The recently updated Maintenance of Teacher Accreditation Policy from the NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) introduces a new approach to maintaining accreditation from January 2018. The new process has been streamlined to minimise administrative work and will reduce workload associated with maintaining accreditation for teachers and principals.
The main changes to the ways all teachers (including pre-2004 teachers who will be fully accredited as at 1 January 2018) will maintain their accreditation are:
- teachers will no longer be required to complete a Maintenance of Accreditation Report at the end of each maintenance period. The Teacher Accreditation Authority (TAA) will determine that a teacher’s practice continues to meet the standards-based on processes that are already in place, such as participation in the Performance and Development Framework
- teachers will still be required to complete at least 100 hours of professional learning in their maintenance period. However, principals will no longer be required to verify teacher-identified professional learning. This will free principals from a significant amount of administrative work related to managing accreditation in schools.
- while the professional learning will still need to be mapped against the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers, teachers will no longer be required to address all seven standards and all standard descriptors from Standard 6. This ensures that all professional learning can be based on teachers’ professional needs and goals.
There have been no changes to the Maintenance of Accreditation timeframes. Teachers employed on a full-time basis have five years to complete their maintenance requirements. Teachers employed on a casual or part-time basis have seven years to complete their maintenance requirements.
The accreditation of all teachers fortifies teacher qualifications, protecting against the deregulation and de-professionalisation of teachers’ work, which in other jurisdictions has enabled employers to reduce salaries in line with the lowered professional status they seek to create.
While the Department has advised some pre-2004 teachers (school counsellors, Home School Liaison Officers, Aboriginal Student Liaison Officers, Out of Home Care Teachers and Non School Based Teaching Service Officers) that accreditation is voluntary for them, the Federation strongly recommends that all pre-2004 teachers become accredited as part of the transition process. This is a vital step against the deregulation of teacher qualifications and it strengthens the professional standing of the entire Teaching Service.
Teachers are reminded that holding a current Working With Children Check clearance is a requirement of teacher accreditation. Any teacher who has not yet applied for a clearance is advised to do so immediately.
Nicole Calnan is Acting Deputy Secretary (Communications and Administration)
Anna Uren is a Research/Industrial Officer
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