The first step to achieving a quality education, which is so critical for the future of young Australians and our nation, is to lift the quality, professionalisation and status of the teaching profession.
Literacy and Numeracy Test for Initial Teacher Education Students
Prior to graduation, all initial teacher education students are expected to sit the Literacy and Numeracy Test for Initial Teacher Education Students (the test) to demonstrate that they have been assessed as being in the top 30 per cent of the adult population for personal literacy and numeracy. The test is an online assessment that examines aspects of an individual’s personal literacy and numeracy skills.
The requirement that all initial teacher education students possess personal literacy and numeracy skills in the top 30 per cent of the adult population has been in place since 2011 when the Accreditation of initial teacher education programs in Australia: Standards and Procedures were agreed. In 2015 all education ministers agreed that from 1 July 2016 the test would be used as the means to demonstrate students have achieved this standard.
Any initial teacher education student undertaking a qualification that enables them to gain registration to teach in a school setting is expected to meet the standard of the test prior to graduation. Some states and territories have also made a successful result in the test a requirement for registration or employment as a teacher.
The test is comprised of two components, a literacy component and a numeracy component. Each component of the test consists of 65 questions, for a total of 130 test questions. Further information is available about the skills assessed by the test. Students are allowed up to three opportunities to demonstrate that they meet the standard in each component (literacy and numeracy) of the test.
The Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER) is the test administrator and is responsible for delivering the test in selected testing centres and through an invigilated online environment (remote proctoring).
The test is available in set windows throughout the year. Key dates for the test windows, and the locations in which the test is offered in each window, are published on the ACER website.
Students are required to register to sit the test on the ACER website and pay the test fee at the time of registration. The fee for each component of the test is $92.50 or $185 for both components.
Agriculture in Education Programme
On 3 July 2014 the Hon Christopher Pyne MP announced $2 million over two years for the Agriculture in Education programme.
The programme will help teachers better understand the products and processes associated with food and fibre production and ensure that all students have an opportunity to understand their importance in the Australian economy. It will support effective implementation of the Australian Curriculum through online teacher support materials and additional curriculum resources.
More information about the programme is available on the Agriculture in Education web page.
Flexible Literacy for Remote Primary Schools Programme
On 1 July 2014 the Minister for Education, the Hon Christopher Pyne MP announced a $22 million grant for Good to Great Schools Australia to help improve the literacy results of children in remote primary schools.
The grant will assist Good to Great Schools Australia in introducing the alphabetic teaching approaches of Direct Instruction and Explicit Instruction into classrooms in remote primary schools.
Direct Instruction provides step by step lessons that focus on skill mastery and grouping students by ability rather than age.
With Explicit Instruction teachers focus on explanations, demonstrations, feedback and practice until the skill is mastered.
For information go to the Programme Guidelines.
Further information about the programme, will be published in the coming months.
Teach for Australia Program
As part of the 2016 Mid-year Economic and Fiscal Outlook (released on 19 December 2016) the Australian Government confirmed it will invest a further $20.5 million in the Teach for Australia program for the period 2016-17 to 2020-21.
This decision lifts the Government’s total investment in the program to more than $77 million.
The Teach for Australia program aims to fast-track high-calibre non-teaching graduates into disadvantaged secondary schools by providing an employment-based pathway into teaching.
The Teach for Australia program plays an important role in attracting high-quality candidates to the teaching profession who might not otherwise have considered a career in education.
Read more about the program, and request further information, at the Teach for Australia website.
The Teacher Education Ministerial Advisory Group
The Teacher Education Ministerial Advisory Group was established on 19 February 2014 to provide advice on how teacher education courses could be improved to better prepare new teachers with the right mix of academic and practical skills needed for the classroom.
The Advisory Group’s report, Action Now: Classroom Ready Teachers, was released on 13 February 2015.
More information about the Advisory Group, including the report, is available on the Teacher Education Ministerial Advisory Group page.