Federation University has welcomed talk on how to improve teacher standards, but argues simply raising the ATAR for entry in to teaching courses is not the answer.
With enrolments yet to be finalised for 2019, FedUni had more than 1200 students enrolled in undergraduate early childhood, primary and secondary teacher education programs in 2018, with their places offered based on a number of requirements and not just a score.
Dean of education Professor Claire McLachlan said school leavers also had to meet specific English and maths requirements, and complete the CASPer aptitude testing which identifies whether applicants have the attributes and dispositions required for teaching.
“Systems for selecting teachers of the future are robust in the university, but we welcome further debate around how the state’s teachers should be selected going forward. Simply increasing an ATAR score is not the solution.”
That debate was sparked over the weekend when federal Deputy Opposition Leader Tanya Plibersek warned universities to toughen their admission standards for teaching degrees or face a mandatory cap on student numbers under a Labor government.
Ms Plibersek called on unis to draw student teachers from the top 30 per cent of school leavers, an ATAR cut-off of about 80.
“Labor wants the best and brightest Australians studying teaching. If universities don’t do the right thing and fix this themselves, a Labor government will make them. We hope we don’t have to do this, but we will if we have to," she warned.
"Labor wants our young people competing to get into teaching in the same way they compete to get into medicine. We want young Australians with a track record of achievement, motivation and capability to teach the next generation. We want a career in teaching to be a first choice, not a fallback."
In November 2016, Victoria introduced an initial minimum ATAR for year 12 entry in to undergraduate teaching courses which started at 65 in 2018, rising to 70 for this year.
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