The work of the BTR in this period was overseen by a newly appointed Chair, John Dwyer
The work from 1997 showed a focus on national issues as the Board was involved in the National Guidelines for Initial Teacher Education project, a project funded by the Federal Government and led by the Australian Council of Deans of Education. The national influence of the BTR was evident as these guidelines followed closely those used in Queensland for approving preservice teacher education programs for registration purposes. The BTR Director Marie Jansen was a member of the national project advisory committee.
During this period the BTR was closely involved in the development of internships in preservice teacher education programs. It also formed a working party on Practical Experience in Preservice Teacher Education as challenges to accommodate preservice students into schools for professional experience increased. These two matters continued to be part of the work of this period in the BTR.
In addition, from 1 January 1998, registration requirements for teachers included 4 years of teacher education.
1999 saw the launch of the website of the BTR, and in October that year, the first meeting of the Board outside Brisbane (at a state high school in Toowoomba). In October the following year the Board met at an independent school on the Sunshine Coast.
The BTR continued to be recognised as a national and international leader, hosting visits from New Zealand, South Australia, Tasmania and Western Australia as these latter two states continued their investigations with respect to developing their own systems of teacher regulation. Ongoing liaison with the General Teaching Council in Scotland also continued.
Late in 1999, the Board commenced a review into its work, termed the Fresh Look project. This review was in part in response to a number of national reports (eg., Adey, 1998; Crowley, 1998), in addition to acknowledging that it had been a decade since the Project 21 review. The review project’s Terms of Reference focused on teacher registration and initial teacher education, as follows:
In August 2001, a report Literacy in Teacher Education: Standards for Preservice Programs, was launched by the Education Minister Anna Bligh. These standards were a national first, and were the outcomes from a two year project of a Board working party.
The 2003 Annual Report emphasises the ongoing work of the BTR. Legislative amendments heralded operational changes to provisions under which the Board’s monitoring and disciplinary processes operate, as well as making changes to oversight relating to minimisation of harm to children in schools.
The standards and guidelines reviewed as part of the Fresh Look project were used to review the 19 preservice programs for registration. In addition, the Board continued to act on disciplinary matters and finalised the development of procedures for administering police checks. Police checks on approximately 62000 teachers registered before 1998 (when routine checks on new applicants began) began at this time. The BTR continued to contribute to national frameworks in areas of standards, initial teacher education education programs, acceptance of overseas academic awards, and mutual recognition of teacher registration.
Board members continued to visit higher education institutions to address final year teacher education students.
During this period many other states in Australia proceeded to develop regulatory authorities and processes (McMeniman, 2004). Queensland and South Australia established these during the 1970s, and Queensland BTE and BTR staff provided advice to other States. Tasmania and Victoria established a mandatory regulatory regime in 2000 and 2001 respectively. Parliaments in Western Australia, the Northern Territory and New South Wales passed legislation in 2004 to establish a mandatory regulatory regime in those jurisdictions. At this time, there was no requirement for teacher registration in the Australian Capital Territory.
Early in 2004, the Minister for Education and the Arts Anna Bligh announced a major review of the BTR’s functions and powers. The previous major review had led to the development of the BTR in 1989. An external reviewer, Professor Marilyn McMeniman was appointed to undertake the review. In inviting all teachers to be involved, the Director noted that “This is only the third major opportunity in the last 40 years to influence the ways in which the teaching profession is regulated in Queensland” (Board News, 2004, p. 11). A Discussion Paper with twelve key focus areas was prepared and stakeholders were invited to make submissions.
The McMeniman Report (2004) was submitted to the Minister in October 2004 and contained over 80 recommendations, all of which were endorsed by the government. The recommendations focused on Purpose of registration, Functions, Professional Standards, Criteria for registration, Renewal for registration, Categories of registration, Imposing conditions on registration, Criminal history checks, Investigations and complaints, Disciplinary functions, Disciplinary sanctions, Appeals, The Register, Certification, and Membership of the Board.
A key recommendation of the McMeniman Report was the establishment of a new teacher regulation body in Queensland, to commence from January 2006, and to be known as the Queensland College of Teachers. The work towards implementing the recommendations, including drafting new legislation, was begun in 2005 with an implementation committee chaired by the Director General of Education and the Arts, Ken Smith.
The 2005 Annual Report was the final report of the Board of Teacher Registration. Over the 17 years of the BTR (1989–2005), the Board had contributed to the quality of teaching in Queensland through regulation of the teaching profession as well as through influencing the initial and ongoing professional learning of teachers. The Board also demonstrated leadership in modelling and promoting teacher registration throughout Australia.
The 1997 Annual Report shows there were 72324 teachers on the register, with 64% of these having qualifications of four years or more.
As at January 2003, there were 84391 teachers on the register. 72% of these were female, and 7.6% were aged over 60. 73% of these teachers had four or more years of teacher education (BTR, 2003).
As at the end of 2005, there were 92376 teachers on the register, with 83% of these having qualifications of four years or more (BTR, 2005).
The BTR Director, Dr. Marie Jansen retired mid July 2002 after 6.5 years in the position.
In October 2002, Graeme Hall was appointed as Director. Graeme was a former School Principal, had been a Board member since 1989 and Deputy Chair since mid-2001, and had served on many of the Board’s committees and working parties. PHOTO Professional Exchange October 2002
Following the release of the McMeniman Report, Graeme Hall was seconded to work as Principal Advisor to the Implementation Committee during 2005. Ms L. M. Shaw was seconded from the Department of Education and the Arts to act as Director for 2005.
John Dwyer’s term as Chair ended at the final meeting for 2005. He had served the Board in this role since April 1997.
Communication with teachers has always been a significant part of the Board’s work. The Registered Teacher was revamped following teacher feedback in 1999. In the first 10 years of the BTR 1989–1999, 17 editions of The Registered Teacher were published and 22 editions of The Professional Exchange (a focus on teacher stories). In addition, 25 reports on issues relevant to teachers and teacher registration were published, including partnerships in teacher education, Indigenous education, literacy education and students with special needs.
In 2000, the two publications The Registered Teacher and The Professional Exchange were combined into one publication Professional Exchange for Queensland Registered Teachers. This was published and mailed to teachers 3 times a year until the end of 2005.
Adey, K. (1998). Preparing a profession: Report of the national standards and guidelines for initial teacher education project. Australian Council of Deans of Education.
Board News. (2004). Professional Exchange for Queensland Registered Teachers, 14, p.11 .
Board of Teacher Registration. (1997). Annual Report. Author.
Board of Teacher Registration. (2005). Annual Report. Author.
Board of Teacher Registration. (2003). Snapshot of the Register. Professional Exchange for Queensland Registered Teachers.
Crowley, R. C. (1998). A Class Act: Inquiry into the status of the teaching profession. Report from the Senate Employment, Workplace Relations, Small Business and Education Reference Committee.
McMeniman, M. (2004). Review of the powers and functions of the Board of Teacher Registration. Report to Queensland Minister for Education.