There has been a long history of teachers being sidelined from discussions about teaching and education in general, Keith Heggart writes.
This seems odd, but it’s not uncommon. For example, the recent parliamentary inquiry into the status of the teaching profession, led by Andrew Laming, often held public hearings at times that were impossible for teachers to attend and present their thoughts.
Even in the current discussions about literacy and numeracy tests for teaching students, bursaries and ATAR cut offs, the key figures leading the discussion are politicians, bureaucrats and policy makers, as well as other education stakeholders like parent groups or initial teacher education providers, rather than teachers themselves. This is something that the IEUA has constantly challenged, aware of the well known adage ‘If you’re not at the table, you’re on the menu’.
This was the case at a recent forum organised by the Australian Council of Deans of Education (ACDE) in Melbourne. The event’s stated purpose was to identify ways to improve the status of teachers in the community. There were a lot of related issues, including some of the recent calls to impose artificial ATAR cut offs for teaching students.