Accreditation processes remain the same for now

Kate Ambrose
Membership and Training Officer

On January 1, the functions of the NSW Institute of Teachers and the NSW Board of Studies merged to form the Board of Studies, Teaching and Educational Standards (BoSTES).

BoSTES incorporates many areas of work in NSW schools, including curriculum, teaching, assessment, registration and policy.

Currently, teachers will continue to follow the same processes to be accredited as Proficient and to maintain this accreditation. Some changes will occur over time which will align processes with reforms outlined in the NSW Department of Education and Communities (DEC) policy entitled Great Teaching, Inspired Learning. BoSTES and the DEC will be updating their policies and information about accreditation processes and requirements to align with any changes. As an example, one of those proposed changes comes under 11.3 of Great Teaching, Inspired Learning which calls for “the decision as to whether teachers should be accredited as Proficient should be made at the school level”. This would likely result in the principal of a school becoming the Teacher Accreditation Authority with the authority to make an accreditation decision. In NSW public schools, this decision is currently made by each area’s Director, Public Schools.

There will not be significant changes to the overall requirements of teachers seeking accreditation. Teachers will continue to collect evidence of their teaching practice to align with the Professional Teaching Standards. They will continue to require the support of a supervisor and be taken through a supportive induction process. They will continue to require a report to be written outlining their meeting of the Professional Teaching Standards as Proficient Teacher. Most importantly, new teachers need to feel comfortable to ask for advice and assistance on accreditation processes and requirements. Members should contact the Federation for advice if the processes are not implemented in a positive and supportive manner.

In December 2013, Federation members voted overwhelmingly to endorse the terms of settlement of a new three-year salaries and conditions award for public school teachers starting on January 1, 2014. The settlement obliges the Department to jointly develop a new, agreed performance and development framework. As well as replacing the current teacher assessment processes in schools, the framework will incorporate additional support for new teachers.

The professional induction and development needs of casual and temporary teachers are also the responsibility of principals and supervisors. Permanent, casual and temporary teachers who are not being supported through the accreditation process should contact the Federation for advice.

The DEC confirmed, in negotiations for the new salaries award, that casual and temporary teachers are to be supported by the professional learning funds allocated to school budgets. These funds will be increased by 50 per cent in 2016.

Federation will provide further information and advice on these matters as developments arise.