All teachers to be BOSTES-accredited by 2017

Anna Uren
Relieving Research Officer

Education Minister Adrian Piccoli said he hoped all teachers would be accredited by the end of 2017.

Legislation has been introduced to the NSW Parliament that will require all teachers in schools and early childhood settings in NSW to be accredited with the Board of Studies, Teaching and Educational Standards (BOSTES).

Changes to the Teacher Accreditation Act will make it mandatory for the following teachers to be accredited:

  • teachers in schools irrespective of when they began teaching
  • early childhood teachers, including those in non-school based early childhood education settings
  • teachers in schools who have responsibilities relating to curriculum delivery and assessment of students, but who may not currently engage in actual classroom teaching, including, but not limited to, non-teaching principals.

  • Discussing the legislation in parliament, Education Minister Adrian Piccoli said he hoped all teachers would be accredited by the end of 2017.

    For the purposes of the Act, a person is considered a teacher even when only a small part of the role may be taken up with direct or indirect teaching responsibilities. This means that school counsellors, careers advisers and other such roles can continue to be seen as teaching positions and those teachers will also be required to be accredited.

    The accreditation process for current teachers, who are not yet required to be accredited, will recognise their experience. Pre-2004 teachers will not have to go through the processes that beginning teachers currently undergo to become accredited.

    Once accredited, all teachers will be required to maintain accreditation in the same way. With the new salaries structure and upcoming performance and development framework, along with school-based professional learning, all being mapped against the standards, teachers’ everyday practice will easily meet the requirements for maintenance.

    The expansion of accreditation to all practicing teachers will help to ensure everyone is able to access appropriate professional learning and support, irrespective of their role or years of experience.

    Additionally, the Act will make provision for the voluntary accreditation of teachers who are not currently working in schools, but in roles related to education.

    This step recognises the important contribution made to classroom teaching by non-school based teachers. It means that accredited teachers will now be able to maintain their accreditation while in a non-school based role and those pre-2004 teachers currently in those roles will be able to become accredited to facilitate an easy return to school in the future, if desired.

    This should help to maintain strong links between the school based and non-school based teaching service, and to oblige the Department to support non-school based teachers to be able to maintain currency of their teaching practice.

    Once the legislation is passed, BOSTES will develop rules and regulations (which will do such things as prescribe who can act as a Teacher Accreditation Authority and how they can make accreditation decisions) and the Department will develop procedures for implementation in public education settings. Federation will be keeping an eye on each of these developments.

    NSW is the last state to require accreditation of all teachers.

    Federation has been consulted during the drafting of the legislation and the expansion of accreditation provides important protections of the professional status of teaching in the state.

    The proposed changes will allow for automatic recognition of accreditation across the country.