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Thursday, 27 June 1996
Page: 2322

Senator TIERNEY —by leave—The Senate Employment, Education and Training References Committee considered a number of references to be put forward. It was agreed by all parties at that meeting that we would hold three inquiries. This is the third one that has come into the Senate. It was agreed by our side that this inquiry proceed.

Motion (by Senator Chris Evans, at the request of Senator Crowley) agreed to:

That the following matter be referred to the Employment, Education and Training References Committee for inquiry and report by the last sitting day of the autumn session 1997:

The status of teachers and the development of the teaching profession during the next 5 years, with particular reference to:

(a)   describing community attitudes towards teachers and the ways in which schools operate, including examination of:

   (i)   the perceived relevance, to young people, of school and its links to vocational training and employment,

   (ii)   what is expected of schools in relation to meeting the needs of young people without appropriate family or personal support, and

   (iii)   any differences in the perceptions of urban and rural communities concerning schools;

(b)   examining the expectations of teachers regarding their careers and identifying those issues which bear most significantly on job satisfaction, stress and their ability to carry out their work efficiently and effectively, including:

   (i)   new patterns of work organisation and the relationships between teaching and non-teaching staff in schools,

   (ii)   the impact of communications technology on the role of the teacher and the management of schools,

   (iii)   changes to school funding practices, such as the emergence of private fundraising,

   (iv)   systems organisation and its impact on work practices and career development, and

   (v)   social factors influencing the expectations and attitudes of school students, and especially the impact on teachers of `at risk' and violent behaviour from students;

(c)   developing a national profile of Australia's teachers according to age, gender, qualifications, experience, salary level and career history;

(d)   assessing the levels of supply and demand which should guide the workforce planning for teachers in the context of demographic and other changes affecting schools into the next century;

(e)   examining the tertiary entrance levels of teacher trainees and the research literature on the quality of Australian teacher education programs, and identifying those features which bear significantly upon the quality of classroom practice; and

(f)   describing best practice in the induction of newly-trained teachers into schools, and identifying any significant shortcomings in induction or on-going professional development which require urgent attention.