The release of the Teacher Education Ministerial Advisory Group's Action Now: Classroom Ready Teachers Report, during the February ACDE Board meeting, resulted in the Board rapidly responding to the Report and Minister Pyne's inaugural Hedley Beare Memorial Lecture with two media releases. These can be viewed here. Ministerial and departmental officials also met the Board to provide further insight into the Report and its recommendations. They emphasised the importance of the Deans' future role in implementation.

Since then there have been ongoing confidential discussions. ACDE hopes to be able to share more information in the next month.

ACDE has asked, and received expressions of interest from, Deans prepared to join the expert panels that may become part of the consultative TEMAG implementation process.

The expert areas are:

  • Rigorous selection into ITE
  • Improved and structured Professional Experience
  • Strengthening the accreditation process
  • Robust assessment of graduates to ensure classroom readiness
  • What research/ data is required to enhance ITE?
The Deans' Forum in Canberra in March gave Deans the opportunity to gain greater insight into the priorities, expectations, implications and the time line associated with the TEMAG recommendations.

Department of Education and Training representatives – Branch Manager of Initial Teacher Education Taskforce, Marg Sykes, and the Branch Manager of the Teaching and Learning Branch, Jan Febey – gave their update with a PowerPoint presentation, which is available here.
Louise Hanlon, Department of Education and Training, talked about the importance of driving a positive attitude to teacher education while, at the same time, being practical and frank. Key components were clear time frames, a robust process, working closely and quickly with AITSL and TEQSA, understanding the teacher education cycle and assessing the potential impact of changes.

TEMAG Chair, Professor Greg Craven, discussed what TEMAG means for the ACDE and the provision of teacher education programs. Video and audio of his speech can be viewed on the ACDE site, along with an edited transcript of his speech.
Next Deans Forum: 11 June 2015, Park Royal, Melbourne Airport.
Professor Brenda Cherednichenko reported to the February Board meeting on progress in developing the Literacy and Numeracy Test. Ms Anita Torr from AITSL also joined the meeting and acknowledged the institutions and individuals who had contributed to the 2014 field trial of literacy and numeracy items. In response to her request for feedback on the practicalities and logistics of the test, Helen Huntly forwarded Ms Torr a report compiled from ACDE members' feedback.

There are a number of Australasian Teacher Regulatory Authorities (ATRA) papers being prepared in Queensland, NSW and Victoria that relate to five TEMAG Report recommendations. They consider:

  1. More rigor in accreditation
  2. More consistent framework around Professional Experience
  3. A specialisation within the Primary degree (for example, STEM)
  4. What counts as evidence of exceptional graduates – how can we prove we have the best standards?
  5. More effective and more rigorous outcomes in teacher education courses
The Koori Mail 2015 Education lift-out featured a story about Alec Warner, an Aboriginal Teacher Education student at the University of Queensland, who contributed to the MATSITI ACDE Success and Engagement Day last November. Video excepts of an interview with Alec can be found here.


The positive partnership between MATSITI –  the More Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Teachers Initiative –   and ACDE is going from strength to strength with MATSITI's recent endorsement of ACDE’s plan to appoint an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples’ Education representative to the ACDE Board, and to establish an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples’ Education Advisory Committee.  Future collaborative projects being explored for commencement later this year are:

  1. Cultural Safety and Cultural Competence within Faculties/Schools of Education
  2. Increasing the numbers of PhD qualified Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders staff in Faculties/Schools of Education.

Toni Downes has stepped down as ACDE Project Leader due to increasing commitments within her own institution. Thank you to Toni for her strong leadership and commitment to these projects from their inception in 2012. Tania Aspland has generously taken on the ACDE Project Leader role.


The analysis of institutional Action Plans, now being completed, will provide a national picture of progress in this area. Interesting models and effective practices/strategies identified will be shared amongst participating institutions. Institutional representatives will be invited to discuss these in presentations to the MATSITI Annual Conference, OurMobTeach, in Adelaide from September 30 to October 1, 2015.

Revision of Module One: Know Yourself Know Your World has been completed and will soon be uploaded to the 3Rs website (accessible via The revision incorporates the valuable institutional representatives' feedback from the 'Hot Topic' teleconferences held in the second half of 2014, as well as the information that institutions provided, in 2012, about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander units in initial teacher education programs.  Institutional representatives will be invited to provide further feedback on the revised module. They will also be asked to indicate how they anticipate using the 3Rs website – supplementing lecture content, re-aligning units, for self-study by students, for online professional development, or in other ways.

Minister Pyne has been invited to formally launch the site at the OurMobTeach Conference.


It has been a positive start to 2015 with  the Office of Learning and Teaching (OLT) approving the final report for the Teachers Matter scoping project, with no revision required. The report will be available soon on the ACDE website.

The NADLATE Steering Group is  preparing an OLT project application for one of the future research opportunities – a longitudinal study – identified in the Report. This study will focus on the curriculum design factors that shape initial teacher education graduate standards that determine how well early career teachers are transitioning to, and being retained in, schools in disadvantaged and low SES communities.

NADLATE is also undertaking a review of the data about institutional activities relating to Professional Standards 3.1 and 3.2, which builds upon the data collection undertaken by ACDE in 2012. Thank you to the Faculties/Schools that have already submitted their updated data. If you have not yet been able to do so, please do participate to enable us to compile a national picture . This review is very relevant to literacy and numeracy in light of the test and current media interest and will also be very important in terms of the outcomes of the TEMAG review.

We are currently reviewing how to make the NADLATE website more user friendly and aligned with the revamped ACDE website.

In May, the President of the Australian Primary Principals Association (APPA), Dennis Yarrington, and the ACDE Board discussed the importance of the profession and teacher education institutions working together to offer solutions to teacher employers and governments.

APPA, which represents 24 state and territory principal associations covering more than 7000 primary schools, has four key areas of concern:

  • Entry and selection of teacher education students. How could principals be involved in the selection process and learn from working well with universities?
  • Course content and programs. How do we get those teaching teachers knowledgeable about current school practice?
  • Teacher practicums. Some states still have 10-week internships but others states have dropped down to a few days. Some initiatives – like Teach for Australia and Masters courses – are placing a huge workload on the classroom teachers who are marking assignments for teacher graduates. What will be the responsibility of universities and what will be the responsibility of schools? Universities need to ensure practicum placements are in line with the numbers of teacher education students enrolled.
  • Transition and Induction. Principals are seeing graduates come into school with gaps so, in first semester, principals often spend a lot of resources going beyond what the APPA sees as induction.

The ACDE Board acknowledged the potential benefits of shared approaches on common issues and will continue liaise with the APPA to that end.



Since the start of 2015, Sue Shore, the Director, International of the Graduate Centre of Education at Charles Darwin University, has been the new cADRE Chair. Thank you to Lori Lockyer (Macquarie) and John Williamson (UTAS) for leading cADRE from its inception last May.

The two cADRE Steering Group meetings this year have explored ways of working with similar groups like the Australian Association for Research in Education (AARE) and the Australian Research Deans of Education Network (ARDEN). Meetings with AARE representatives have discussed developing a more powerful collaborative approach to the dissemination, coordination and management of quality national academic research.  Collaboration will also assist the identification of potential collaborative research and potentially improve media recognition of quality research that is conducted by researchers rather than think tanks.

Conducting a  stocktake of relevant grants (e.g. ARC Discovery and Linkage grants) in education is being explored. A model, based on mapping already been undertaken by the School of Education at Southern Cross University, will be used to develop a national picture of grants received in relevant Field of Research (FoR) codes. The data collected will be extrapolated to show which FoRs have been most successful, what funding is being provided and whether there are any links between funding and the quality of research. It will also be possible to identify common research themes and gaps, as well as what research the funding bodies deem most significant. The work will  support informed consideration of potential research opportunities and a national approach to educational research. A project proposal is being developed for the ACDE Board’s consideration.

cADRE members will be consulted during the process to expand cADRE's online presence beyond one landing page on the main ACDE website.

Do you know of interesting research in education that we can highlight to ACDE members and beyond? If so, please email information to ACDE Project Manager, Anne Szadura.

Australian Association for Research in Education (AARE) President, Professor Martin Mills, addressed the May ACDE Board  meeting. He emphasised the value in strengthening AARE's relationship with Education Deans, particularly with regard to collaborative research projects. Professor Mills will join ACDE's cADRE group.

AARE invites qualified Faculties, Schools or Departments of Education to nominate a successful Doctoral student for the annual Ray Debus Award for Doctoral Research in Education. This award  recognies excellence in educational research by doctoral students.
For further information about this award please see the selection criteria, cover sheet and nomination process on AARE’s website .
The  Association sees the award as a way to promote the dissemination and furthering of research and highlight the high quality contributions that graduate students make to educational knowledge.
The award will be presented at the AARE Conference 2015 in Fremantle, Western Australia, in December 2015.
Nominations close COB 30 June 2015
Each institution may only make one nomination in any one year
At the February Board meeting the Chair acknowledged the five years of work and commitment by ACDE Executive Officer, Helen Kenneally.

Helen helped lift ACDE's profile from, what some described, as a 'back door cottage industry' to a well-established and strong organisation involved in framing national education policy.

She made the ACDE Secretariat a permanent fixture underpinned by strong corporate governance arrangements and principles – a major achievement. Helen's liaison and negotiation skills with Government department officials were outstanding.


At the February meeting, the Board thanked ACDE Treasurer, Professor Peter Aubusson, for his contribution. Professor Aubusson resigned from the Board, due to personal circumstances.

A new position of Deputy President was created, as back up for the President. Professor Helen Huntly was appointed to this role, as well as that of the Treasurer, until the next AGM.

In May, the Board welcomed the appointment of Professor Geoff Riordan, Dean, Faculty of Education, Science, Technology and Mathematics at the University of Canberra. Professor Riordan fills the ACT Board position that has been vacant for some time.

Professor Barry Down of Murdoch University is replacing Professor Stephen Ritchie as the West Australian representative on the Board while Professor Richie is acting Provost of the University.

At the May meeting, the ACDE Board formally welcomed David Templeman who replaced Helen Kenneally earlier this year. David has signed on as ACDE Executive Director for the next three years
'It's a time of significant national change and opportunity for the education profession, following a critical Australian Government review on all aspects of teacher education and quality teaching. We must ensure we attract and retain the very best to this profession for the long term benefits of our community.'

Professor Tania Aspland, ACDE President
DipTeach KPTC, GradDip (SpecialEd) MGCAE, 
BEd Qld., BA Qld., MEd Deakin., PhD Qld.
Professor Aspland is a leader in teacher education course development who has been engaged in numerous research projects on higher education pedagogies in undergraduate and graduate teacher education.
She completed a national research project on the quality of off-shore teaching that was funded by the Australian Learning and Teaching Council.

Her other research includes an investigation into the quality of off-shore doctoral supervision in three South-East Asian countries and an extensive literature review of teacher preparation in the
primary and middle years of schooling that included teacher preparation models in the UK, Ireland, Wales, Finland and Korea.

Professor Tania Aspland's appointment as ACDE President reflects her well-regarded professional standing and influence within the education sector. 

As the current Executive Dean, Faculty of Education and Arts at the Australian Catholic University, Professor Aspland has provided strategic leadership through a period of extensive growth and change at ACU, where she was also National Head of Education and Head of Education NSW/AC.

Keep an eye out for Professor Aspland's piece on Professional Education in the May issue of the Education Matters Magazine.
Graeme Locke (Edith Cowan) and Sally Knipe (La Trobe) have been recommended as ACDE’s representatives on AITSL’s Focus Group on the Teaching Profession.
'I am excited to be part of ACDE at a time when we have developed strong and positive working relationships with the major stakeholders who impact initial teacher education. I look forward to continuing our contribution to consolidating and enhancing the education and support of tomorrow's teachers.'

Professor Helen Huntly 
ACDE Deputy President

EdD, MEd, BEd, DipTeach

Professor Huntly was a secondary Health and Physical Education teacher before she moved into teaching future teachers at Central Queensland University, where she is now Dean of the School of Education and the Arts. 

She is highly motivated to ensure that our teachers are well-prepared and supported, so they can contribute positively to student learning in Australian classrooms.

Professor Huntly is the Chairperson of the Queensland Deans of Education Forum (QDEF) and an invited member of the Professional Standards Committee (PSC), the body that oversees teacher registration, teacher education course and program accreditation, and teacher professional development in Queensland. 

Professor Huntly has chaired several accreditation panels for Queensland higher education institutions (HEIs) seeking to have their initial teacher education courses and programs nationally accredited. She is also a member of the Professional Standards for Vocational Education and Training (VET) Practitioners Committee.

Nationally, she is an invited member of the National Initial Teacher Education Advisory Committee (NITEAC), which supports the Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leaders' (AITSL) oversight of the accreditation of teacher education courses and programs in Australia.  Professor Huntley is also on the Literacy and Numeracy Test for Initial Teacher Education Students Governance Committee.

Earlier this year we launched a new ACDE website that is now populated with videos and audio, as well as the latest ACDE information. The new website is user friendly and responsive to different viewing devices. If you have information, podcasts or videos you think could be of interest to ACDE members, please contact Leslie Falkiner-Rose, ACDE Media and Strategy.

May 15 - 17 AARE Theory Workshop.  Charles Darwin University, Darwin, NT. Suitable for all research staff but early career researchers, particularly, are encouraged to attend.

July 27- 29 Yapaneyepuk Symposium: Walking Together to Make a Difference. Pullman Hotel, Albert Park, Victoria. Relevant to institutional representatives for the ACDE-MATSITI projects – Engagement and Success and 3Rs.

Sept 30 - Oct 1 MATSITI Annual Conference – OurMobTeach – Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Teachers and School Leaders Forum. 
Intercontinental Hotel, Adelaide, SA. agement and Success and 3Rs projects.

This MATSITI conference brings together four years of project reforms. It celebrates the diversity of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples and the difference Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander teachers are making in Australian schools. A teacher education strand is included. All Deans/Heads are encouraged to attend, as are institutional representatives for the Engagement and Success and 3Rs projects.

Australian Council of Deans of Education (ACDE)
Universities Australia Building
Unit 3, 1 Geils Court
Deakin, ACT 2600




David Templeman
Executive Director
T: 02 6162 4480
M: 0431 283 969