Initial teacher education


This page includes information about government reform. If you're just starting out in your career, or want to become a teacher, see: Become a teacher

Excellence in teacher education

The single most important thing we can do to improve student outcomes is to improve the quality of teaching and learning in every classroom. Teachers play a pivotal role in building the Education State and are at the core of workplace reform.

The Department has consulted with teachers, principals, universities, TAFEs, parent and student representatives, as well as other educational experts and stakeholders to explore ways to improve the quality of teacher education courses and support excellence and equity in teaching.

The initiatives build on the national agenda for initial teacher education reform and leverage best practices already underway in Victoria. Together these reforms aim to raise the status of the teaching profession and attract more diverse, high-quality entrants who are inspired and equipped to help our kids reach their full potential.

Excellence in teacher education - videos

Video transcripts

Victorian framework for selection into teacher education

The Victorian framework for selection into initial teacher education was endorsed by the Minister for Education on 26 May 2017. The selection framework delivers on the Victorian Government’s announcement of the Excellence in Teacher Education reforms on 23 November 2016, to raise entry standards and attract high quality candidates from diverse backgrounds into the teaching profession.

Evidence shows that the quality of teaching has one of the largest impacts on student learning. Building teaching excellence through pre-service training is paramount to improving teacher quality.

Designed collaboratively with the Victorian Institute of Teaching, and supported by Victorian initial teacher education providers, the criteria for selection is based on academic capabilities and personal attributes.

The selection framework introduces a minimum Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR) for Year 12 entry into undergraduate teaching programs. There will be a minimum ATAR of 65 for entry in 2018, with an increase to 70 in 2019.

Initial teacher education providers will use specific personal attributes for entry in 2018, in alignment with the Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership’s Action Now: Selection of entrants into initial teacher education, Guidelines.

For more information and to read the guidelines in full, see:

These attributes include:

  • motivation to teach
  • strong interpersonal and communication skills
  • willingness to learn
  • resilience, self-efficacy
  • conscientiousness
  • organisational and planning skills.

The Victorian Institute of Teaching is working with Victorian providers to implement the selection framework for students commencing initial teacher education programs in 2018.

An evaluation of the implementation of the selection framework will be undertaken in 2018, further refining the framework for entry in 2019.

Victorian selection framework

A triangular diagram reading: Quality teaching and improved student outcomes can be achieved by the validation, reporting and verification of: Personal attributes, Academic capability and pathways, and Evidence, effectiveness and impact 

Quality teaching and improved student outcomes can be achieved by the validation, reporting and verification of the following:

Personal attributes

Principle 1:

For all entry pathways, providers will identify and document the expectations in relation to personal attribute selection criteria and process for entry into their ITE programs.

Principle 2:

Personal attribute selection requirements, thresholds and mechanisms will be transparent and evidence-based.

Principle 3:

Personal attributes of candidates to be selected including:

  • motivation to teach
  • strong interpersonal / communication skills
  • willingness to learn
  • resilience
  • self-efficacy
  • conscientiousness
  • organisational and planning skills.
Academic capability and pathways

Principle 1:

From 2018, students seeking to enter an undergraduate ITE program on the basis of their ATAR will have an ATAR of 65 or equivalent following access and equity considerations. From 2019, the minimum ATAR will be 70.

Principle 2:

For all pathways, providers will identify and document the academic selection criteria and process for entry into their ITE programs.

Principle 3:

Academic selection requirements, thresholds and mechanisms will be transparent and evidence-based.

Evidence, effectiveness and impact

Principle 1:

Providers will demonstrate and report on the effectiveness of their selection criteria and process as it impacts on quality teaching and improved student outcomes.

Principle 2:

Provider selection criteria and processes will be validated through the accreditation of the ITE program and verified by VIT.

Principle 3:

A collective evidence-based approach to evaluating the framework will inform its overall impact on the quality of teaching and improved student outcomes, and drive ongoing improvement.

Further information

For more information, see Deliver ITE Programs.

New, high quality pathways

There are many pathways for gaining entry into undergraduate teaching degrees, including advanced diplomas, associate degrees, and vocational education and training (VET) courses. The range of pathways recognises the diversity of candidates seeking to enter the teaching profession

The Department, with the Victorian Institute of Teaching (VIT), will support the development of new, high quality pathways into teacher education courses, including the development of a new VET course ready for delivery in 2018.

By putting in place high-quality alternative pathways we are making sure that prospective candidates from diverse backgrounds and life stages have the opportunity to pursue a career in teaching, without compromising the rigour of their preparation as teachers.

Verification of alternate pathways for entry into initial teacher education

In 2018 the Department will work with the Victorian Institute of Teaching and initial teacher education providers to  develop a quality assurance framework to ensure that schools and the community can have confidence that all teacher education candidates, whatever their pathway into a teaching course, meet the required standards and are being adequately prepared.

Expansion of employment-based pathways into teacher education programs

Employment-based pathways attract a diverse range of candidates to undertake their Masters of Teaching while employed at a Victorian secondary school.

Teach For Australia is an existing employment-based pathway that is designed to attract high achieving graduates, young professionals and career-changers, to work in Victorian government secondary schools serving disadvantaged communities.

Many Teach for Australia associates teach in areas of need such as science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), and in rural and regional locations.

In 2018, the Department will provide funding for up to 70 Teach for Australia associates.
The Department is also exploring options for further expansion of employment-based pathways.

Establishment of a new rural Teaching Academy of Professional Practice

A number of school-university partnerships are well-established in Victoria. The cross-sectoral Teaching Academies of Professional Practice , for example, involve clusters of schools partnering with higher education institutions to deliver an immersive preparation experience for pre-service teachers and strengthen the links between theory, research and practice to enhance course effectiveness.

In 2017, a new rural Teaching Academy of Professional Practice will be established in Gippsland to better integrate theory and practice, provide a high quality immersive professional experience for student teachers, and support stronger attraction and retention to rural and regional schools.

For more information about the Teaching Academy model, see Site coordination, quality school-university partnerships (VIC)

Strengthening induction practices and mentoring programs

To support teachers in Government schools at the beginning of their careers, the  Department is developing a Teacher Induction Strategy. The aim of the Strategy is to support graduate teachers build a strong professional identity through collaborative professional learning and focussed attention on professional practice development.

Successfully inducting graduate teachers into the profession will lift the quality of their teaching and their commitment to improving student learning outcomes.

The Strategy will:

  • strengthen early career support by ensuring there is a more consistent state-wide approach
  • boost mentoring skills for experienced mentor teachers who will help graduate teachers to develop their practice
  • build resilience, and focus on their wellbeing during this important stage in their career.

The first step in delivering the Strategy is to provide guidance and tools to support graduate teacher induction.

Key resources have been updated and located in a central portal that is a one-stop-shop for graduate teachers, mentors and principals.

 The development of the portal brings guidance, checklists and links together and aims to help schools to ensure that induction is a positive experience for all graduate teachers in Victoria.

Progress to date

  • Rural Teaching Academy established to operate alongside existing academies - Sep 2017
  • Diploma of Teacher Education Preparation accredited - Nov 2017
  • Rural scholarships scheme established to support rural students into teacher education -   Nov 2017
  • Minimum ATAR raised to 65 for entry to undergraduate teaching degrees - Jan 2018

Upcoming activities and milestones

  • Launch of Graduate Teacher Induction Strategy - Feb 2018
  • Mentoring Capability Framework and Effective Mentoring Program to support new teachers - Feb 2018
  • Report published for ITE Feedback Survey of new teachers and principals - Mar 2018