ISQ Advocates for Teachers and Teaching Excellence at National Inquiry
School systems, employers and leaders have an important role to play in creating professional learning communities that attract, develop and sustain high quality teaching in schools, Independent Schools Queensland told a national inquiry.
ISQ appeared at the first public hearing of the federal parliamentary inquiry into the Status of the Teaching Profession in Brisbane today (Monday 4 March).
ISQ Executive Director David Robertson said while research had consistently confirmed the impact of the teacher at the front of the classroom, teachers rarely worked alone, but operated in partnership with their principals, peers and other stakeholders as part of a system of “collaborative professionalism”.
“Creating a culture of excellent teaching in schools requires leadership, appropriate support structures, professional recognition and a pipeline of classroom-ready graduates,” he said.
Mr Robertson said ISQ strongly supported any endeavours to address the challenges teachers and principals faced performing their nation-building work.
“The inquiry, which is being conducted by the Standing Committee on Employment, Education and Training, has identified a complex interplay of factors that influence the demand and supply of qualified teaching staff and their retention in the profession,” he said.
“ISQ welcomed the opportunity to share its perspective from the Queensland independent schooling sector which employs more than 9,000 full-time equivalent teachers across more than 200 schools.”
“Many of the challenges the inquiry is examining, such as teacher burn out, career pathways and support structures and infrastructure, are exacerbated in rural and remote school settings and at independent Special Assistance Schools that educate at-risk and disengaged young people.”
“Particular thought needs to be given to the specialist circumstances and needs of the teachers and principals in these schools.”
ISQ also cautioned against the inquiry putting forward solutions that add further complexities to the work of teachers and principals.
ISQ runs a range of professional learning programs and initiatives, including its flagship Great Teachers in Independent Schools (GTIS) programs, to support the development of quality teaching and school leadership.
ISQ is also a national certifying authority for teachers seeking to be recognised as Highly Accomplished and Lead Teachers (HALT) – the two most advanced career stages of the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers.
There are currently 28 HALT-certified teachers in Queensland independent schools plus a pipeline of 87 teachers working towards this expert status.
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