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High standards for teachers in NSW public system

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Teaching graduates will need a credit average in their degree and must prove superior cognitive and emotional intelligence in a psychometric test administered by the Department of Education to teach in NSW public schools.

The standards will apply to students beginning their education degree in 2019 and will not affect existing teachers.

Education Minister Rob Stokes said the policy was aimed at ensuring that the NSW Department of Education only hired the best teachers possible amid a boom in the number of graduates seeking employment.

"Every parent wants the very best teacher for their child, and every teacher wants to work with colleagues who are passionate, gifted, capable and really committed to their jobs."

They will have to demonstrate their commitment to yet-to-be-defined values of public education (such as inclusivity and diversity) in a behavioural interview, and achieve at least a credit average in their degree.

Teaching students that did an online-only course will not be given preference, but there will be exceptions for students with no other option. There are fears some students are bypassing a 2016 rule requiring those entering education degrees in NSW to achieve a band five in three HSC subjects by doing an interstate course online.

"There would be a lot of people who would remember teachers that might have done well academically but simply were not a good fit for teaching." he said. "This is one way we can make sure we get the right people in the profession."

"The market is literally flooded with supply of teaching graduates," said Mr Stokes. "Only five or six per cent of graduates could possibly be offered jobs in the NSW Education Department.

"If there is less quality control on the way in, there needs to be more quality control on the way out. This is also a clear message to universities that we accept it's up to you to train students, but our message is 'we will take the best you've got'."

The NSW Teachers Federation President Maurie Mulheron welcomed the new standards, citing concerns that some high school graduates were accepted into teaching with an ATAR of 50.

"Not everyone who wants to be a teacher can be a teacher," Mulheron said.


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