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Bar raised for student teachers

Monday, 5th January, 2015

NSW school leavers wanting to become teachers in 2016 will need higher marks to gain entry after a university study found that many undergraduates could not spell.

State Minister for Education Adrian Piccoli said the reports of teachers failing basic literacy skills tests were concerning and the government had taken action to improve the quality of graduates.

“This year school leavers in NSW will need three band five HSC results, one of which must be in English, to be offered a place in a teaching degree in NSW,” Mr Piccoli said. 

“Year 12 students in NSW who started their HSC assessments in Term 4 last year are the first cohort who will need to meet stronger academic standards to enter a teaching degree. For 2015 university entrants, existing requirements will still apply.”

But President of the Barrier Teachers’ Association, Maureen Clark, said there was more to providing quality teachers than a good HSC result.

“Once trained, Mr Piccoli will need to ensure schools have funding for ongoing, relevant, professional development to enable teachers to meet set performance standards.

“The Barrier Teachers Association has always supported the requirement for fully trained and highly qualified teachers to maintain quality teaching in our schools. 

“Mr Piccoli should realise, however, that HSC results are not the only factors that will affect the success or otherwise of his ideal to attract and retain a quality teaching workforce. 

“Now, more than ever, student teachers need to display an aptitude for teaching and certain resilience, particularly in today’s classrooms where dysfunctional behaviour and mental illness are increasing among young people. 

“Increased support for students and teachers in classrooms is a high priority.”

Mrs Clark also said teaching might not be as appealing as other better-paid careers.

“Additionally, wages for teachers have been suppressed for a number of years,” she said. 

“It is entirely likely that students with higher HSC results will gravitate toward higher paying professions.”

-BDT/AAP

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