Initial teacher education reforms

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

Excellence in teacher education reforms

The Excellence in Teacher Education reforms are a set of eight actions to:

  • improve the quality of initial teacher education (ITE)
  • improve support and development for teachers early in their careers
  • increase the status of the teaching profession.

Together, these actions aim to:

  • identify the most suitable candidates for teaching
  • provide them with excellent preparation
  • continue to support and develop them for the critical role they play in helping children and young people succeed in learning and in life.

The actions build on the national agenda for initial teacher education reform implemented by the Australian Institute of Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL). They leverage best practices already used in Victoria.

To build the reforms, we consulted with teachers, principals, universities, TAFEs, parents and student representatives, as well as other educational experts.

Reform actions

The eight reform actions are across four key areas of reform:

Area 1: Raise the quality of teaching and the status of the profession through a robust approach to selection into initial teacher education

  1. Introduce a minimum ATAR for year 12 ITE entry, starting at 65 in 2018 and progressing to 70 in 2019.
  2. Implement the Victorian Selection Framework that considers both academic capability and personal attributes.

Area 2: Ensure high-quality pathways into the teaching profession for capable and committed candidates from diverse backgrounds

  1. Work with providers to:
    • develop and promote high-quality alternate pathways that articulate into teacher education programs
    • design an equivalence framework for entry into ITE through alternate pathways.

  2. Support rural candidates, especially those from designated equity groups, through scholarships and alternate pathways.
  3. Expand employment-based ITE pathways to attract a more diverse range of high-quality candidates.

Area 3: Improve course quality through partnerships, and feedback loops between graduates, schools and ITE providers

  1. Support and sustain necessary partnerships between ITE providers and schools with a focus on improving teaching practice, and increasing Victoria’s knowledge on best practice ITE.  
  2. Develop a feedback mechanism to improve quality of programs; a more consistent approach to assessing practicums; and greater consistency in capstone assessments.

Area 4: Develop early career teachers to become excellent teachers and leaders

  1. Improve induction and mentoring through a state-wide approach that establishes new teachers as lifelong learners.

Framework for being selected into an ITE course

The Victorian Selection Framework introduced a minimum Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR) for year 12 students entering undergraduate teaching programs.

The minimum rank was 65 in 2018 and increased to 70 in 2019.

The framework also raises the quality of teaching by introducing a more sophisticated way to select entrants for ITE. Education providers now include specific personal attributes for entry, which are listed below.

The attributes are consistent with the attributes demonstrated by effective teachers identified by the AITSL. Read more about selection of entrants into initial teacher education at the AITSL website.

The selection framework was designed collaboratively with the Victorian Institute of Teaching and is supported by Victorian initial teacher education providers.

Quality teaching and improved student outcomes can be achieved by the validation, reporting and verification of the following the three key attributes outlined below.

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 pathways to teaching degrees

There are many pathways for gaining entry into undergraduate teaching degrees, including:

  • advanced diplomas
  • associate degrees
  • vocational education and training (VET) courses.

Diploma of Teacher Education Preparation

We sponsored the development of the Diploma of Teacher Education Preparation, an accredited VET course that started in July 2018.

The diploma enables students to progress into a teaching degree at participating providers, once the provider's entry requirements are met.

The course helps students to meet the demands of higher education within a TAFE environment. It includes the following areas:

  • Learning theory.
  • Educational strategies to address diversity.
  • Legislative and policy contexts for education systems and sectors in Victoria.
  • Literacy and numeracy skills for teaching, and exposure to the national Literacy and Numeracy Test for Initial Teacher Education (LANTITE) requirements for graduation.
  • A structured practical experience in a school.

The diploma is currently being delivered by RMIT, Victoria University Polytechnic and Swinburne University. It was developed by principals, career teachers, higher education and TAFE providers, and the Victorian Institute of Teaching.

Entry standards from alternate pathways

We are working with the Victorian Institute of Teaching and education providers to ensure that all candidates, whatever their pathway into a teaching course, meet the required entry standards.

Scholarships and support

These include:

Employment-based pathways

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

  • Teach For Australia is for high-achieving graduates, young professionals and career-changers. Associates work in Victorian government secondary schools serving disadvantaged communities. In 2019, we are funding up to 74 Teach for Australia associates.
  • M Teach internship is a three year program from the Melbourne Graduate School of Education. Graduates teach in a secondary school while completing a Masters of Teaching (Secondary). In 2019 we are funding up to 35 interns.

Improving course quality

School-university partnerships

  • Teaching Academies of Professional Practice involve clusters of schools partnering with higher education institutions to deliver an immersive preparation experience for pre-service teachers.
  • The National Exceptional Teaching for Disadvantaged Schools program identifies high performing pre-service teachers and helps them to become effective teachers in disadvantaged schools. See Through Growth to Achievement for a case study. We are currently supporting Deakin University and Victoria University to deliver the program. If you are interested in hosting placements for NETDS pre-service teachers, or would like more information about the program, contact ite@edumail.vic.gov.au.
  • In 2017 the first Victorian Initial Teacher Education Survey was run. It's designed to start conversations about ITE courses and how they could be improved. At the end of 2017, most ITE providers received their survey results. This feedback included comparison of their results against the aggregated result for all providers, as well as free text comments from respondents. The survey is being re-designed and will be conducted again in 2019.

Developing early career teachers to become excellent teachers and leaders

To support teachers in government schools at the beginning of their careers, we have strengthened teacher induction and mentoring.

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

From 2019,  we will support around 2,500 graduate teachers joining the profession through a number of initiatives, including:

  • The Graduate Teacher Learning Series is an online professional learning series designed to address specific graduate needs, reflect graduate voice and encourage development of professional networks.
  • Area-based graduate teacher conferences. Across every Area in Term 3, new graduate teachers will be invited to attend a Graduate Teacher Conference. The conferences are for all graduate teachers in their first year of teaching. 
  • The Effective Mentoring Program. Mentoring and classroom observations are consistent practices during a graduate teacher’s two year induction journey. Mentor teachers may have completed formal training through the program. Through the program, every graduate teacher in a Victorian government school will be matched with a mentor teacher. 
  • Induction support materials have been updated and located in a central portal that is a one-stop-shop for graduate teachers, mentors and principals.

Get advice

For more information on the Excellence in Teacher Education reforms contact ite@edumail.vic.gov.au.

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