Union seeks to retain teacher status for school counsellors

Michelle Rosicky
Assistant General Secretary (Schools)

Course planned for counsellors to develop strategy.

School counsellors are facing the challenge to satisfy and maintain their status as teachers against the Australian Teaching Standards.

Federation is aware of school counsellor members’ frustration and concern around the Department of Education and Communities’ lack of adequate advice or evidence of exploring solutions to the following:

  • How does the public education system maintain school counsellors as teachers covered by the award with the introduction of the Australian Teaching Standards?
  • How do new school counsellors who have not come through the Department retraining program and have not had at least two years of successful teaching experience, demonstrate the proficient teaching standards to progress up the new salary scales?
  • How do experienced school counsellors, at the top of the current pay scale, gain access to the accomplished teaching standard and hence the new salary payment for those teachers who achieve the accomplishment status?

To find solutions there needs to be a staged approach.

Federation established a small working party that met at the end of term 3. The union has also surveyed school counsellor members to obtain an overview of their professional learning experiences.

On December 9 a campaigns course will be held for a larger group of school counsellors to come together and develop strategies to better inform school counsellors about the changes and to explore possible solutions to provide to the employer and the Board of Studies, Teaching and Educational Standards.

If you are a school counsellor interested in participating in this campaign speak to your Federation Organiser, attend your local teachers association meeting and have a conversation with your counsellor colleagues.