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The ‘chief reason’ why Australia’s global education rankings are slipping

Ross and Russel
Article image for The ‘chief reason’ why Australia’s global education rankings are slipping

Federal Education Minister Alan Tudge is today expected to say Australia will embark on a decade-long push to re-enter the world’s top 10 education nations.

In the early 2000s, Australia ranked fourth among OECD nations for reading, eighth for science and 11th in maths.

In 2018, the country’s rank fell to 16th in reading, 17th in science and 29th in maths.

Former principal and education and school leadership expert, Adam Voigt, says “there’s a decline here and it’s worth addressing”.

But Mr Voigt says teacher training, which is often blamed for the decline, is only part of the picture.

“I think the chief reason behind our decline is we haven’t’ supported our teachers enough,” he told Ross and Russel.

“Our teachers have more face-to-face hours in the classroom than almost any other country in the world, which means we give them less time to plan than any other country in the world.

“We have our young teachers leak out of our workforce at ridiculous rates because they hit the classroom and they have challenges around student behaviour we haven’t’ trained them for.

“What we do with our teachers is put them in the top 10 in terms of the amount of administration we expect them to do, and it drives them out of the profession.”

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Ross and Russel
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