Joint move on performance
and development framework

Gary Zadkovich
Deputy President

Federation President Maurie Mulheron and Department of Education and Communities Secretary Michele Bruniges

In the Department’s Bridge Street state office on March 5, Federation President Maurie Mulheron and Department of Education and Communities Secretary Michele Bruniges introduced the inaugural training workshop on the new Performance and Development Framework to be implemented for all teachers in NSW public schools this year.

This joint introduction symbolises the positive, collegial relationships that should characterise the implementation of this approach, which arises from the terms of settlement for the current salaries and conditions award (2014–2016).

Attending the workshop were the Federation Organisers and Directors, Public Schools, who will co-deliver the training package to principals and Federation Representatives across the state over the coming weeks.

The same PowerPoint presentation, accompanying speakers’ notes and activities will be used for all training sessions to maximise consistency in implementation. It is intended that the duration of the training will be at least two hours. The format and setting for it will be negotiated at the workplace level.

The framework sets out a three-phrase process based on the principle that teachers have a right to be supported in their professional learning, and a responsibility to be involved in performance and development processes that facilitate professional growth and quality teaching and learning for all students.

The delayed roll-out of the training means the implementation timeline will be shorter than usual this year. There is no fixed date by which principals and Fed Reps are to be trained, and teachers in schools and related workplaces are to be trained. These are to be determined by negotiation and professional judgement at the workplace.

It is acknowledged that this will be a learning year for all involved. Teachers are urged to read the nine-page document and see how the framework features the language and practice of teachers working together, negotiating their goals and professional learning in a workplace culture characterised by goodwill and mutual respect.

Joint workshop

The three-page Performance and Development Plan (PDP) template sets out the key things to be done — set professional goals, identify professional learning and propose the evidence to be collected to show progress. The PDP also includes word limited text boxes for any changes made during the course of the year, the Self-Assessment and the Annual Review.

It should be remembered that in 2016, with a 50 per cent increase in Teacher Professional Learning (TPL) funds going to schools, teachers will be better supported as they engage in the processes over a full annual cycle. Permanent beginning teachers are already benefiting from extra release time with their mentors. The framework says the participation of casual and temporary beginning teachers should also be supported by the school’s TPL funding.

This framework aims to build the strongest foundation we have yet had for lifting the status of the teaching profession and further enhancing the high quality of teaching and learning in NSW public schools. It is heartening indeed to see it being implemented through such a positive and productive partnership between union and employer.