The starting point for this inquiry was 2004, the last formal inquiry into the value of the teaching profession, which was undertaken by the Industrial Relations Commission of NSW. A near contemporaneous study, the Vinson Report, overlapped in many respects with the Industrial Relations Commission investigation.
The Panel was directed to examine the impact of policies and mandated changes in practice imposed by governments and their agencies. Seven parameters of significant effect on the practice of teaching, and the context within which teachers’ work, were specified without limiting the matters that might be considered (e.g. the impact of technology, regulation, industrial arrangements, changes in roles and expectations, movements in attraction and retention, changes in curriculum, assessment and reporting, and the impact of research and reports).
In making recommendations, the Panel was to have regard to proposals to better support teachers and the profession, including through necessary and appropriate resources and remuneration.
The report chapters commence with a consideration of the essential features and purpose of teaching, and examines the findings of the IRC’s 2004 Decision and the Vinson Report to provide a foundation for describing and assessing the nature of the changes to the practice of the profession over the past 17 years.
Chapter 3 examines key contextual features of this period, which have had such a dominant impact on teaching.
Chapters 4 to 7 identify and examine the major policy changes affecting the experience of schooling and the conditions under which teachers have worked since 2004 and continue to shape teaching in the coming years.
Chapters 8 to 11 address key issues the Panel believes deserve serious attention to support a confident, well-qualified and resourced profession to meet the legitimate and important goals of the public schooling system.