Research and Evaluation

Building the right foundation: Improving teacher induction in Australian schools


Hay Group
Cite As: 

Hay Group 2014, Building the right foundation: Improving teacher induction in Australian schools, Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership, Melbourne.


This report was developed to provide a meta-analysis of the key research in the area of new teacher induction. Section one outlines why school sectors and leaders should invest in induction for new teachers. Australian education systems and schools that are committed to lifting teacher quality need to consider the role of induction in helping to bring in new teachers, focusing on three key areas; engaging high potential teachers; building a professional performance and development culture; and moving beyond the ‘sink or swim’ mentality for new teachers.

Section two discusses induction in the education context, focusing on its role as a formal program for beginning teaching, a phase in the teacher life cycle as well as a process of socialisation. Key themes which emerge from existing literature are also considered in regards to the elements of an effective induction program.

Section three considers the current state of induction practice in Australian schools. Section four looks to the future and considers where to from here for Australian schools. The key lessons from successful school systems internationally are explored to reveal that; they see induction as one contributing part in a holistic approach to education designed to improve student outcomes; they establish teaching as public practice, rather than private practice as a critical enabler; they invest time and resources in induction. Finally, section five recognises that in seeking to implement change, it is culture, leadership and clarity that are the keys to success.