Dunce teachers to be weeded out with tough test
Dunce teachers will be weeded out before they start university with a tough new English and maths test.
The nation's education ministers have approved a skills test for school leavers before they enrol in a university degree to study teaching.
One in 10 trainee teachers flunked a similar test after finishing a four-year education degree at university last year.
Federal Education Minister Dan Tehan said the upfront test would save students time and money.
"We don't want to see students getting to the end of their degree and not being able to graduate or work as a teacher because they haven't passed the … test,'' he said.
"The sooner a student takes the test, the earlier they can get support or make alternative arrangements.
"Giving students the option to sit the test before their start their degree will save time and money.''
Mr Tehan said students who fail the upfront test will still be able to enrol in a teaching degree at uni.
"But it does make them aware that they need to work on their literacy and numeracy skills,'' he said.
Student teachers cannot graduate until they pass a test placing them in the top 30 per cent of the population for literacy and numeracy.
In 2019, almost one in every 10 graduates failed the online test - 8.3 per cent bombed the literacy test and 9.3 per cent flunked the maths exam.
Each test has 65 questions, administered by the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER).
The ministerial decree to let students sit the test before signing up to a teaching degree overrides the universities, which had refused to let students take the exam upfront.
However, the upfront exam will not start until 2023.
The federal government will make teaching degrees cheaper next year, to lure smart school leavers into the teaching profession and head off a national shortage of classroom teachers.
The Education Council of federal, state and territory ministers has also agreed to "improve'' the writing assessment for students in Years 3, 5, 7 and 9 who undertake the National Assessment Program - Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN).
Mr Tehan said NAPLAN was due to go online in 2022.
"NAPLAN is the best tool we have to understand the impact of COVID-19, the long-term trends in student learning and what actions we need to take to improve,'' he said.
The controversial national test was cancelled this year due to COVID-19 lockdowns.
Originally published as Dunce teachers to be weeded out with tough test