Colin Barnett

Colin Barnett


    WA to have a Council of Teaching

    15/11/2000 1:40 PM

    Western Australia will have a Council of Teaching established by 2002 which will act as an independent, representative body to promote the teaching profession.

    Education Minister Colin Barnett said today the State Government’s decision follows extensive consultation with all sectors of the education community over the past 18 months.

    Mr Barnett said the discussion paper he released in August last year led to around 350 submissions on the issue of teacher registration.

    He said the analysis of these led to the position paper tabled in Parliament today recommending that Government go ahead with the establishment of the new body.

    “This represents another step forward in this Government’s continuing efforts to raise the status of teachers and teaching in our community,” the Minister said.

    “The new council will enhance the status of the teaching profession by licensing those practising, setting ongoing professional development requirements and being the public voice on what is effective school teaching.

    “I have set up a planning group to devise the details of the model which will be implemented through legislation."

    The model will provide for:
    • professional and ethical standards for entry to and continuing practise in the profession;
    • a mandatory fee-paying registration requirement on all teachers in Government and non-Government schools;
    • penalties for employing unregistered staff;
    • ongoing professional development requirements;
    • powers to deregister people for criminal behaviour (to address in particular growing public concern about paedophilia), misconduct and substandard performance; and -
    • the council to work with equivalent bodies elsewhere in Australia and overseas and with teachers’ professional associations in WA.
    Mr Barnett said when established the council would work closely with West Australian universities, the Curriculum Council and the major employers of teachers.

    He said the operations of the council would be substantially self-funded within three years after seed funding from Government.

    The membership of the council’s governing body would be made up by a majority of registered teachers.

    “There has been extensive consultation so far with more next year,” Mr Barnett said
    “The planning group has representatives from professional education associations, Catholic and independent schools, education faculties, the Education Department, Department of Training and Employment, Department of Education Services, both teachers’ unions and both parent peak bodies.

    “It will be required to consult widely on the model being developed, especially with teachers and their professional associations.”

    Media contact: Diana Callander 9222 9699