Media release: Independent school peak welcomes Teacher Education Expert Panel report

7 July 2023

Independent Schools Australia (ISA) has commended the Teacher Education Expert Panel on the release of the Strong Beginnings report today.

ISA Chief Executive Officer, Mr Graham Catt said, “The recommended measures will go a long way towards better preparing early-career teachers for the classroom.”

Strengthening initial teacher education (ITE) programs to deliver confident, effective, classroom ready graduates is essential for all schools to attract future teachers and improve teacher retention rates.

ISA supports actions and measures that will ensure national consistency across ITE programs, identify key core content, and strengthen oversight and governance to ensure quality assurance in the delivery of ITE programs.

Independent schools value their strong relationships with university ITE providers and support these providers to ensure ITE students have positive practical experiences.

ISA agrees that a more structured, whole-of-system approach and the development of national guidelines for the delivery of high-quality practicums will provide more support for both ITE students and supervising teachers.

Strengthening initial teacher education programs should focus on developing teachers’ knowledge and understanding of evidence-based pedagogical approaches, as well as equipping teachers with practical, classroom management practices and skills.

ISA also supports the recommendation for employment-based and accelerated pathways to attract more ITE students and provide them with more high-quality in-school experience.

“Effective strategies to improve the attraction of teachers to the workforce are urgently needed.

“This report gives us important insights from across the education sector,” Mr Catt said.

ISA is the national peak body representing 1,209 Independent schools with 688,638 enrolled students (full time equivalent), accounting for approximately 17 per cent of Australian school enrolments and a workforce of 115,090 people.