Latest figures show more students with ATARs under 50 are being admitted to teaching degrees, raising questions about minimum entry standards from the Australian Education Union (AEU).
The rate of entrants with ATARs under 50 has nearly doubled since 2013, rising from 7.2 per cent to 14.3 per cent, which the AEU says indicates a failure by the Coalition to introduce means of addressing falling standards or an oversupply of graduates.
Ms. Correna Haythorpe, Federal President of the AEU, said the Government must impose minimum entry standards in order to maintain the future quality of Australia’s teaching body.
“Entry scores for teaching degrees have dropped steadily over the last decade, and are now significantly lower than for other courses.
“This is a far cry from successful school systems like Singapore which recruit teachers from the top 30 per cent of high school graduates,” she says.
Figures released by the Federal Education Department shows that 1062 students were admitted to teaching courses with ATARs under 50, up from 894 in 2015 and in 2016 over half of all teaching students admitted with an ATAR in 2016 had one of less than 70.
Ms. Haythorpe highlights the Government’s stated intention to put teacher quality ahead of funding, but as thus far failed to take meaningful steps in this direction.
“The Coalition wants to cut needs-based Gonski funding after 2017, and says they will focus on teacher quality ahead of resources. Yet they have failed to do anything to address this issue or limit the number of students entering teaching degrees.”