Release: More teaching places at universities welcomed

24 October 2022

Independent Schools Australia (ISA) welcomes the Australian Government’s announcement of more university places for students under-represented at Australian universities including those from poorer backgrounds, Indigenous Australians and students from rural and remote Australia to become educators.

The announcement of 4,036 places in education (of which 1,469 are for early-education teachers) is good news for school leavers from disadvantaged backgrounds and locations outside metropolitan area who may not otherwise have access to teacher training.

ISA Chief Executive Officer, Ms Margery Evans said today, “This announcement indicates the Government understands the dire need for more teachers in Australia – and the areas that are in greatest need of more teachers.

“The new places may encourage more school leavers from disadvantaged backgrounds to consider teaching as a career,” she said.

And while the provision of additional places for under-represented students is welcome, ISA also says it is important to keep this announcement in perspective.

“These extra places – as welcome as they are – will not fundamentally change the teacher workforce overall.

“To put this commitment in perspective, Australia has a teacher workforce of 303,539 (full-time equivalent), according to 2021 data.

“The additional 2,567 places for school educators will increase the overall workforce by less than one per cent, and that will be in four years’ time,” Ms Evans said.

Around 18.6 per cent of teachers in Australia are employed by Independent schools. This amounts to about 54,925 full-time equivalent teachers working in a range of Independent schools.

“Independent schools are diverse in nature and location and the sector includes 140 boarding schools and many schools that primarily enrol Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students, meeting an important need in Australia.

“While this commitment is important, there is much more to do to address Australia’s teacher workforce deficit,” Ms Evans said.

For a snapshot of Independent school data, go to: https://isa.edu.au/documents/snapshot/

ISA is the peak body representing 1,187 Independent schools with 667,259 enrolled students.

24 October 2022