Beginning teachers seek answers on entitlements

Joan Lemaire
Senior Vice President

Some beginning teacher have not received support payments for additional release time

Federation is pursuing a number of complaints from permanent beginning teachers who say they have not received their entitlement to funding support.

It appears there is confusion around the support available to permanent beginning teachers.

On February 5, School Biz indicated that from the commencement of term 2, 2016 “only those permanent beginning teachers who require mandatory accreditation and have not yet achieved Proficient Teacher accreditation” will receive support funding.

From term 2, 2016 beginning teacher support payments will be provided to permanent beginning teachers appointed as classroom teachers (not teaching or non-teaching executives or principals) who require mandatory accreditation and have not yet achieved Proficient Teacher accreditation at their date of entering duty. This funding currently provides permanent beginning teachers with the equivalent of two hours of additional release per week in their first year of appointment and one hour additional release in their second year. In addition, the equivalent of one year of additional release is provided for an experienced teacher to give mentoring support.

At a meeting with Federation on March 16, the Department agreed it would follow up on any examples Federation can provide of permanent beginning teachers appointed in 2015 or during term 1, 2016 who are not receiving their entitlement under the Beginning Teachers Support Funding Policy.

If permanent beginning teachers believe they are not receiving their entitlements they should contact their Federation Organiser or Federation’s Professional Support section. Federation will pursue the matters raised by these members with the Department.

Federation has agreed to participate in a number of meetings to discuss the Department’s proposed changes and determine how better support may be provided to all beginning teachers (permanent, temporary and casual).

The union has raised the fact that the current provision of eight teacher mentors working across 40 schools with large numbers of beginning temporary teachers is not sufficient to support the huge number of beginning temporary teachers situated at schools across the state.

Similarly, Federation has raised concern over the lack of support, other than online, for beginning casual teachers.

The discussions will continue and the Federation Executive and Council will consider the outcomes of the meetings to determine whether an appropriate solution is reached.

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