ACDE Re-Elects President, New Deputy and Outlines Priority Issues

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The Australian Council of Deans of Education (ACDE) has re-elected Professor Tania Aspland, Dean of Education Policy and Strategy at Australian Catholic University,as ACDE President for another two years.

Professor Michele Simons, Dean of Education at Western Sydney University, has been elected as the new Deputy President.

The ACDE wishes to thank outgoing Deputy President, Professor John Williamson, for his strong support and ongoing advocacy for quality teaching.

‘After three years of major reforms in Australian teacher education in Australia, there is still much to be done,’ Professor Aspland says.

‘My priority is to sustain ACDE’s place at the table with politicians and education bureaucrats to ensure the views of our 43 members, who teach our future teachers, are well represented.’

The ACDE’s priorities are:

  1. Improve the status of teachers and encourage the valuing of the teaching profession.

‘The number one issue is the need to stop the blame game around teacher quality and the selection of teaching students, which seriously erodes our capacity to attract and retain teachers. With a 20% drop in teacher education applicants this year, we will soon have a shortage of teachers beyond the current shortages in specific areas,’ Professor Aspland says.

  1. Stop the increase in casualisation of the teaching workforce

‘We need to see the end of the increasing casualisation of the workforce. It impacts early career teachers particularly and is a key reason they leave the profession within the five years of graduation,’ she says.  

  1. Re-structure student teacher practical placement funds so they are more effective.

‘The Federal funds for student teacher placements in schools need to be re-structured so students can be mentored more effectively while gaining practical classroom experience,’ Professor Aspland says,

  1. Improve ongoing professional development of the workforce

‘We need to see real action to improve the ongoing professional development of the teaching workforce as that issue has languished since it was included in the Teacher Education Ministerial Advisory Group (TEMAG) recommendations accepted by the Federal Government in 2014,’ Professor Aspland says.

  1. Support what research says will most improve Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander education.

‘In relation to Indigenous education, ACDE urges the Federal Government to move beyond the over-emphasis on school truancy to address the pressing issues, which evidence shows are most likely to improve the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander school students.

‘What goes on inside the school gates is critical. Teachers, who are confident, culturally competent and well-supported, build trust with communities and engage students effectively to achieve the best outcomes.

‘However, there is still only one Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander teacher for approximately every 17 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students.

‘Only one in every three Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander teacher education students currently graduates as a teacher so we must lift the completion rates for these students, who are often the first in their family to go into tertiary education.

ACDE trusts that the Federal Government will address the failed political leadership on Respect, Relationships and Reconciliation that has set back the quality of current and future education for all Australians,’ Professor Aspland says.


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