Saturday, 20 February 2016

Tracking teachers.

Mmmm I'm always worried by any education initiative that this Federal Government likes. It would be interesting to get more data on why young teachers leave the profession in droves after 5 years. I would also be concerned about teacher privacy. I also think VIT is a waste or time and money. Would teachers have to pay for the privilege of this 'registration' as well? Would it make teaching between states and systems seamless? Are all teaching qualifications in Australia for all systems equal? I'd need to be convinced!

SCHOOL teachers could be given tracking numbers and have their career decisions monitored under a data collection blueprint to be put to Education Ministers next month. 

Under the blueprint, all university students enrolled in teaching courses and all graduate teachers would be registered on a nationally consistent basis, rather than just with their relevant state body.

Their career decisions — including what schools they go on to teach in, whether they move into the private or Catholic school sector, and how long they stay in the profession — could then be tracked by the federal government and the Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL).The data would allow for the government and industry trends in the supply and demand of teachers 

The data collection plan was flagged at a Senate hearing by AITSL chief executive Margery Evans, who stressed it was designed to examine broad patterns within the industry rather than “collect data on individuals unnecessarily”.

Ms Evans said the data blueprint would be raised at the next Education Council meeting in March, and Ministers would be asked to give in-principal approval for AITSL to explore how the data might be collected and how teachers could be tracked from their university days onwards.

She said it would provide broad industry data on trends, including whether graduates teach in schools close to where they attend university, how long teachers are staying in any one job, and how much movement there is between states.

“I think there is exciting and huge potential,” she said.Currently teachers only register with their appropriate state teaching body. 

Australian Education Union president Correna Haythorpe said a lack of workforce planning in education and a decline in entry standards for teaching courses is a major concern for the union.

“The current system is producing a surplus of teaching graduates who can’t find work, yet there are critical shortages in some areas such as qualified maths and science teachers,” she said.

But Ms Haythorpe said teachers would need to be reassured that their privacy was not compromised in any data collection exercise.

Education Minister Simon Birmingham said the federal government was committed to working with the states to get more comprehensive teacher workforce data.

Better data collection was one of the recommendations of the report of a ministerial group designed to boost teacher standards, along with tougher selection criteria for universities offering teaching degrees.

“If we can get a clearer picture of the teaching workforce, like the supply and demand of teachers across the country, then we can work together more effectively with the states and territories to achieve better outcomes for students,” Senator Birmingham said.

And from today's SMH

The federal government's 'no jab, no pay' law has sparked a rush on vaccines as parents fear missing out on welfare benefits.

Under the vaccination policy, which came into effect on January 1, parents will lose the Family Tax Benefit Part A supplement and childcare subsidies if their child is not up to date with their immunisations.

State and territory health departments report they are being inundated with calls from GPs and health nurses about how to implement catch-up schedules, particularly for children who have never been vaccinated, as parents flock to immunisation providers.

Maybe it wasn't an ideological matter after all.....

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