QTU President's comment: 20 Dec 2016
Invest in the things that matter
State and territory education ministers unanimously decried the failure by the federal government to agenda discussion on schools funding at last Friday’s Education Council meeting. As states face a $3.8 billion shortfall in needs-based funding, it must have come as a shock for them to learn through the media that the Turnbull government was about to throw another $20 million at the underperforming Teach for Australia (TFA) program.
Copied from a failed policy in the United States, independent research has shown that TFA is a costly and ineffective alternative to proper teacher training. Graduates from the program each require an investment of almost $130,000, 13 times the cost of standard teacher training courses. 50% of TFA graduates exit the teaching profession within three years compared to 10% of beginning teachers overall. Very few TFA graduates who remain in schools continue to work in the most disadvantaged schools the program is designed to serve.
Teaching is a complex and complicated profession. The QTU has been an advocate for high standards of training and of personal character in our profession for more than 40 years. The QTU led the campaign for a teacher registration system, minimum educational standards and legislative frameworks to enforce these requirements in all schools in Queensland. In fact, Queensland has been a world leader in this regard. It is important to note that the TFA has not been allowed in Queensland. The Palaszczuk government has been strong in its’ opposition to this model of teacher training. The QTU also strongly supported the decision of the previous Newman Government to reject the TFA model and we expect Queensland to remain TFA free for years to come.
The inconvenient truth for the Turnbull government is that forcing underprepared teachers into under-resourced schools has but one inevitable outcome. Training, inspiration or motivation cannot overcome chronic underfunding and the impact of the equity gap on our schools. Attracting teachers with high academic ability and an aptitude for teaching is important for the future of our schools. However, all teachers need to be properly trained before they begin their teaching careers, not thrown into a classroom after six weeks.
If student outcomes are to be improved we need a federal government that is prepared to stick with the program mapped out by Gonski, enshrined in the Australian Education Act and funded through agreements with the states and territories. The current education malaise is largely of the federal government’s making and, when combined with further stalling tactics on funding negotiations for early childhood education and care, and vocational education, will create massive downward pressure on early attempts by the teaching profession to lift educational outcomes for all students.
Denying true needs-based education funding now will snatch away our greatest chance to address the fact that Australia is being outpaced by the improvements in outcomes in other nations. Investment in our children’s future is the only option that will truly make a difference.
QTU stands in solidarity
The Queensland Teachers’ Union wishes to express its shock at the killing of 17 people at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, and stands in solidarity with the many brave teachers who risked their own lives to protect the students in their care.
These horrific events reveal the deep commitment and bravery of members of our profession under the most extreme of circumstances, and we are proud to stand with them at this terrible time.QTU, 16 Feb 2018
Advice - QTAD
Training, seminars & PD
- salary info
- campaign information
- branch meetings and much more
One of the great benefits of QTU membership is access to the QTU library.
Find out more about the library's great collection and how to order and request books online here.
You can visit us at
21 Graham Street, Milton Q 4064
Opening hours: 9am to 5pm
Qld Retired Teachers' Assoc.
For the professional...
- Click here for resources to assist you and professional organisations to support you to meet the increasing demands of your role.
- Care about your profession and want to help shape its future?
Join the new Professional Issues Network Group (PING) now!
QTU On-line Shop
There are no vacancies at this time