Australian Professional Standards for Teachers

The crucial role of the teacher

Teachers share a significant responsibility in preparing young people to lead successful and productive lives. The Australian Professional Standards for Teachers reflect and build on national and international evidence that a teacher's effectiveness has a powerful impact on students,1 with a broad consensus that teacher quality is the single-most important in-school factor influencing student achievement.2 Effective teachers can be a source of inspiration and, equally importantly, provide a dependable and consistent influence on young people as they make choices about further education, work and life.

As stated in the National Partnership on Improving Teacher Quality3 and the Melbourne Declaration on Educational Goals for Young Australians,4 improving teacher quality is considered an essential reform as part of Australia's efforts to improve student attainment and ensure it has a world-class system of education. 'The greatest resource in Australian schools is our teachers. They account for the vast majority of expenditure in school education and have the greatest impact on student learning, far outweighing the impact of any other education program or policy'.5

Internationally6, education systems are developing professional standards for teachers as a mechanism to attract, develop, recognise and retain teachers. 'High performing school systems, though strikingly different in construct and context, [maintain] a strong focus on improving instruction because of its direct impact upon student achievement'.7

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“Effective teachers are crucial for enhancing student engagement and achievement, and play a vital role in establishing productive and supportive school environments. The Standards will spark professional dialogue among teachers and principals regarding what is expected of effective teachers.”

— Ms Sheree Vertigan, President, Australian Secondary Principals Association

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