Generic image of teacher teaching students inside school classroom.
Generic image of teacher teaching students inside school classroom.

How students who flunk English, maths still become teachers

School leavers who failed Year 12 English and maths will be fast-tracked into a teaching degree under a controversial new Queensland course.

The diploma of educational studies at Griffith College, in partnership with Griffith University, ignores ATAR results and applicants only need a Queensland Certificate of Education (QCE) or to have passed three of any six subjects, which may or may not include English and maths but can include applied subjects such as fashion and furniture skills.

School leavers who flunked English, maths and science in Year 12 could soon be fronting classrooms as primary teachers.
School leavers who flunked English, maths and science in Year 12 could soon be fronting classrooms as primary teachers.

College academic director Christopher Klopper said the 12-month diploma would address Queensland's teacher shortage and allow graduates to easily transition to a Bachelor of Education, with 60 credit points towards a primary education degree and 70 for secondary.

"If anyone has concerns about the required English, maths or science qualifications to be eligible for a teaching degree, then this diploma will help them meet those requirements," Dr Klopper said.

It would also help students demonstrate "non-academic entry requirements", such as personal motivation for becoming a teacher.

However, Queensland Teachers' Union president Kevin Bates said he feared any "watering down" of entry standards for the profession.

"How they (students) get in is something for universities to continue to work on, but the critical thing is the degree they get at the end," Mr Bates said.

"It must meet English, maths and science prerequisites, no matter how they've tried to upskill people."

QTU president Kevin Bates is concerned about a potential drop in entry standards for the profession.
QTU president Kevin Bates is concerned about a potential drop in entry standards for the profession.

The Griffith diploma, which starts in March, also accepts mature age students who have worked full time for at least two years, or gained a QCE or post-school Certificate 3 within the last five years.

Deanne Fishburn, director of the Queensland College of Teachers registration body, said the Griffith diploma alone would not qualify graduates to teach.

"Universities may offer additional pathways into their own programs, but prerequisites for teaching include achieving the required standard on a national literacy and numeracy test," Ms Fishburn said.

Completion of a "rigorous teaching performance assessment" was also required.

Independent Schools Queensland executive director David Robertson said all schools were facing recruitment problems, including fewer new teachers specialising in core areas such as STEM and languages.

Originally published as How students who flunk English, maths can still become teachers



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