Labor to recruit more high achievers into education
Mr Albanese said a Labor government would also fund an extra 700 Teach for Australia positions and 60 new teachers through LaTrobe University’s Nexus Program.
The programs are designed to help direct highly qualified professionals in other fields into education. Graduates can retrain as teachers through working as part-time teachers’ aides during intensive master’s degree study.
The plan will cost $ 146.5 million over four years.
“We want to make sure our kids get the best education they can. That means we have to make sure they get the best quality teaching, ”Mr Albanese said.
“Labor’s plan will incentivize the best graduates to join the teaching profession, leading to a brighter future for our students and for the nation.”
Ms Plibersek said Labor would work with states and territories in government, including through school funding negotiations, to make sure teachers have a better career path with more opportunities to become recognized and rewarded as experts.
Teachers would be better supported to pass on their skills to peers without having to leave classroom teaching.
“One of the most important things we can do to stop the slide in students’ results and boost student results is to lift teaching standards,” Ms Plibersek said.
“I want students competing to get into teaching like they do to get into medicine or law.
“If we want a better future in Australia, we need a smart, skilled workforce so we can compete for jobs and growth with our neighbors.”
Currently, about 3.3 per cent of high-achieving students with an ATAR of 80 or higher choose to study teaching, compared with around 30 per cent three decades ago.
Countries with more successful school systems, including Finland and Singapore, select their teaching students from the top 20 or 30 per cent of academic achievers.
Department of Education figures show Australia could be as many as 4000 teachers below requirement nationally by 2025.
A re-elected Morrison government has pledged to strongly support innovative and proven pathways into teaching, such as Teach For Australia, and to place more emphasis on work experience when supporting mid-career professionals into teaching.
The Coalition wants to better resource teachers with materials that focus teaching on methods including phonics and explicit instruction.