Federal government must focus on the future of our sector

Following the re-election of the Coalition Federal Government, many questions remain for the Australian education sector.

IEUA members, our students and our schools deserve answers to a number of questions that remain unanswered when it comes to government-imposed measures and regulations that continue to create concern and uncertainty for so many.

At the top of this list is the future of NAPLAN.

As IEUA Federal Secretary Chris Watt writes (What is NAPLAN's future) in this edition of IE, and following the recent failings of the system nationally in May, it is time for the Federal Government to seriously consider the viability and purpose of this test in Australian classrooms.

Across the country such government-imposed measures and regulations are creating uncertainty and simply adding an administrative workload which takes teachers away from the very essence of what they do best – teach.

NCCD reporting requirements are another example.

These government-imposed burdens on the profession come as we face a changing society where the role of teachers has never more been questioned by parents and the community.

The report on technology in the classroom (Digital revolution or disruption) is testament to this.

At the same time, bullying and harassment of teachers and school staff by students and parents is at an all-time high.

Serious intervention is needed at all levels, including federally, to ensure this insidious behaviour is prevented with educative measures put in place to support and model good behaviour in this context (Good behaviour bonds).

Without this, the professional and personal toll on our members will go unabated.

The results of the Coalition’s inquiry into the status of the teaching profession were never fully released due to the calling of the federal election in May (It's our profession)

This inquiry encapsulated the above issues and so many more, as teachers, our unions and others in the sector told of the reality facing the profession in the classroom each and every day.

With that government now in place for another term, the release of the report and its recommendations, along with genuine engagement of our members, should be the priority of the Coalition and Federal Education Minister Dan Tehan.

The future of our sector and quality education in Australia depends on it.

Terry Burke iemagazine@ieu.asn.au