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Thursday, 22 May 1980
Page: 3159

Mr Hayden asked the Minister for Education, upon notice, on 20 February 1 980:

What forecasts have been made of-

(1)   graduating teachers during each of the next five years.

(2)   the net number of jobs which will be available to graduate teachers, and

(4)   the average cost of training a graduate teacher for the ful period of their training.

Mr Fife - The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1)   Since 1975 there has been a steady reduction in the number of students entering primary and secondary preservice teacher education courses. As a result the number of students graduating fell in 1979, and further substantial falls are projected. In accordance with the Government's Guidelines, the Tertiary Education Commission has been monitoring trends in the supply and demand for teachers and last year began detailed discussions with State authorities and institutions to determine levels of intake into teacher training courses for the 1 982-84 triennium. As part of this consultative process, the Commission has prepared a working paper which seeks to arrive at a level of new graduates which will achieve a reasonably balance between supply and demand. The working paper's estimates are for Australia as a whole and the trends and implications identified will differ in impact from State to State; the paper was circulated to State authorities for discussion and comment in October 1979. The Commission's estimates from this working paper for the number of pre-service primary and secondary teacher graduates for the next five years are as follows:

The Commission proposes to revise these estimates when discussions with State authorities have been completed.

(2)   As pan of the working paper's assessment of teacher supply and demand in the 1980s, the Commission has made an estimate of possible demand levels for additional teachers based on assumptions of future school enrolment levels, pupil teacher ratios and wastage rates for employed teachers. These estimates suggest that the demand for additional teachers over the next five years will be about 13,000 per annum. This would represent the maximum number of jobs available to new graduate teachers; while in practice most of these positions will be filled by new graduates, it is the responsibility of employers to decide whether to employ a new graduate or an experienced teacher seeking to re-enter the workforce.

(3)   For students wishing to become teachers there are two types of courses available. Most secondary teachers undertake a four year course of study which includes the equivalent of one year's specific teacher training; the remainder of the course is equivalent to the normal arts/ science/economics programs undertaken by other students. For primary teachers, the typical course is of three years in length and while a significant component of the course is not specifically related to teaching, the training is more related to the teaching function and is spread through the full length of the course. In the case of secondary teachers the general education component is not regarded as a direct cost of training a teacher since a non-teaching qualification is normally obtained upon completion of the first three years of the four year program; in the primary case, it is more reasonable to regard the total cost as being incurred in teacher training. Given this, the Commission has estimated that the average cost of training a teacher education graduate for the full period of training is approximately $13,000 at December 1979 cost levels. However, if account is taken of the teacher training component alone, the average cost per student is approximately $8,000.

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