The Minister for Education, the Hon Christopher Pyne MP, today announced the Australian Government will fund a trial Literacy and Numeracy Test for initial teacher education students that will be available from August this year for up to 5000 students across seven capital cities and two regional locations.
Minister Pyne said the 2015 introduction will confirm that the test is fit for purpose before it becomes a course requirement for all initial teacher education students graduating from the end of the 2016 academic year.
“I am pleased that the Australian Council for Educational Research will build on its work in developing and trialling the test in 2014 and will deliver the test in this first phase of implementation,” he said.
To provide students with access in a wide range of areas, the test will be offered in metropolitan locations of Perth, Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, Canberra, Darwin and regional locations of Albury and Ballarat.
“Under changes to teacher training, recommended by the Abbott Government’s Teacher Education Ministerial Advisory Group, every teacher education student who graduates must pass the new Literacy and Numeracy test from 2016,” Mr Pyne said.
“Testing key aspects of the personal literacy and numeracy skills of aspiring teachers will assist higher education providers, teacher employers and the general public to have absolute confidence in the skills of graduating teachers,” he said.
“For too long there have been public concerns about the variability in the quality of teaching graduates and in the effectiveness of existing programmes in preparing new teachers.
“On top of the new test, there will be an overhauled accreditation process established from the beginning of 2016. All courses will have moved to the new approach by the end of 2017.
“Pre-service teachers must have a thorough understanding on how to teach literacy and numeracy, including phonics and have skills in data collection and analysis for student assessment and to be better able to engage with parents,” Mr Pyne said.
The new test is part of the Government’s Students First approach which focuses on four key areas that will make a difference to students:
· teacher quality
· school autonomy
· parental engagement
· strengthening the curriculum
For further information, visit www.studentsfirst.gov.au.