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Education and Training Workforce: Schools Workforce

Research report

The third phase of the Education and Training Workforce study examined the workforce of the schools sector. This research report was released on 4 May 2012.

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  • Key points
  • Contents
  • Australia's future depends on how well it develops the 'human capital' of its population. A well performing schooling system is fundamental.
  • Australian schools generally deliver good student outcomes at reasonable cost, but improvements are required.
    • Student literacy and numeracy have declined in recent years, and Australia has fallen behind other high-performing countries, despite increased spending per student and falling class sizes.
    • Australia does not perform as well as other countries in offsetting educational disadvantage, especially for Indigenous students.
  • More effective teachers and other school workers would achieve better student outcomes, and a more efficient schools workforce would achieve a greater improvement from any given level of resources.
  • An extensive range of workforce-related reforms are already in place or prospect, but it is too early to fully judge their impacts.
  • This study has focused on identifying cost-effective measures that would build on the existing reform program, address some problematic initiatives, and deal with matters that have received insufficient attention.
  • The Commission's proposed package of reforms gives priority to:
    • raising teacher quality - by improving: teacher training, induction and mentoring; teacher appraisal; the management of unsatisfactory performance; and the link between teacher performance and career progression
    • reducing teacher shortages - through greater use of pay differentials for hard-to-staff positions, and more flexible entry requirements for teacher training
    • ameliorating educational disadvantage - through targeted initiatives based on evidence, alongside the broader reforms recommended in this study
    • strengthening the use of evaluation and research in policy making - by governments individually reviewing and reforming their approaches, and jointly initiating policy evaluations on educational disadvantage and teacher shortages.
  • Many of the recommended reforms would raise the attractiveness of teaching as a profession, and so help to turn around the widely held perception that the status of teachers has declined.
  • The Commission has also made a range of policy-related findings, including on the:
    • importance of school leadership and autonomy in driving workforce innovation
    • benefits of greater flexibility in the industrial relations regime for school workers.

Background information

Greg Murtough (Acting Assistant Commissioner) 03 9653 2163

  • Preliminaries
    • Cover, Copyright, Foreword, Terms of reference, Contents, and Abbreviations and explanations
  • Overview - including key points
  • Recommendations and Findings
  • Chapter 1 About the study
    • 1.1 Why look at schools workforce issues?
    • 1.2 Workforce coverage
    • 1.3 School funding
    • 1.4 Consultation process for the study
    • 1.5 Road map for the rest of the report
  • Chapter 2 Profile of the schools workforce
    • 2.1 Schooling in Australia
    • 2.2 The current schools workforce
    • 2.3 Workforce issues and challenges
  • Chapter 3 Policy considerations
    • 3.1 Objectives of the schooling system
    • 3.2 Current schools workforce reforms
    • 3.3 The Commission's assessment framework
  • Chapter 4 Addressing imbalances in teacher supply and demand
    • 4.1 Current and expected imbalances
    • 4.2 Costs of imbalances
    • 4.3 Measures to address surpluses
    • 4.4 Ameliorating shortages
  • Chapter 5 Training and professional development
    • 5.1 Pre-service teacher education
    • 5.2 Practicum and induction
    • 5.3 Screening for teacher quality
    • 5.4 Professional development
    • 5.5 A longitudinal dataset
  • Chapter 6 Teacher performance
    • 6.1 Current approaches to performance appraisal
    • 6.2 Enhancing performance appraisal
    • 6.3 Managing unsatisfactory performance
    • 6.4 Performance based remuneration
  • Chapter 7 Workforce composition and innovation
    • 7.1 Recent changes in workforce composition and deployment
    • 7.2 Future directions for workforce innovation
    • 7.3 Removing barriers to workforce innovation
  • Chapter 8 Leadership and school autonomy
    • 8.1 The roles, skills and knowledge of school leaders
    • 8.2 Underpinning leadership quality
    • 8.3 School autonomy
  • Chapter 9 Reducing educational disadvantage
    • 9.1 Aiming for equality of educational opportunity
    • 9.2 Challenges in reducing educational disadvantage
    • 9.3 Recent policy responses
    • 9.4 What could be done differently to reduce educational disadvantage?
    • 9.5 Gathering evidence on 'what works' and using it
  • Chapter 10 Policy evaluation and research
    • 10.1 The role of research and policy evaluation
    • 10.2 Education-related research and data
    • 10.3 Education-related policy evaluation
    • 10.4 Strengthening research and evaluation capacity
  • Chapter 11 Some broader framework issues
    • 11.1 Policy coordination and stakeholder representation
    • 11.2 Parental and community engagement
    • 11.3 Industrial relations
  • Appendix A Public consultation
  • References

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