Pyne takes the teachers out of Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership

1 June 2015

Education Minister Christopher Pyne is intent on turning the Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL) into an unrepresentative body by stacking the board and removing any role for teachers’ organisations, the AEU said today.

AEU Federal President Correna Haythorpe said the decision to remove teachers from the AITSL Board made a mockery of the organisation.

“It is ridiculous for an organisation which has the goal of improving the quality of teaching and school leadership to have no involvement from teachers’ organisations, or from public schools,” Ms Haythorpe said.

“It denies that teachers have any contribution to make to improving teaching standards in Australia.

“Minister Pyne seems intent on turning AITSL into a conservative-leaning organisation which does not fully represent education in Australia.

“The AEU has been on the AITSL board since its inception and has worked with other stakeholders to improve standards of teaching and teacher training in Australia.

“But despite increasing the size of the board Minister Pyne has found no room for the AEU – or any other representation of teachers.

“Instead we have seen Dr Jennifer Buckingham from the right-wing think tank, the Centre for Independent Studies, appointed. He has also appointed Professor Tania Aspland from the Australian Catholic University as the board member responsible for initial teacher education.

“There is a clear conflict here because the ACU is one of the universities with the lowest entry scores for teaching courses. This is particularly the case given AITSL’s new responsibilities for assessing teacher training courses in Australian universities.

“AITSL has a clear and important role to play in improving the quality of Australian schools, it should not be treated as an ideological plaything by Minister Pyne.”

Media Contact: Ben Ruse 0437 971 291