One of the University of Wollongong's top academics has questioned NSW government plans to overhaul teaching standards, saying introducing minimum standards for university courses could exclude good teachers.
Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Professor John Patterson, said his institution would be "absolutely supportive" of any measures to improve the quality of school teachers.
However, he said the plan to restrict teaching degrees to students who scored Band 5 - or more than 80 per cent - in English and two other Higher School Certificate subjects needed further discussion.
HSC students are placed into one of six bands for each subject, with bands 5 and 6 awarded for students who score the highest.
"The university is absolutely supportive of anything that improves the standards of professions, but ... an assumption has been made that the quality of input equals better quality output," Professor Patterson said.
"Where's the evidence that someone with a Band 4 - a very high score - would not make as good a teacher?
"What if someone receives a very good pass in English advanced or English extension?
"Or - at a time when there's a shortage of maths and science teachers - what if someone achieves Band 6 in every subject except English?"
He also questioned placing restrictions on English, a subject traditionally dominated by women, in a profession struggling to attract male teachers.
Under the reforms, students will also have to pass new literacy and numeracy exams before they can work - which Professor Patterson said could cancel out the need to restrict university entry.
"If there's going to be 'exit tests' that teachers have to undertake before entering the profession, then what's the importance of who comes in?"
He said the university would consult with government before the reforms were implemented in 2015.
More than 300 students began a teaching course at UOW this semester.