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Unis told to up their game for teaching teachers

NEW South Wales universities have been told to step up their game in training school teachers, after an audit of education degrees found there was plenty of scope for improvement.

Under new recommendations by the NSW Board of Studies, Teaching and Educational Standards, all new teachers will have to be trained to support children with special needs.

The audit found experienced teachers should be brought in to mentor teaching students at university, because it was "highly unlikely that graduating teachers can be prepared with sufficient knowledge to cater for all of the students with special needs they will encounter in their first classrooms".

BOSTES recommended new teachers should not start their professions without first proving their effective classroom management skills.

It also suggested new quality standards be prepared for online training providers, mandating that degrees cannot be awarded unless the trainee teacher has had experience in a real classroom.

The audit reports further advised all new teachers and their principals should be surveyed every year to determine the quality of their teaching.

BOSTES president Tom Alegounarias said the reports provided a better understanding of the teacher education landscape in NSW.

"Overall NSW higher education providers are producing quality teaching graduates. However, there are some areas of teacher education that need further research and others where we can take action to improve outcomes now," Mt Alegounarias said.

A working party will be established this year to implement the recommendations, with representation from the three school sectors and universities.


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