Teaching staff of a registered non-government school must have the necessary experience and qualifications (having regard to accreditation under the Institute of Teachers Act 2004 but without limiting such other matters as may be relevant).
The NSW Institute of Teachers was set up under the Institute of Teachers Act 2004 to oversee a system of accreditation and recognition of teachers’ professional capacity against professional standards. Information about the Institute, professional standards and teacher accreditation can be viewed on the Institute’s website www.nswteachers.nsw.edu.au
The teaching staff of a non-government school must have the necessary experience and qualifications having regard to accreditation under the Institute of Teachers Act 2004.
In assessing a school’s compliance with this registration requirement the holistic capacity of a school’s teaching staff to deliver the curriculum for which the school is registered will also be considered by the Board.
Relevantly to the Board's requirements, Section 3A of the Institute of Teachers Act 2004 defines 'teach' and 'teacher' as follows:
- 'teach' means to undertake duties in a school that include (but are not limited to):
- the direct delivery of courses of study that are designed to implement the curriculum and the responsiblity for assessing student participation, performance and progress in those courses,
- A reference in this section to undertaking duties in a school is a reference to undertaking duties on the premises of a school in the course of providing services conducted by the school.
- 'teacher' means a person who is, or is to be, employed to undertake any duties referred to in subsection (1) (whether or not the person undertakes any other duties).
Section 3 of the Institute of Teachers Act 2004 defines 'curriculum' as the curriculum for primary or secondary schools determined by the Board of Studies in accordance with the Education Act 1990.
To meet the requirements of the Institute of Teachers Act 2004, 'teachers' (as defined by the Institute of Teachers Act 2004) employed by registered non-government schools must fall into one of the following three categories:
- having teacher education qualifications from a higher education institution within Australia or as reocgnised within the National Office of Overseas Skills Recognition (AEI-NOOSR) guidelines, or
- having a bachelor degree from a higher education institution within Australia or one recognised within the AEI-NOOSR guidelines but lacking formal teacher education qualifications, or
- not having qualifications as described in (i) or (ii) but having relevant successful teaching experience or appropriate knowledge relevant to the teaching context. Such 'teachers' must have been employed to 'teach' in NSW before 1 October 2004 (either on a permanent, casual or temporary basis), and as a 'teacher' during the last five (5) years in a permanent, casual or temporary capacity.
In addition, teachers, in category (iii) are required to:
- be accredited as transition scheme teachers under the Institute of Teachers Act 2004 and have their details lodged with the Institute (note that this could only occur in 2005);
- be under the direct, on-site supervision of staff at the same school who hold teacher education qualifications from a recognised education institution within Australia or one recognised within the AEI-NOOSR quidelines; and
- meet the requirements for teacher accreditation at the level of professional competence in the seven year time period specified by the Institute of Teachers Act 2004
Evidence of compliance
A registered non-government school must document:
- copies of qualifications used to determine the suitability of each teacher it has employed and, where relevant, copies of Institute of Teachers accreditation documentation
- the program of study that meets the requirements of the NSW Institute of Teachers being undertaken by each teacher in category (iii) above, the qualification(s) of the supervisor(s) and the role of that/those supervisor(s)
- details, including the qualifications and teaching experience, of all part-time and full-time teaching staff
- the school's plan for providing alternate qualified teaching staff in the event that regular teaching staff are unavailable.