The decade 2010–2019 presented many challenges for the teacher regulatory authority, with both State and Commonwealth reviews and work required to implement subsequent reform outcomes.
At the beginning of 2010 the QCT was continuing to work on Recommendations 1and 2 of the Masters (2009) Review that it had been tasked by the State Government to undertake – that is, strengthen the accreditation of initial teacher education programs through (1) the development of a pre-registration test for literacy, numeracy and science; and (2) the development of a professional development framework for these areas, in addition to assessment in them.
In February 2010 the State Government published A Flying Start for Queensland Children — Green Paper which heralded a state-wide consultation from February through to June. In April 2010 Caldwell and Sutton were appointed to undertake a review of teacher education and school induction, specifically to assist the government’s preparation of the A Flying Start for Queensland Children — White Paper. This White Paper, as well as the government’s response to the Caldwell and Sutton recommendations, were published late in 2010. The Queensland College of Teachers was again charged with the task of overseeing the strengthening of elements of teacher education and College staff participated in the implementation taskforce.
In 2013 the State Government outlined A Fresh Start Strategy which focussed on the following initiatives related to teacher supply, initial teacher education and effective mentoring and induction. Those initiatives were:
In 2015, the Queensland Professional Experience Reporting Framework was introduced to map expectations of attainments of preservice practical experiences in schools.
Similar activity with respect to the work of teacher regulatory authorities was occurring at the Commonwealth level.
As indicated in the August 2021 eNews, as Queensland was working to fulfil the legislative requirements of a new Act [the Education (Queensland College of Teachers) Act 2005], there was increasing national activity with respect to harmonisation of registration and development of national standards for teachers and for accreditation of initial teacher education programs.
The Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL) was established in 2010 and provided a framework for this increasing national focus.
Work commenced to develop a national set of standards for teachers in 2009 and, having developed and published Queensland Professional Standards in 2007, the QCT had significant input into that development. The Australian Professional Standards for Teachers (APST) was endorsed by all Australian Education Ministers in December 2010 and published by AITSL in 2011. These standards were revised in 2018.
Revised requirements for ITE program accreditation were also developed within AITSL. The Accreditation Standards and Procedures set out the requirements that an initial teacher education (ITE) program must meet to be nationally accredited. They were initially developed in 2011 and revised in 2015, with further updates made in 2018 and 2019.
In 2011, a national framework for teacher registration was developed. This posed little change to the scheme already in operation in Queensland.
2012 saw the announcement of a Royal Commission into institutional responses to child sexual abuse. The QCT contributed to this review.
In 2014, the Commonwealth Government published the Action Now: Classroom ready teachers report, known as the TEMAG review as it was prepared by the Teacher Education Ministerial Advisory Group.
Recommendations focused on the following:
The review prompted significant reforms across ITE programs. These included a non-academic entry statement, and an authentic assessment of teaching practice in the final year of the ITE course, known as the Teaching Performance Assessment (TPA). The QCT partnered with the Learning Sciences Institute Australia and, together with all except one Queensland university, developed the first TPA (endorsed by AITSL) in Australia, the GTPA.
In 2015 QCT’s national leadership was again evident as it was asked to prepare two of the five national papers requested by AITSL to assist in implementing TEMAG recommendations.
The Final Report of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse was released in 2017. The QCT paid close attention to the findings relevant to teachers and schools.
Following a year-long national consultation, The One Teaching Profession: Teacher Registration in Australia report was published in 2018. Recommendations from the report aimed to strengthen child safety, improve teacher quality and streamline teacher registration processes across Australia.
On 20 November 2018, The House Standing Committee on Employment, Education and Training announced an inquiry into the Status of the Teaching Profession. The Valuing Australia’s Teachers Inquiry conducted public consultations and received submissions. However, this inquiry lapsed when the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Employment, Education and Training ceased to exist at the dissolution of the House of Representatives on 11 April 2019. A summary report was made available.
A significant review of the Education (Queensland College of Teachers) Act 2005 was conducted in 2016 and legislative changes were finalised in the Education and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2016. Some of the changes pertained to a Returning to Teaching condition, Professional Practice and Conduct matters, the Internal Review Committee and Board membership (a reduction from 17 to 15 members).
The QCT continued to provide submissions and engage in public consultations in relation to the various inquiries. In addition, the Board Chair, Emeritus Professor Wendy Patton, was a member of the expert panel on the 2018 teacher registration review.
The QCT continues to engage in research and also continues to support teacher researchers to present their research findings at state and national conferences.
Also in 2018, the QCT was granted head of power to accredit Highly Accomplished and Lead Teachers for Queensland state schools and schools represented by the Queensland Catholic Education Commission. This was a significant addition to the role of the QCT and triggered a change in the governing legislation.
During the decade, the QCT continued to demonstrate leadership nationally and internationally. It continued as an active member of the Australian Teacher Regulatory Authorities network and the International Federation of Teacher Regulatory Authorities. During 2018-2019, the QCT led a review, with key national stakeholders, into the regulatory burdens for initial teacher education providers in attaining accreditation. This work drew national acclaim for the leadership of the QCT and resulted in the publication Challenging Regulatory Burden without compromising rigour, quality or oversight in initial teacher education accreditation (QCT, 2019).
In 2010, the QCT undertook the first process of renewal of registration as required under the new Act every five years. This was also undertaken in 2015 and 2020.
In 2010 there were 97,086 registered teachers; as of 2020, there were 111,175 teachers on the register.
Of interest is the gradual ageing of the teaching register. In 2017 the average age of teachers was 44.8 years with the average age of applicants 34.5 years. By 2020, the average age is 45.6 years with the average age of applicants 35.8 years. In 2020, 76.6% of the registered teachers were female, and 51.3% of all registered teachers were over 45 years of age.
Dr Joe McCorley retired from the role of Chair of the Board early in 2017 after almost eight years in the position. Emeritus Professor Wendy Patton began as Chair in August 2017.
After 13.5 years’ service as Director, John Ryan retired in May 2019. Deanne Fishburn succeeded as Director in May 2019.
The QCT began an eNews publication in April 2010 and continues this regular communication today. The eNews is emailed to all teachers on the register every 4–6 weeks during the school year.
A Flying Start for Queensland Children — Green Paper (2010). Qld Department of Education and Training.
A Flying Start for Queensland Children — White Paper (2010). Qld Department of Education and Training.
A Fresh Start Strategy (2013). Qld Department of Education Training and Employment
Caldwell, B., & Sutton, D. (2010). Review of teacher education and school induction. Queensland Government.
Craven, G., Beswick, K., Fleming, J., Fletcher, T., Green, M., Jensen, B., & Rickards, F. (2014). Action Now: Classroom ready teachers. Australian Government.
QCT (2019). Challenging Regulatory Burden without compromising rigour, quality or oversight in initial teacher education accreditation. Author.