THERE'S NOTHING CASUAL ABOUT TEACHING

Julie Moon

How can I improve my chances of gaining employment as a casual teacher?

Casual and temporary teachers play a vital role in the delivery of quality education in the public education system. The availability of casual and temporary teachers is an extremely important factor in the working conditions of permanent teachers.

With increased funding targeted at programs such as the Beginning Teacher Support Funding and additional release for executives and professional learning through the Performance and Development Framework, gained through the National Education Reform Agreement (NERA), there is an increased demand for casual and temporary teachers to support programs in schools.

These programs employ casual and temporary teachers in addition to short-term casual relief for such occurrences as sick and FACS leave, and longer periods of leave such as maternity leave, long service leave and leave without pay. Permanent positions also come up, as they always have, through retirements, transfers, promotions, increased enrolments and, as stated, increased investment programs in our schools.

Federation recently conducted a survey to gather information on the use of casual employment agencies by casual members. The majority of respondents, almost 68 per cent, said they gained most of their employment through contact with schools, just over 18 per cent gain employment through casual teacher employment agencies, while a little under 4 per cent through the Department’s Casual Direct system.

Teachers responsible for the employment of casuals were asked to indicate what methods they would usually use to employ casual and temporary teachers, with more than half (55 per cent) stating they would make direct contact with casual and temporary teachers. Approximately 50 per cent found this the most effective method of engaging casual teachers.

To maximise the potential for employment, casual teachers are encouraged to:

  • update their details with the schools in which they are seeking employment
  • be prepared to go where the jobs are
  • consider sponsored training — visit teach.nsw.edu.au/enhanceyourcareer
  • update your staffing codes
  • ensure the teach.NSW JobFeed at teach.nsw.edu.au/find-teaching-jobs/jobfeed comes to your email each Wednesday
  • log into the Department portal each week and look up the EOI positions available through SchoolBiz.

Reminder: Working With Children Check Compliance date brought forward

The departmental Working with Children Check (WWCC) compliance date has been moved forward to 17 November 2017 for all permanent, temporary and casual employees in primary schools, central schools, schools for specific purposes (SSP), infants schools, hospital schools, environmental education centres (EEC) and those members on the approved-to-teach list.

The new date recognises the process required by NESA for teachers to be compliant with the WWCC prior to the transition date for teachers to be accredited as proficient.

Federation urges teachers to apply well in advance of the November deadline. An initial application can be made by attending the NSW Office of the Children’s Guardian in Surrry Hills, Sydney.

Applicants will be required to attend, in person, a Service NSW centre.

You are urged to make a WWCC application as soon as possible, especially if you are in a remote or rural location rather than leave the application until later in the school year.

From the experience of secondary teachers, it is known that the consequences of failing to comply can be severe with some permanent teachers being dismissed, temporary teachers having their engagement terminated and the loss of teaching approval for some casuals.

Please bring this to the attention of casual and temporary teacher colleagues, as well as those who may be on long service leave, parental leave, leave without pay or any other lengthy period of leave.

The deadline of 17 November applies irrespective of whether you are on leave.

Julie Moon is the Officer responsible for casual and temporary teachers

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