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Teaching Profession Inquiry Highlights Problems of sharing among jurisdictions in Education

Posted on 5 April 2019
Teaching Profession Inquiry Highlights Problems of sharing among jurisdictions in Education

Public hearings for the Standing Committee on Employment, Education and Training's Inquiry into the Status of the Teaching Profession have wrapped up, with a report expected to be delivered to the Government by mid-April.

Liberal MP Andrew Laming, chair of the Standing Committee, reported that there is a need for more collaboration between states and territories.

"What was clearest to us is that there are slightly different approaches in each jurisdiction or each state and territory, and that each of these locations are doing really interesting work around the challenge of the standing of teaching as a profession, [but] a lot of those great ideas aren't necessarily being shared," he said.

The report is expected to address teachers' hours and the status of the profession, among other issues.

Andrew Laming said the issues most often raised by educators and education stakeholders were

  • the administrative burden of data collection,
  • the role of research in education and
  • after-hours work,.

"There were some quite divergent views on this issue of take-home work, and there was also very limited data.


"The researchers told us the total number of hours that teachers assessed that they work and we know that there's lots of bias in self-reporting to start with, but what we couldn't work out is what teachers are doing with those hours," Laming said.

"The researchers told us the total number of hours that teachers assessed that they work and we know that there's lots of bias in self-reporting to start with, but what we couldn't work out is what teachers are doing with those hours," Laming said, echoing controversial comments he made last year.

"There's actually very little data on that and there's very little data around of all this extra work, how much of it is authorised by the principal, how much of it is known of by the department and exactly what that work is, and without that information it's very hard to make a constructive recommendation...

"So there's an absolute lack of data beyond self-reporting by teachers of how many hours they do."

Labor MP and deputy chair Susan Lamb told EducationHQ that similar issues were raised at each of the public hearings.

"It didn't matter where we went, I think there were probably three things that were discussed at every single hearing," she said.

"One was workforce; both the management of the workforce, whether we're talking about support and mentoring, career pathways that exist or don't exist in the workforce, looking at the size of the workforce, the future of the workforce and where it will be needed. We had a lot of conversation around the workforce.

"There was a lot of conversation around the responsibilities of teaching staff, so their expectations versus reality and what they are prepared for and what they know they're getting into.

"There was also a lot of conversation about society's value of education, and in particular the importance of early childhood education in establishing the value of education."

Lamb said that the impact of funding cuts on education was often discussed.

The committee hopes to produce a final report in the coming weeks.

"If we can get something out [by mid-April] that would certainly be warp speed for an inquiry of this size to have something in the public domain, but that's my goal..." Laming said.

"If you think about how long it takes to get NAPLAN results for your school, that's a pretty good achievement."

By: Geordie Little
From Education HQ: April 1, 2019

Tags: Government

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