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A record number of Queensland independent school teachers – almost double the number in 2020 - have put themselves forward to have their teaching practice and impact evaluated and confirmed through a prestigious national certification program.

Today about 100 independent school teachers are embarking on the 18-month journey to be certified as Highly Accomplished and Lead Teachers (HALT) – the two most advanced levels of the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers.

They were joined by more than 50 principals, already certified HALTs and mentors in Brisbane to kick off the sector’s 2021 HALT program.

Eighty-six (86) independent school teachers are among 841 teachers nationwide who have already achieved this prized national certification.

Independent Schools Queensland (ISQ) Executive Director David Robertson said demand for national certification had been growing annually since the commencement of ISQ’s HALT program in 2018, with 2021 attracting a record number of applicants.

Mr Robertson said community appreciation for teachers during the many challenges of COVID-19 may have also inspired more teachers to apply.

“Teachers transformed their education programs overnight to keep their students learning and their communities connected during a period of significant disruption and uncertainty,” he said.

“Certification challenges teachers to unpack their methods and approaches and to identify their impact on student learning and their role as middle leaders in their schools.”

“Many teachers who have undergone certification have described it as the most empowering and rewarding professional learning of their careers.”

ISQ is a recognised HALT certifying authority by the Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL) which oversees the national program.

Commenting on the impressive uptake of HALT aspirants, AITSL Chief Executive Officer Mark Grant PSM said: “Queensland is a strong supporter of HALT certification and it is terrific to see about 100 Queensland independent school teachers are investing in their professional growth through embarking on the Highly Accomplished and Lead Teacher certification process this year.”

“When certified, these aspiring HALTs will join the 841 other nationally certified HALTs from across the country. This growing cohort of expert teachers have demonstrated an incredible impact on the lives of students, as well as contributing to the leadership of the teaching profession,” Mr Grant said.

“We congratulate ISQ for their continued work to support the growth of nationally certified HALTs. ISQ and other certifying authorities across the country are leading the way in ensuring that the expertise and leadership of teaching is harnessed and formally recognised.”

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