The Business Council of Australia has welcomed the announcement by Deputy Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Victorian Premier John Brumby, that ‘Teach for Australia’ will recruit high-achieving graduates to contribute to the community by teaching for two years.
BCA Chief Executive Katie Lahey said business supported giving Australia’s most talented graduates an opportunity to apply their knowledge and skills in disadvantaged schools.
“This initiative has the potential to make an important contribution to lifting the status of teaching and to improved education outcomes,” Ms Lahey said.
“Teach for Australia, which is an independent body, will also develop a generation of future leaders who understand the requirements and the challenges of school education.
“The skills and dedication of school teachers are vital to realising our future aspirations for young Australians and for our nation.
“However, the profession is not valued to the extent that it should be, given the importance of giving Australia’s children the best possible education.
“These issues have been highlighted in research undertaken by the BCA in collaboration with the Australian Council for Educational Research. Last year, our Teaching Talent report named the recruitment of talented teachers as the first of five essential school education reforms.
“Teach for Australia’s innovative approach will provide an additional source of enthusiasm and ideas to which students will be exposed.
“Importantly, it will assist in building wider business and community linkages and support for the teaching professions and school education over the medium to long term. In this way, we can lift the status of teaching as a career and a profession.
“We look forward to the rapid and effective implementation of other Council of Australian Government reforms to school education. These include recognising and rewarding excellent teachers, improving leadership development within school education and improving learning outcomes in lower socioeconomic communities,” she said.