Survey shows worrying lack of training for Australian teachers

A survey of teachers across Australia has highlighted significant concerns about the professional development they receive, vital for schools and pupils’ education.

More than half of Australian teachers surveyed (52%) feel that they do not have the right training resources to grow in their current role.

The survey was carried out by education giant Tes, provider of recruitment, classroom software and over 14,000 Australian curriculum-aligned teaching resources.

The other findings from the survey of Australian teachers were:

  • More than two thirds (69%) of teachers surveyed agreed that professional development is very important in their current role.
  • Almost half (46%) say professional development courses have enhanced their confidence in the classroom
  • Worryingly, over a third (35%) say that their school does not support and recognise their professional development plans
  • The vast majority of teachers say that professional development influences their career choices. 5 out of 6 teachers (84%) say that a school that offers and supports professional development is a more attractive employer for them.

We know that teacher recruitment is incredibly hard for schools in Australia right now. The pandemic has dramatically affected the number of teachers available, so attracting good staff and retaining them is even more important than ever before. Previous studies have shown that by offering staff the right support, training and opportunities schools can improve retention and position themselves as an employer of choice.

The Australian Government has recently asked that all Departments of Education have to commit to creating a strategic plan by December showing how they will tackle the current teacher shortage, while they themselves have committed to helping the flow of international teachers into the country by speeding up the International Visa process.

Tim Waley, Executive Consultant Tes Australia & NZ says

“With many Australian schools struggling with the “attraction, retention and advancement” of teachers, these survey findings show that teachers really value their professional development.

“There is no doubt that the schools that offer a blend of high quality online and in person training will attract and retain high calibre staff. This is especially pertinent in the current tight recruitment market.

“Tes can help schools, by offering continuous professional development for teachers. As 84% of teachers say that this offer would make a potential employer more attractive to them, it’s a no-brainer for schools to develop their existing staff, to enhance their confidence, develop their skills and improve the quality of education that students receive.

“The extent of the teacher recruitment crisis in Australia is well known. If Australian schools can retain more of their own teachers by improving the professional development they offer, they are much more likely to achieve the student:teacher ratios that we all know benefit every student.”

Tes will be hosting a webinar on the topic of professional development; it will be held on Thursday 15th September at 4pm. In the webinar Ian Holden, former head of Newington College Preparatory School (Sydney) and Professional Development consultant for Tes, will be joined by fellow head colleagues Mel Bryden, Trent Driver and Ari Guha to discuss the key findings of the survey and advise schools on how they can embed a programme of professional development suitable for all levels of teacher and use PD to become an employer of choice - attracting the best candidates and improving their retention rates.

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