Dan Tehan, friend to teachers

Education Minister Dan Tehan has asked a House of Representatives committee to inquire into “the status of the teaching profession, considering opportunities to improve outcomes in a range of areas.”

The Standing Committee on Employment, Education and Training will consider; support for teachers, including people and IT, ways in which “the burden of out-of-hours, at-home work can be reduced” and improving teacher retention and avoiding burnout.

This is smart politics. Signalling support for rank and file teachers can position Mr Tehan as a friend of practical education. His predecessors, Christopher Pyne and Simon Birmingham did the same sort of thing, backing young teachers, keeping clear of state minister deplore-a-grams about low ATARS, while encouraging community confidence, notably with pre-classroom literacy and numeracy tests for new graduates.

This is an inquiry the teacher education establishment will have to embrace, and the Australian Council of Deans of Education knows it, saying they expect the inquiry to, “help curb the frequently negative political rhetoric about the teaching profession. ACDE is well aware of how the ongoing public commentary, that often blames teachers for all education ills, adds to the many challenges that deter potential teachers from entering the profession and demoralises many of those already in our nation’s classrooms.”

Before the committee gets going on this there is the report on research funding it is yet to release. All of a sudden people are very interested in this.


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