Last week we celebrated World Teachers’ Day. The Queensland College of Teachers (QCT) was at the forefront, promoting and celebrating Queensland teachers through publishing stories of more than 200 nominees in the 10th year of the Excellence in Teaching Awards. Finalists were celebrated in a ceremony held within view of Brisbane’s Story Bridge, which had been lit up to celebrate the occasion. This is but one example of the QCT’s commitment to providing Queensland teachers with much more than a registration framework. Queensland led the nation in developing a system for the registration of teachers in the early 1970s (the remainder of the country has since followed). While for many teachers, paying an annual registration fee is their only point of connection with the state regulator, the QCT, there is much more to be gained from this relationship.
Registration is one of the key mechanisms which can assure the professional standing and quality of a profession. It is underpinned by clear expectations of what is required to become a teacher, and what standards must be met by all teachers. The registration system ensures that only appropriately qualified and suitable people are employed as teachers, thereby protecting educational standards and student safety, and upholding the reputation of the profession. In addition, all teachers can be confident that their peers are also endorsed by the same high-standard registration processes, providing a high degree of confidence in their profession.
From 2011, the national registration framework embedded the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers (APST) within registration requirements. The Teacher Standards guide and strengthen the quality of teaching and provide a framework for career progression and ongoing professional learning. The APST are complementary to registration processes.
In Queensland, the QCT regards registration as the doorway to our profession, the beginning to a teacher’s professional teaching journey. What is vital about the work of your QCT is the commitment to ensuring that the profession remains standards-based, that students are protected, and that the integrity of the teaching profession is maintained. QCT staff work to maintain the highest standards – in initial teacher education program accreditation, in maintenance and support of the teacher standards, and in enabling all education stakeholders to have confidence of the suitability and quality of their teachers.
The College actively engages in a number of activities to promote and showcase excellence in the teaching profession in Queensland (for example, the QCT Excellence in Teaching Awards, and the INSTEAMO photo and video competition). In addition, the QCT operates as a neutral body working in productive and respectful collaboration with all stakeholders – employing bodies, unions, parent and principal partners, and higher education institutions. Its focus in these relationships is on the excellence of the teaching profession and working with all partners to achieve this.
The QCT publishes a regular e-newsletter to keep you informed, and its website provides access to a range of resources to enhance teaching and learning and assist teachers in interpretation of the APST. It also provides links to resources from other stakeholders.
The QCT is acknowledged as a national leader in evidence-based contribution to national policy discussions around child safety, teacher professional boundaries, and promoting the profession. I have cited QCT reports in earlier blogs (see references below again). Expertise of QCT staff is regularly sought by other state (and international) regulatory bodies.
Your QCT ensures that the teaching profession in Queensland is continually held in high esteem. The QCT works to maintain standards through promoting the code of ethics and investigating practice and conduct matters. In each of these roles, it works for you, the teachers of Queensland – to provide ongoing confidence in all facets of the profession.
QCT reports and commissioned research
Bahr, N., Graham, A., Ferreira, J., Lloyd, M., & Waters, R. (2018). Promotion of the teaching profession in Queensland. Bilinga: Southern Cross University. Prepared for Queensland College of Teachers.
Queensland College of Teachers. (2013). Attrition of recent Queensland graduate teachers. Author.
Wyatt-Smith, C., Du Plessis, A., Hand, K., Wang, J., Alexander, C., & Colbert, P. (2017). Why choose teaching? A matter of choice: Evidence from the field. A report prepared for the Queensland College of Teachers. Brisbane, Queensland: Learning Sciences Institute Australia.