List of Recommendations

Recommendation 1

The Committee recommends that standards for the quality of initial teacher education be set high, programs rigorously assessed and requirements made transparent.

Recommendation 2

The Committee recommends that the Australian Government immediately commence implementing the recommendations made herein that are directed to lifting the quality of initial teacher education.

Recommendation 3

The Committee recommends that the Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership be reconstituted to undertake a stronger role to ensure high standards of initial teacher education in Australia.

Recommendation 4

The Committee recommends that the Australian Government establish a national initial teacher education regulator through a reconstituted Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership to overhaul and manage the accreditation of initial teacher education programs, and work with the states and territories to ensure rigorous accreditation processes operate effectively with teacher registration.

Recommendation 5

The Committee recommends that in accrediting programs, higher education providers be required to be able to demonstrate that their programs have evidence-based pedagogical approaches, effective integration of professional experience, rigorous and iterative assessment of pre-service teachers throughout their education, and final assessments that ensure pre-service teachers are classroom ready.

Recommendation 6

The Committee recommends that Higher Education providers:
use the national literacy and numeracy test to demonstrate that all pre-service teachers are within the top 30 per cent of the population in personal literacy and numeracy by the conclusion of their pre-service study; and
equip pre-service teachers with the training necessary to work within teams that assess the learning needs of all students.

Recommendation 7

The Committee acknowledges the non-teaching demands on teachers’ time, and, with a view to enabling teachers to devote their time to honing and practising their profession and craft, and planning to do same, recommends that the Australian Government, through COAG:
support and implement a policy to provide more youth workers, social workers and other professionals with specialist experience in supporting young people to transition and/or social support in schools; and
work to ensure that teachers have reasonable opportunities within working hours for ongoing professional development, and planning.

Recommendation 8

The Committee recommends that initial teacher education be updated on an ongoing basis through continuing professional development, to ensure that teachers are trained in best-practice approaches and up-to-date thinking. To facilitate this, the Committee recommends that:
stakeholders including parents’ groups, education unions, industry, government, VET providers and universities be engaged in setting requirements for continuing professional development; and
teachers be given such workload relief as is necessary to make more thorough ongoing development possible.

Recommendation 9

Acknowledging the importance of raising the status of the teaching profession, the Committee recommends that:
teachers’ working conditions and pay be sufficient to both attract and retain good teachers; and
consideration be given to ensuring both opportunities for professional development and career paths.

Recommendation 10

The Committee recommends that further research be undertaken into the better use of NAPLAN and ATAR for the purpose of measuring gain, with appropriate metrics to be included as part of NAPLAN reports.

Recommendation 11

The Committee recommends that further research be undertaken into measurements of gain, referring to a student educational journey over time. Without limiting the foregoing, the Committee recommends that research be undertaken as to how to measure gain in relation to the teaching and learning of soft skills.

Recommendation 12

The Committee recommends that schools incorporate into their curriculum literacy, digital literacy, numeracy and soft skills to prepare students for post-school education, training and work.

Recommendation 13

The Committee recommends that stakeholders work together to enable secondary schools to increase delivery of:
work experience and volunteer work;
adult learning environments; and
career assessment and career guidance activities in order to assist students in recognising their career goals and their areas of strength.

Recommendation 14

The Committee recommends that the Australian Government review the differing ways in which industry connections are organised in schools compared with in VET and compared with in higher education, with a view to:
considering what constitutes best-practice;
looking at ‘what works’ to maximise access to quality work-integrated learning opportunities;
identifying ways that both education providers and industry can be proactive in establishing work integrated learning opportunities; and
considering how best to measure the success or otherwise of work-integrated learning arrangements.

Recommendation 15

To make government-led work experience programs more likely to lead to good jobs, the Committee recommends that such programs:
incorporate defined training components which are directly connected with specific planned and agreed work-experience component(s);
require employment service providers to ensure that employers within the current “Jobactive” system are engaged with government-led work-experience programs; and
ensure program design takes into account the importance of promoting secure employment, compliance with industrial relations laws, the avoidance of exploitation, value-for-money in respect of any publicly-funded incentives, and ongoing accountability for employment outcomes.

Recommendation 16

The Committee recommends that the Government consider the financial pressures on university students, especially those university students who have relocated to participate in higher education, and consider what might be able to be done to ameliorate those pressures with a view to increasing retention and attainment.

Recommendation 17

The Committee recommends that the availability of career advisory programs and information within the school sector be increased, and that such counselling emphasise VET, apprenticeships and alternative post-school pathways to the same extent as higher education.

Recommendation 18

The Committee recommends that all high schools should have access to trained career advisors on staff. This advisor must be able to give accurate advice to students and parents on:
the likelihood of them gaining employment post-school based upon their VET/VETIS or university qualification;
what post-school level of employment they could expect to obtain because of their VET/VETIS qualification, what post-school training they could or could not access with fee help and what post-school training they would need to complete in order to obtain employment at their desired level; and
information on apprenticeships and traineeships.

Recommendation 19

The Committee recommends that schools, working with stakeholders (such as governments, industry, industry associations, training providers and unions), be supported to have the following industry engagement mechanisms in place:
industry presentations to classes exploring different career options, particularly raising the status and perception of vocational education and training;
school councils be supported to have industry representation that can assist in providing a VET perspective across all school decision making at a strategy level;
schools engage with their local vocational education providers to provide integrated strategies for transition during and post-school to sustainable employment opportunities;
labour market information is integrated into professional development for career advisors, and schools are adequately funded to ensure career advisors have access to this training (and it be a mandatory professional development program for career advisors); and,
school models be reconsidered, and guidelines put in place, to allow students from year 9 to engage in meaningful VET programs which both provide vocational education and training and cover the curriculum’s learning areas.

Recommendation 20

The Committee acknowledges that raising the status of VET, apprenticeships and traineeships will require significant investment and reform. The Committee recommends that consideration be given to establishing more trades training in schools. In addition, the Committee recommends that the status of VET, apprenticeships and traineeships be raised through increased marketing activity by government and industry in schools, with additional focus on promoting the financial benefits and employment outcomes achieved on completing VET qualifications.

Recommendation 21

The Committee recommends that First Nations communities lead engagement with schools with a view to developing culturally-competent measures of attainment and gain.

Recommendation 22

The Committee recommends that retention of First Nations children beyond year 9 and to the conclusion of year 12 be a priority for schools, and education authorities, and that to facilitate this retention, schools are supported to:
recognise that indigenous communities are not homogenous;
work with local communities and stakeholders to ensure that the learning environments they provide are culturally-competent and culturally-safe;
incorporate indigenous student identity within the school; and
ensure that indigenous culture is visible within the school.

Recommendation 23

The Committee recommends that the Australian Government ensure that indigenous perspectives are included within the National Curriculum.

Recommendation 24

The Committee recommends that the Australian Government, in developing VET and higher education policies, take into account the specific needs of students from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.

Recommendation 25

The Committee recommends that schools and teachers be adequately resourced, supported and trained to assist students from CALD backgrounds to understand the education system, understand their post-secondary options, and make appropriate choices.

Recommendation 26

The Committee recommends that students from CALD backgrounds have access to information about their rights at work, as well as information about the services available to assist them in the event that they are subjected to unlawful conduct at work.

Recommendation 27

The Committee recommends that schools, VET providers and higher education providers be supported to provide English language training that goes beyond conversation English to training specifically directed towards ensuring that the student has the English skills needed for success in the vocation, occupation or profession that the student seeks to enter.

Recommendation 28

The Committee recommends that the Australian Government, through the Department of Social Services continue to support Ticket to Work.

Recommendation 29

The Committee recommends that Australian governments, through COAG, draft model legislation to ensure students with disability can access a person-centered post-school transition process, beginning as early as Year 9 and including:
work experience opportunities and the facilitation of part time work –connections with local businesses and employers will be essential for this;
foundational skills to be addressed;
career development planning to take place; and,
follow up with young people post school.

Recommendation 30

The Committee recommends that measurements of gain within schools, such as NAPLAN, are made accessible to students who are blind or have low vision.

Recommendation 31

The Committee recommends, in relation to students who are blind or have low vision, that all information offered to students about further education, training and employment outcomes is provided in accessible formats.

Recommendation 32

The Committee recommends that career advisors be appropriately trained in assisting and advising students with disabilities and students who are carers.

Recommendation 33

The Committee recommends that the wage subsidies Youth Bonus and Youth be open to employees who are registered with Disability Employment Services.

Recommendation 34

The Committee recommends that:
all Australian Governments invest in the development and implementation of a national young carer education framework or strategy to better identify and respond to young carers’ education support needs, including mandatory young carer identification at enrolment;
the Australian Government monitors and identifies unmet needs in the Young Carers Respite and Information Services initiative and implements measures to provide early intervention access for at risk young carers to ensure they continue and complete their secondary education; and
the Australian Government invests in and commits funding to meet the service demands of the Young Carers Respite and Information Services initiative to young carers in need.

Recommendation 35

The Committee recommends that the Australian Government rethinks the way it determines its young carer policies so that young carers are identified and supported at the beginning of and along their caring path with timely, responsive and appropriate interventions to ensure that they complete their education and transition to further study or employment, while maintaining their caring role.

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