New CPL head plans courses for every need

Dinoo Kelleghan

In planning the expansion of professional development for Federation members the new Director of the union’s Centre for Professional Learning, Kathy Deacon, aims to provide high-quality courses that would support teachers at any stage of their career.

“We will look at building up providing professional development on anything that supports the implementation of curriculum,” Ms Deacon said.

“Our programs will support teachers at any point of their career regardless of their teaching experience,” Ms Deacon said.

“There will be a broader range of courses and conferences this year, building on the excellent start to the CPL last year.”

In semester 1 alone, 15 courses will be held at the Federation’s office in Surry Hills and in Blacktown. They will include training on the new syllabus and HSC prescription texts.

Last year, 21 courses including a major conference were held in three locations drawing 900 member participants. This year, courses will also be held at a fourth venue, in western NSW, to facilitate attendance.

Ms Deacon said the CPL wanted to ensure an even spread of courses from kindergarten to year 12. “We encourage members to go to the website and look at the courses on offer because they are so relevant to what they are trying to implement in the classroom,” the CPL Director urged. Members can learn about their options by visiting or by calling (02) 9217 2605.

The courses, supported by the Department of Education and Communities, are accredited by the NSW Institute of Teachers.

Time spent attending CPL courses counts fully for accreditation and maintenance purposes. Schools are being asked to meet the relief costs incurred by teachers attending the courses.

Ms Deacon, with experience as a principal at two public schools, has been proactive in ensuring that teachers reach maximum potential through professional development.

“I’m very passionate about teaching and learning,” she said. “My experience in schools from low SES has driven home the importance of supplying teachers with access to relevant, current and appropriate professional development.”

Ms Deacon has been a Federation Vice President and represented the union on the Board of Studies.