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From the ground up
Teacher (2010)
  • Elizabeth Kleinhenz, ACER
What happens when educators rather than policymakers initiate a program to define and maintain professional teaching standards from the ground up? It is possible to trace the current Draft National Professional Standards for Teachers back to 2003, when Australia's Ministers for Education endorsed the National Framework for Professional Standards for Teaching. They can be traced even further back, though, to the Control of Entry campaign of the 1960s and '70s. In 1969 fewer than 40 per cent of secondary teachers in Victorian government schools held a university degree and the figure for teachers with both a degree and teacher training was 34.4 per cent. Among teachers there was little expectation that the authorities were prepared to address the problem, so some decided to take matters into their own hands as members of the Victorian Secondary Teachers' Association (VSTA). The executive established a fledgling Registration Board, with qualified teachers receiving immediate full registration and unqualified teachers receiving provisional registration with the proviso they would become fully qualified within seven years. Anyone coming to work after 1 April 1969 would have to produce his or her VSTA certificate and if not, teaching staff would stop work. A series of stop-works and meetings followed but it was not until 1975 that the Victorian Government created the Teachers' Registration Board, which lasted until 1993, when it was abolished by the Kennett Government, but in 2004 all teachers had to be registered with the Victorian Institute of Education, established in 2001. The significance of the VSTA Control of Entry campaign in the 1960s has often been debated but what was remarkable about it was that teachers themselves rose up with a passion to seize the initiative and fight to protect their professional standards and status.
  • Teacher competencies,
  • Teacher certification,
  • Teacher qualifications,
  • Standards
Publication Date
September, 2010
Citation Information
Elizabeth Kleinhenz. "From the ground up" Teacher Iss. 214 (2010)
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