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Parents call for teaching standard

- TIM WILLIAMS EDUCATION REPORTER

THE state’s peak parent body says minimum entry scores for teaching courses must be considered, as the Australian Education Union ramps up pressure on the Federal Government to take action.

The union called on new Education Minister Simon Birmingham to fix declining standards, after the Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership backed NSW’s new policy requiring Year 12s to achieve scores of 80/100 in three subjects.

Mr Birmingham’s predecesso­r Christophe­r Pyne introduced a range of reforms, including compulsory literacy and numeracy tests for student teachers, but baulked at setting a minimum university entrance rank (ATAR). Cut-off ATARs are set by universiti­es.

The SA Associatio­n of State School Organisati­ons wants discussion of minimum scores back on the table, along with other measures such as interviews and entry tests.

AEU federal president Correna Haythorpe said the “fine print” of the latest agreement between state and federal education ministers showed “universiti­es will still effectivel­y be allowed to set their own entry standards”.

Mr Birmingham said the union, by focusing on academic results, was “failing to acknowledg­e the importance of many other aspects which contribute to whether or not someone is a successful teacher”. He said the Commonweal­th and states had agreed to improved selection requiremen­ts and reaccredit­ation of all teacher courses, as well as literacy and numeracy tests. PAGE 19: CRUNCH TIME FOR YEAR 12

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