 7).

Most beginning teachers already start work in schools on short-term contracts and all have to spend at least a year on probation before being eligible for full registration. This provides adequate opportunities for any who are not up to standard to be weeded out. With the sort of costly and unnecessary measures reported, it is difficult to see the federal government as serious about balancing the budget.

Minister Pyne is quoted as saying that it's not possible to provide first-rate education without first-rate teachers. That doesn't mean that every idea about improving school education is a good one.

It could equally be said that it's not possible to have first-rate government without first-rate politicians. Unfortunately, it seems that the country has to make do with the likes of Mr Pyne instead.

Author: Garry Collins, ETAQ Immediate Past President
About: Garry Collins was ETAQ President from mid July 2005 to 15 March 2014. He taught English in state high schools for around 35 years and now tutors in English curriculum courses in the School of Education at the University of Queensland.
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