Federation met with the Department on August 26 to discuss the intersecting issues in teacher accreditation, performance and development, salaries and staffing that arise from the significant reforms currently being implemented.
Federation and Department officers with specific responsibilities in these areas will be organising further meetings to address the many matters that need clarification so that advice and support can be provided to teachers. These matters are as diverse as:
- development of further support materials for the Performance and Development Framework
- ensuring incentive transfers for principals under the new principal classification structure to be introduced next year
- support for teachers in Saturday School of Community Languages to complete the performance and development processes
- achievement of Highly Accomplished and Lead Teacher accreditation
- inclusion of teachers who commenced teaching prior to October 2004, and who take extended leave in 2015–2017, in the ‘one-off BOSTES process’ for accreditation.
Federation and the Department agreed that the most pressing priority for immediate work is to determine policy, support and advice for casual teachers. Dates are being arranged for further meetings to address the following specific issues that Federation identified as important for casual teachers:
- process for linking with a school for participation in the Performance and Development Framework
- designated Department officer support for principals and casual teachers to ensure performance and development requirements are met
- access to professional learning via the school’s Teacher Professional Learning (TPL) budget
- participation in school development days and other professional learning activities
- advice and support to achieve and maintain Board of Studies, Teaching and Educational Standards accreditation
- clear communication to all casual teachers on new processes and requirements.
It is acknowledged that the intersection of issues in these important areas of professional practice make for a very complex challenge for the Department and Federation to navigate and resolve.
This work is consistent with Federation’s commitment to higher standards of university teacher education, qualifications, accreditation, performance and development, and school leadership.
It is fortunate for all involved that this significant endeavour for the greater good of NSW public schooling is being undertaken in the context of a Gonski growth budget that is delivering billions of dollars in additional funding support.