Leadership Development Program

TFA’s submission to the National Schools Reform Agreement

Tuesday, August 22nd, 2023

Teach For Australia (TFA) welcomed the opportunity to participate in the consultation for Australia’s new National Schools Reform Agreement.

The National School Reform Agreement is a joint agreement between the Commonwealth, States and Territories to lift student outcomes across Australian schools. Its development throughout 2023 includes a comprehensive review and public consultation, led by an expert panel of education sector leaders.

In the words of Federal Education Minister Jason Claire:

“Students from poor families, from regional Australia and Indigenous students are less likely to go to preschool, less likely to finish high school and less likely to go to university than other Australians.

“The [NSRA] review will focus on driving real and measurable improvements for students from disadvantaged backgrounds including regional, rural and remote Australia, First Nations students, students with disability, and students from low socio-economic backgrounds. It will also improve transparency and accuracy of funding.”

Teach For Australia’s submission follows on from contributions to the Commonwealth Teacher Education Expert Panel’s (TEEP) consultation early this year and the 2022 National Teacher Workforce Action Plan.

“TFA is encouraged to see continuing focus by Federal, State and Territory governments with respect to building and sustaining skilled teacher workforces that can meet the education needs of every student, regardless of where they live or go to school,” Founder and CEO Melodie Potts Rosevear said.

“In line with TFA’s operational expertise, our submission for the NSRA focuses primarily on the area of attraction and retention of teachers, and our chief recommendation is that governments, at all levels, introduce or further scale proven employment-based teacher education pathways that meet clear criteria for quality whilst delivering supply quickly.

“We see this as a critical step that must be taken to address the urgent and dire need for more teachers in areas of highest need.

“These pathways must meet a number of key criteria, namely:

  • already evaluated to be robust and high quality, with high completion rates;
  • truly additive to the teacher supply;
  • quickly able to deliver teachers into classrooms; and
  • targeted to disadvantaged locations in highest need.

“It is important that governments ensure all of these criteria are met, to avoid a shortage-driven proliferation of untested, low quality pathways which could have dire outcomes for years to come.

“Further to this recommendation, TFA’s submission offers insights and recommendations borne from our 15 years as a partner to education systems, teachers and schools in disadvantaged communities across Australia, and from our participation in a global network of similar organisations across 61 countries.”

Read TFA’s full submission here.

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