Helping pre-service teachers and ITE providers during COVID-19

13 MAY 2020


VIT’s Council and Accreditation Committee have approved the following temporary regulatory measures to assist initial teacher education (ITE) providers during the COVID-19 pandemic and to ensure pre-service teachers (PSTs) are not disadvantaged.

Professional experience placements for pre-service teachers

  1. The minimum number of professional experience days successfully completed by any PST enrolled in an accredited ITE program and due to complete in 2020 will be reduced by 25 per cent to at least 60 days (reduced from 80 days) in respect of an undergraduate ITE program, and 45 days (reduced from 60 days) in respect of a graduate ITE program. This may include professional experience undertaken in an online learning environment.

  2. The ITE provider will need to declare it is sufficiently assured the PST has met all of the Graduate Teacher Standards and is adequately prepared to enter the teaching profession. 

    Please note: To comply with this requirement, VIT considers that the successful completion of the ITE program requirements and graduation attests to the ITE provider's satisfaction of the Standards being met by the pre-service teacher at the Graduate Teacher level. 

  3. It is expected that PSTs will also successfully complete
    • their most recent prior professional experience;
    • the Literacy and Numeracy Test for Initial Teacher Education Students (LANTITE) – subject to satisfactory Commonwealth provision of remote or other suitably flexible delivery options); and
    • a final year teaching performance assessment (TPA), as required by Program Standard 1.2. The TPA can be completed in a remote and/or online learning context/environment.

  4. ITE providers must provide an outline to VIT on how the supervised teaching practice realises the expectations outlined in the definition of supervised teaching practice through an online learning context. 

    Please note: To comply with this requirement, please forward an email with an outline regarding supervised teaching practice prior to graduation of the mid-year (if applicable) or end-of-year cohort to your VIT Accreditation case managers at accreditation@vit.vic.edu.au.

 


Supervised teaching practice (STP) means the required component of an ITE program during which time a pre-service teacher (PST) is engaged in the teaching and learning process with students either in a

  • primary and / or secondary school setting under the supervision of a registered teacher or a person able to be registered as a teacher
  • non-school setting under the supervision of an educator employed by that institution who will preferably be a registered teacher or a person able to be registered as a teacher.

The supervised teaching practice must be formally assessed. While it is desirable for supervised teaching practice to take place in a variety of learning environments, the majority of the supervised teaching practice must occur in Australian primary and/or secondary school settings for VIT approved ITE programs. 


Combined early childhood and primary ITE programs

The temporary regulatory measures also apply to combined early childhood / primary ITE programs. The primary component should not be less than 45 days as per VIT registration requirements. Therefore, to meet the minimum requirements for registration, combined early childhood / primary ITE programs must include at least 45 days in a school setting (primary context) and must meet ACECQA’s minimum requirements of supervised professional experience in early childhood settings.

To assist pre-service teachers completing a Masters level combined early childhood / primary ITE program, ITE providers can be flexible with the reduced threshold of supervised professional experience days, noting that any reduction of days must not go beyond the approved 25% and; at the completion of the ITE program, the majority of placement days have been completed in a school setting (primary context). Programs are also required to adhere to ACECQA’s minimum requirements of supervised professional experience.

Please refer to ACECQA for the Supervised Professional Experience requirements for early childhood pre-service teachers. Full details are published on the ACECQA website.

These regulatory measures are temporary and have been applied as a result of matters arising from the COVID-19 pandemic. Wherever possible, ITE providers should enable a flexible range of options for PSTs to meet the Graduate Teacher Standards. ITE Providers are able to implement the above regulatory measures according to their context and the needs of their pre-service teachers on a case-by-case basis.

Providers are encouraged to contact VIT should they have any questions. VIT is mindful of the extenuating nature of the current situation and will endeavour to deal with matters in a fair, reasonable and proportionate manner.

ITE accreditation

ITE programs due to be submitted for accreditation in 2020, have been extended by a period of six months from the current expiry date.

Please note: If you are a self-accrediting provider and your submission includes a new program(s) to be offered in 2021, you are able to proceed with offering the new program to students in 2021, stating the program is pending VIT accreditation.  

If you are a non-self-accrediting provider wishing to offer a new program(s) in 2021, please contact your case manager(s).

This regulatory approach does not preclude a provider from submitting an ITE program for accreditation within their originally planned time frame. However, the ability to convene a panel is impacted by COVID-19 and therefore the approval process may require additional time. 

Currently, VIT is postponing accreditation panels due to the impacts of COVID-19; this includes designing a new model to facilitate an online assessment of ITE programs as it may compromise the efficiency and rigour of the face-to-face process. VIT will revisit this position as it monitors the advice related to the COVID-19 pandemic and considers accreditation timelines.