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Quality student teachers point to a bright future for education

A growing number of students are starting and completing postgraduate courses to qualify as new teachers according to a new report from the Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL).

More than 18,000 students graduated from initial teacher education (ITE) in 2015. Over 7000 of these students achieved a postgraduate qualification, which is 3000 more postgraduate-qualified teachers entering the system, compared with a decade ago.

“The teaching workforce is changing,” states AITSL CEO Lisa Rodgers.

“We have great teachi­ng in Australian schools and the latest statistics show that new teachers have higher levels of education than ever before.

“ITE is the foundation for a successful teaching career. Australia has outstanding graduates coming into its schools and we are working to further improve and support new teachers.”

Under reforms proposed by the Teacher Education Ministerial Advisory Group (TEMAG), new graduates are selected on academic and non-academic capabilities, they will need to be in the top 30 per cent of the population for literacy and numeracy, and will need to meet the Graduate Australian Professional Standards for Teachers.

Among other notable results from this year’s report is that more ITE students are positive about the support available to them in their programs, and the proportion of ITE students studying online has increased sharply.

Rodgers added: “Online learning extends the opportunity for students from regional and rural areas to access higher education. So it’s exciting to see the growing take-up of online ITE programs, which in turn helps develop a workforce for locations where it’s traditionally more difficult to attract teachers.”

The findings and more are detailed in the Initial Teacher Education: Data Report 2017. This fifth edition of the report brings together all of the latest available data about ITE applicants, students and graduates in Australia into a single resource. Interactive details are here.

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