$22 million boost to Teach for Australia

Students are set to benefit from a boost of $22.2 million into a programme designed to attract the best and brightest university graduates into teaching.

Minister for Education Christopher Pyne MP said the Government is lifting its investment in the Teach for Australia programme enabling it to place up to 240 new teachers into classrooms.

“Domestic and international studies have consistently shown that teacher quality has the greatest in-school impact on student learning outcomes,” Mr Pyne said.

“Based on this strong evidence the Government is committed to improving teacher quality. Teacher quality is one of the four pillars of our Students First approach. We see establishing more flexible pathways into teaching as central to achieving this.

“The Productivity Commission has also noted that the promotion of alternative pathways into the teaching profession can assist in overcoming teaching shortages.

“That’s why in addition to our increased investment in Teach for Australia, the Government will work with the states and territories to promote alternative career pathways into teaching.”

The Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER) recently finalised an evaluation report into the programme which has found that Teach for Australia continues to be effective in providing an alternative pathway for teachers to enter the profession.

The evaluation report highlights four notable strengths of the Teach for Australia programme:

· It has a rigorous selection process and selection criteria meaning only the best candidates are chosen
· Student teachers gain valuable classroom experience while completing their two year course requirements.
· Student teachers receive high levels of support while studying under the programme
· The programme’s two-year placement helps disadvantaged schools benefit from high quality teachers.

“In light of the continued proven success of the programme, the Australian Government is proud to make this extra investment in Teach for Australia because we understand that excellence in the classroom directly translates into national prosperity and productivity,” Mr Pyne said.

Teach for Australia fast tracks high-calibre, non-teaching graduates into disadvantaged secondary schools through providing an employment-based pathway into teaching.

The Teach for Australia programme has placed over 200 participants into schools in Victoria, the ACT and the Northern Territory since 2009.

An additional $200,000 has been allocated over three years for an independent evaluation of the programme.

The Students First approach focused on four key areas that will make a difference to students:

· teacher quality
· school autonomy
· parental engagement
· strengthening the curriculum

For further information, visit: www.studentsfirst.gov.au .

For more information on Teach for Australia visit www.teachforaustralia.org.

22 June 2014

Written and authorised by Hon Christopher Pyne MP, 429 Magill Road, St Morris SA 5068

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