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Contents

President’s Wrap

Welcome to what is probably our busiest eReporter of the year – we have updates for every public education sector with EB developments for the DoE Teachers Agreement, support staff and TAFE.

There’s increases to allowances and some great stories from two TAFE members – so don’t miss a bit of your AEU eReporter!

Our AEU negotiating teams and member leaders have been working hard over the past few weeks and we are getting results:

  • Members on the DoE Teachers Agreement have a proposed new agreement, endorsed by AEU Branch Council and Executive to go to paid time workplace meetings and a binding member ballot on Wednesday 30th October.
  • Support staff members have a new ‘position’ from the government to provide feedback on. While it isn’t a formal offer, it does give members the opportunity to have their say and guide ongoing negotiations.
  • TasTAFE members have a proposed new agreement, endorsed by our AEU TAFE Executive to go to workplace meetings and a binding member ballot in the week beginning 4th November.

I have recently been around the state attending regional member meetings and talking to members. Discussions and feedback has been positive, questions from DoE teacher members are largely about implementation already – how can we best apply this new agreement in workplaces for the benefit of students and members?

Of course our main focus is getting all the information we can to Reps and members and encouraging maximum participation in meetings and the binding member ballot – but we are gathering member input to prepare for implementation if the agreement is supported.

Working parties will need AEU members on them – there will be groups for principal members, the reporting review group, an ongoing workload reference group and a primary instructional load working party. We will need to account for differences in schools in different regional areas and unique circumstances, which means we’ll need members active in these working parties from across the state.

Just as a key ingredient in our recipe for success as a union has been our member leadership, it will be the participation of members that will be integral to the successful implementation of any agreement.

Stay tuned for more – but in the meantime please recruit new members so they can vote, join your workplace meetings and vote!

Happy World Teachers Day for this Friday!

 

First Aid Allowance Increase

Teaching Service (Tasmanian Public Sector) Award

If you are nominated by the Department of Education to perform first aid duties and are the current holder of a Workplace Certificate 2 HLTFA301B, National Training Package, or an equivalent certificate, you are to be paid a First Aid Allowance.

The Teaching Service (Tasmanian Public Sector) Award has recently been varied in the Tasmanian Industrial Commission to increase the First Aid Allowance to $795 per annum from the first full pay period on or after 1 July 2019.

TasTAFE Teaching Staff Award

If you have been trained to render first aid and are the current holder of appropriate first aid qualification such as a certificate from St. John Ambulance or similar body, you are entitled to be paid a First Aid Allowance if you have been appointed by TasTAFE to perform first aid duty.

The TasTAFE Teaching Staff Award has recently been varied in the Tasmanian Industrial Commission to increase the First Aid Allowance to $795 per annum from the first full pay period on or after 1 July 2019.

 

Toileting Allowance Increase

If you are a Teacher’s Assistant who is regularly required to undertake toileting and/or showering duties with students, including changing of nappies and cleaning up vomit you are to be paid a Toileting Allowance.

The Tasmanian State Service Award has recently been varied in the Tasmanian Industrial Commission to increase the Toileting Allowance from $12.93 per week to $13.20 per week from the first full pay period on or after 1 July 2019.

If you have been performing toileting and/or showering duties since 1 July 2019, you will receive backpay. The backpay amount will be automatically calculated by the Department of Education and show up on your payslip. We are awaiting confirmation from the Department of Education as to which pay period employees will receive this backpay.

If you have been undertaking toileting and/or showering duties with students and have been told you cannot claim the allowance, please feel free to contact your union at support@aeutas.org.au or on 6234 9500.

Click here to find out more about Support Staff Allowances you can claim in our factsheet.

 

Support Staff update – your feedback on government position

PSUWA negotiations have been very slow, but there has been an interesting development I want to update you on.

The Government has put an updated “position” to us and we want your feedback.

It’s not an Offer so there’s nothing concrete as such, but it does give an indication of where the Government is heading on a few key issues.

‘THE POSITION’

The elements of the government ‘position’ relevant to Support Staff are:

Period of Agreement

  • Three-year agreement

*AEU NOTE: a three-year Agreement would put us out of sync with the Teachers and would also diminish our opportunity to use the 2022 state election as an opportunity to campaign for more Support Staff wins, as part of a new Agreement.

Salaries

  • 2.25% per annum with effect from the ffppcooa 1 December 2019
  • 2.25% per annum with effect from the ffppcooa 1 December 2020
  • 2.25% per annum with effect from the ffppcooa 1 December 2021

*AEU NOTE: This pay offer is more than DoE Teachers have been offered – they are soon to vote on a 2.1% increase as part of a two-year agreement, but less than the 2.3% offered to TAFE teachers.

Health Care Procedures Allowance

  • Provide an increase in the Health Care Procedures Allowance from $12.89 per week to $20 per week.

*AEU NOTE: In our Support Staff Log of Claims, we had increases in the existing Medical Procedures Allowance to $30 per week.

Toileting Allowance

  • Provide an increase in the Toileting Allowance from $12.93 per week to $15 per week.

*AEU NOTE: The Tasmanian State Service Award has recently been varied in the Tasmanian Industrial Commission to increase the Toileting Allowance from $12.93 per week to $13.20 per week from the first full pay period on or after 1 July 2019. This is just part of an annual rise and nothing to do with the PSUWA negotiations. But that does now mean that the Government’s current position on Toileting Allowance is only a $1.80 a week increase.
In our original Log of Claims, we were asking for an increase to $20 per week and for compulsory Toileting Allowance for all Teacher Assistants from Kinder to Grade 2.

Communicable Disease Leave

  • Implementation of the Department of Education Communicable Disease Leave Policy into the Agreement.  This will allow school-based employees who contract a communicable disease to access leave with pay without affecting personal leave entitlements.

Family Friendly

  • Paid Parental Leave to increase from 14 to 16 weeks for employees commencing paid parental leave on or after the first full pay period commencing on or after the increase in salaries is agreed. 
  • Paid Partner Leave (after birth of baby/adoption) to increase from 1 to 3 weeks for employees commencing paid partner leave on or after the first full pay period commencing on or after the increase in salaries is agreed. 

*AEU NOTE: this is consistent with the Teachers Agreement

Superannuation contributions for employees

  • Employer superannuation contributions will be paid during unpaid Parental Leave in first 12 months with effect from the first full pay period commencing on or after the increase in salaries is agreed. 
  • Employer superannuation contributions will be paid for employees on workers compensation with effect from the first full pay period commencing on or after the increase in salaries is agreed.

*AEU NOTE: this is consistent with the Teachers Agreement

Leave

  • Re-credit Recreation Leave and Parental Leave where compassionate or bereavement conditions apply, from date of Agreement.

*AEU NOTE: this is consistent with the teacher’s agreement

What’s not in here?

There is nothing in the current government position to improve stand down or the paid public holidays lost when we moved from three to four terms.

Click here to see the original Support Staff Log of Claims.

NEXT STEPS

We are seeking your feedback on the Government’s latest position by COB 25 October so we can respond to them and work with the other unions to progress negotiations as soon as possible.

Please send your feedback via email to support@aeutas.org.au or call the AEU office (03) 6234 9500 or 1800 001 313

 

AEU Win on Lab Techs formula!

Thanks to the great work of AEU member leaders, we have a new Laboratory Technicians formula that will mean more resources in combined schools, senior secondary and colleges.

An additional 9.25 FTE Lab Techs will be allocated, starting in 2019 and rolling out over the next four years.

This win came about through the AEU Lab Tech working party and was driven by Deputy President Mandy Jackson (Lab tech at Hellyer College) and Tanya Adams (Lab Tech at Ulverstone Secondary College).

The new formula recognises the increased emphasis in science, technology, engineering and maths related activities and individual based learning.

Forty-six schools will receive new or increased allocations under the new formula.

There are also wins for Colleges – Don, Hellyer and Launceston will receive an additional 0.5 FTE and Rosny an additional 1.0 FTE.

For further details about the formula and allocations click here for the tables from DoE.

Mandy and Tanya have given countless hours of their own time and worked for years to progress this new formula on behalf of our lab tech members.

Well done to our member leaders – there’s power in union!

With support staff receiving their pay rises and back pay recently and this big win for lab techs, now is a great time to suggest your colleagues join the AEU.

You can find membership forms for your colleagues or new members can join at this link: aeutas.org.au/join-now/

 

Big back pay win for Paul at TasTAFE

Paul Baker, a Carpentry Teacher at TasTAFE Clarence campus had been underpaid since March 2017. In July this year Paul talked to his AEU Rep Ben Wright and contacted the AEU. With union assistance, Paul received a significant payment representing two and a half years of back pay, making up the difference between salary scale Level 3 and Level 7.

“Money wasn’t the important thing,” said Paul. “It was just the recognition of my work, that I’m doing the same or more than before.”

At the commencement of his employment with TasTAFE in 2017 Paul had been classified at Level 3 of the salary scale. He had previously been employed by TasTAFE on contract, at a higher salary scale than his new conditions, even though he maintained his skills and qualifications and continued as a trainer with the fire services and builder with his own business.

At the time of employment Paul did question his Education Manager about the appropriateness of the reduced salary level due to his skills, experience and qualifications, however no changes were made at that time.

The AEU contacted TasTAFE on his behalf to request a review of his salary level. We had success with a similar matter regarding appropriate salary levels recently and believed that this precedent would pave the way for an easier process for Paul.

Our Member Support Team wrote to the CEO of TasTAFE and outlined Paul’s request, providing his impressive supporting documentation relating to his qualifications, skills and experience.  The response was quick and positive.

“I’ve been in this role for two years,” said Paul, “the workload is the same as those on Level 8 and I had the evidence to justify a move.”

Paul manages 110 apprentices with a wealth of experience that dates back to 2000 when he had already gained components of the TAA for his fire brigade work. He got his full TAA while working at TasTAFE in 2010.

TasTAFE responded by increasing Paul’s salary scale to Level 7, back paid to March 2017. They also indicated that he would advance to Level 8 in 2020.

This was a fantastic result, achieved quickly due to past precedent and Paul’s comprehensive collection of evidence and supporting documentation.

If any TAFE members feel they may be in a similar situation regarding their salary, you are welcome to contact the AEU at support@aeutas.org.au to discuss.

 

Darren Scott wins VET Teacher/Trainer of the Year

With 36 years of industry experience and 13 years of teaching, AEU member Darren Scott certainly earned his VET Teacher/Trainer of the Year award at the 2019 Tasmanian Training Awards.

Darren started at TAFE in 2007 at 0.6, three days and had to take his desk home and cut it down to size to fit in their small office. Outside of his 0.6 teaching load, Darren kept on with butchering, but he also picked up some of the admin work at TAFE and got to know that side of things well.

In 1983 Darren left Cosgrove High on the Friday and started work on Monday at Coles-Vos. His dad managed a butchers shop, got him an interview. Darren’s dad had been a butcher for 40 years so it was a natural path for him to follow.

Darren was managing a Coles store as a third year apprentice at just 17 years old and spent over 30 years with the company. He is a comfortable leader and focused on turning the lives and careers of apprentices around. This led him to help out with TAFE classes and getting to know the teaching/training side of things. His leadership skills were recognised and he worked his way up to Regional Development Manager – a statewide position.

In Darren’s years at Coles, it was a full carcass butchery with beef, lamb, pork and poultry. “The only thing we didn’t make was sausages”, says Darren. “They were brought in.”

These days, everything for Coles and Woolworths is centralised on the mainland with just retail-read stores, no butchers. Some stores still slice, but there’s no carcass work.

With the large supermarkets centralising their operations, 98 percent of business now is small independent butchers. “It’s a different market,” points out Darren. “They’re not competing with supermarkets – it’s different consumers.”

Just as Darren worked his way up at Coles-Vos, he’s also now in a senior role at TasTAFE, but the circumstances were sad. Rod, a teacher Darren was working with, also did work for Darren’s dad. When Rod died, Darren went through the process to get a full time position and increased responsibilities.

Darren has had apprentices who went on to win national World Skills recognition, from working in a local supermarket under Darren’s management.

For Darren, teaching is a challenging role, but he was well mentored through his TAA. Due to the tragic circumstances, Darren was in a full time teaching role without any handover. It was at least a little overwhelming at first, mostly just due to the sheer numbers of files and projects he had to get across quickly.

Darren says they are growing the TAFE business, diversifying with new courses, taking on commercial work such as training within businesses and taking on all sorts of opportunities. Perhaps one that stands out from the rest is training Antarctic researchers to cut ice cores with a band saw.

While they’re somewhat isolated at the Showgrounds in Glenorchy, the TasTAFE Meat Processing team teach across the state, have great industry relationships and are recognised by the industry for their professionalism.  They do demonstrations at shows, join competitions and have plenty of apprentices among the winners.

With butchery as his specialty, not killing, Darren has a DPI person on as a sessional to do those skill sets and sign off on killing and shooting modules. Heath,  who shares the small office with Darren, specialises in smallgoods. He was targeted for recruitment by Darren for his skills and experience.

“Mentoring for new teachers is really important” says Darren. “I had a great mentoring experience and I’ve passed that on with Heath.”

So how do you come to an award like this? Darren got nominated and put in a written response to the criteria which led to an interview. He progressed to the finals and was invited to the casino for the announcement on the night.

Darren’s passion for the industry is unmissable, as is his commitment to apprentices – it’s no wonder the judges gave him the gong.

He’s a modest award winner, saying there are “plenty of others who could win this award”. He gave Heath credit on the night knowing that they succeed as a team or not at all.

Darren never really left the industry of course and now he’s doing a bit of a return to industry program, washing trays and emptying drains like everyone else. “It’s a bit of beer money”, says Darren, but it’s clear he loves the industry and he’s just happy to be there.

 

World Teachers Day

Friday 25th October is World Teachers Day!

To recognise the importance of teachers to our communities, their dedication to their students and their skills, talents and hard work – we are inviting parents and members of the community to send Tasmanian Teachers a message.

Parents and community members can upload a photo with their message to share with Tasmanian Teachers. Send a message to a particular school, college or TAFE campus, or to all Tasmanian teachers.

As a teacher, a principal, support staff member or educator – you could join in and send your colleagues a message.

Click here to upload a photo of you or even you with your children and a short message for teachers of Tasmania.

 

TAFE member update – new government offer

Your AEU TAFE Executive and negotiating team have been flat out working for a new TasTAFE Teachers Agreement and we’ve just won a breakthrough – a new offer from the government we’re very happy to endorse and put to you as members for a binding ballot.

Here’s the highlights of the offer:

  • 2 year agreement
  • 2.3% per annum pay rises payable in March 2020 and 2021
  • Entry level for new teachers moved up a rung to Band 1 Level 2
  • Workload Review – review of teaching requirements that will involve modes of delivery, including direct teaching, indirect teaching and mixed mode delivery.
  • A new clause on Annual Planning
  • Professional Development clause that maintains the 100 hours per annum and provides 70 hours for professional development / return to industry and 30 hours for organisational training.
  • Correctional Facilities Allowance for teachers that undertake classes in prisons
  • Changing references to DOTT to Duties Related to Teaching
  • Award clause variations:
    • Teacher Under Supervision – fixed term appointment up to 12 months and ability to convert to permanency upon attainment of the full TAE and satisfactory performance.  Workload relief for teachers who supervise assessments also.
    • Superannuation payable on workers compensation
    • Superannuation payable on unpaid parental leave
    • Increased paid parental leave from 14-16 weeks
    • Increased paid partner leave from 1-3 weeks

We will hold a series of member meetings on TAFE campuses across the state. AEU Reps will get briefed on the proposed Agreement so they can host the member meetings.

Member meetings will commence in the week beginning 4th November, with plans to hold meetings at Hobart (Campbell St), Clarence, Bender Drive Derwent Park, Drysdale, Launceston City, Alanvale, Burnie and Devonport.

We are confirming all meeting dates and times as I write, stay tuned for details.

The binding member ballot will open 4:00pm on Thursday 7 November.

This offer shows there is power in a union and presents a major opportunity to recruit your colleagues to join our AEU.

Only AEU members will be invited to member meetings and have the opportunity to vote in the ballot. It is our collective power as a union that has delivered an offer well above the government’s starting position.

Ask your colleagues to join now – there are forms available on our website you can print or you can simply send them this link to join online: https://aeutas.org.au/join/

 

Social Workers and Speech Pathologists – Join Your Union!

Your AEU is working to progress matters on behalf of members who are Social Workers and Speech Pathologists – now is the time to sign up more members in this sector.

We are in negotiations for a new Allied Health Professionals Agreement, with key issues from our log of claims developed by Social Worker and Speech Pathologist members as the priority. Level 3 classification (career progression) remains an issue for AHP members, as well as high student ratios and increasing complexity of the role over recent years.

As well as EB negotiations, your AEU is also raising these issues with senior leaders in the DoE, including the Secretary, to ensure they understand what it is like ‘on the ground’ for you.

Below are the items in the combined unions Log of Claims for Allied Health Professionals. Note that some of these do not apply to Education as this agreement covers workers in Health as well.

Key Priority Claim
Professional Development Significant increase to the PD Allowance.  Note that initial claim was for $3000 per annum to be paid into a separate fund.  Roll over of funds and upfront payment of training costs.
On call – additional weeks leave Provision of an additional weeks leave for AHP’s who undertake on-call in line with shift workers.
Night Shift allowance Increase of night shift allowance from 22.5% to 27.5%
Removal of the first two entry level pay points Removal of AHP 1-1 and AHP 1-2 to increase base pay for AHP’s and assist with recruitment and attraction.
Allied Health Educator Positions Plan to implement AHP Educator positions.
Working With Vulnerable People Checks to be paid Government to pay or reimburse the fee for AHP’s to obtain with WWVP Registration.
Communicable Disease Leave Application to speech pathologists and social workers within the Education Department in line with provisions contained in the Teachers Award and TSSA
Fixed Term Employment Seek a move from fixed term to permanent employment for AHP’s
FSST Specific – transition to TSSA Development of guidelines for the progression, with focus on the progression from Band 2-3 and 3-4.
Classification Structure Review of advancement through levels. Specific reference was made to the Personal Upgrade Scheme ability for Education employees to advance to AHP Level 3.

Through the establishment of ratio of B1/B2 to B3 or alternative arrangements.

Market Allowance Re-work the current clause in the Agreement.
Increase to Employer Superannuation Contributions Seeking an increase in employer superannuation.
Student and Staff Supervision Allowance Provision of an allowance of $2.55 per hour to be paid to AHP’s who train students and induct new staff.
Classification Matters POST GRADUATE QUALIFICATION RECOGNITION

Current arrangements relating to Post Graduate Allowance Recognition to be extended to AHP Grade 1 and 2 employees who hold a qualification relevant to their field of work by implementation of an additional increment level at AHP Grade 2. That a further review of all levels is undertaken to better define and recognise educational qualifications.

PERSONAL UPGRADE SCHEME

Successful Personal Upgrade applicants to progress through all pay points in Level 4. A personal upgrade scheme to be introduced for AHP Level 2 employees similar to the scheme available to AHP Level 3s. The agreed items developed by the Personal Upgrade Working Group to be implemented.

PERSONAL UPGRADE SCHEME FOR LEVEL 5

Level 5 employees will be able to gain a personal upgrade to Level 5 3-4 upon meeting an agreed criteria.

 

ADO’s/RDO’s NW have a system, South does not.  Employees should be able to opt into an ADO in the South.
Availability and Recall When recalled to work from rec leave or LSL to be credited a minimum of one day leave.

 

As well as ongoing negotiations for a new AHP Agreement and representations on behalf of members to the DoE, your AEU will work with members to provide input for the next state budget.

Our negotiation power is in our numbers – sign up a Social Worker or Speech Pathologist to the AEU today! Download a form or join online here: aeutas.org.au/join

 

Melbourne Declaration – new draft for your feedback

A review of the Melbourne Declaration, a policy framework for the Australian Curriculum, has received 159 submissions and feedback from participants who attended 23 consultation events across Australia.

A new draft Declaration has been developed and you are invited to provide feedback. The draft retains a primary focus on school-aged children and young people, and reflects the following key themes identified during consultation:

  • The importance of lifelong learning (learning throughout life)
  • Student diversity and stronger partnerships with parents, carers, families and communities
  • A holistic approach to education
  • Greater focus on student voice and agency
  • Greater recognition of the status of Indigenous Australians
  • Greater focus on student well-being
  • Inclusion of new attributes and skills for the 21st Century
  • Greater focus on early learning, fluid transitions and diverse pathways
  • Use of strength-based and inclusive language
  • More flexible and balanced curriculum and assessment
  • Use of qualitative measures to track progress against goals.

Your feedback on the draft Declaration is sought by 5pm AEST 25 October 2019.

To view the draft Declaration and provide any final feedback click here. You may also preview the draft declaration and feedback form.

Your feedback will be considered during preparation of the final Declaration, which will be provided to Education Council for endorsement at its December 2019 meeting.

To view written submissions received as part of the public consultation process click here.

 

New DoE Teachers Agreement – here’s the highlights

A new proposed DoE Teachers Agreement will be open to a binding AEU member ballot beginning on Wednesday 30th October with paid time workplace meetings to be held that day.

The Agreement includes a 4.2% wage increase over two years, AST relativity payments and significant wins for principals.

A major win in this Agreement, the culmination of a 30 year fight, is a two hour per fortnight reduction in instructional load for primary school teachers. This will assist primary teachers in planning and preparing individualised learning plans that will mean better outcomes for students, it might even help you fit your laminating into your day!

AEU Branch Council and Executive have endorsed the proposed Agreement – click here for a (pdf) list of member wins.

Here’s a few highlights in the proposed Teachers Agreement:

  • 4.2% wage increase over two years
  • AST relativity – cash payment of 1% in addition to top of unpromoted scale commencing March 2020
  • 2 hours per fortnight of instructional load reduction for primary teachers
  • New principals classification and incentive payments for isolated school principals
  • A new Education Support Specialist classification giving support staff a pathway to permanency, career advancement and 52 weeks of pay
  • Workload Reference Group to review Professional Activity Days within 12 months, with no PL past 5:00pm
  • Additional 1 hour per week instructional load reduction for new educators in second year of teaching
  • School Psychologists will be able to access Band 1 Level 13, after being on Band 1 Level 12 for 12 months
  • Correctional Facilities Allowance of 6.5% for those working at Ashley Detention Centre
  • Paid time off of 1 day per Term for teachers in isolated schools to attend to urgent personal business
  • In-class support clause to recognise complexities of classes with necessary PD/duty reduction/additional support
  • Comprehensive reporting review within 12 months, including reviewing year 11/12 reporting

As part of these negotiations, Award variations would also deliver:

  • Superannuation contributions during workers comp and parental/partner leave
  • 16 weeks paid parental leave and 3 weeks paid partner leave.

This proposed Agreement is a credit to all members who took action and spoke out about workload and the complexity of your work. We’ve shown that collective action works.

AEU Reps will attend training this week and paid time sub-branch meetings will be held with the opening of the binding member ballot on Wednesday 30th October.

 

NAPLAN results to be demoted on MySchool website

From Madeleine Heffernan, The Age – click here for the original article.

Parents, students and educators will have less information on Australia’s student literacy and numeracy testing program NAPLAN under a planned revamp of school information site MySchool.

The changes have been prompted by a recent review that found NAPLAN results were too prominent on MySchool and that data on student improvement was overshadowed by overall school results.

David de Carvalho, CEO of the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority, which administers NAPLAN and MySchool, said ACARA had clear instructions from education ministers.

“Firstly, there’s too much NAPLAN content on the MySchool website … it gives it too much prominence,” Mr de Carvalho told The Age Schools Summit last week.

“And secondly, we have to focus more on student gain, what the school is actually doing to improve students’ results, as opposed to simply comparing the overall levels of achievement between statistically similar schools.”

Mr de Carvalho said NAPLAN had “become this bogeyman and a catch-all for all kind of discontents, but we need to distinguish the NAPLAN test itself from the issue of why it has become such high stakes compared to the standardised testing that was done prior to that.

“It’s the school comparisons issue I think that is causing the most angst amongst principals and schools leaders, resulting in some of the high-stakes nature of the test and perhaps having some unintended consequences in terms of pedagogy [the study and theory of the methods and principles of teaching].”

Changes to MySchool would alleviate this, he said, and were welcomed by Federal Education Minister Dan Tehan.

“That [how the data is presented] is a part of NAPLAN we all agree needs to be looked at,” he said. “My hope is we’ll have an agreement for better presentation of the data in December.”

Jenny Atta, secretary of the Department of Education and Training, said the department was not aware of NAPLAN data being a “big issue in terms of shopping around for schools”.

“We … understand the concerns being expressed by schools and others about the way the data is being reported and the extent to which it could be used in what’s really a fairly distracting and probably unhelpful sense in terms of league tables.”

Maria Karvouni, principal of Auburn High School, said she supported a shift in focus from academic achievement to student improvement.

“This is where the reporting aspect can be improved,” she said.

Critics including the Australian Education Union say NAPLAN stresses students, has encouraged schools to narrow their curriculum to teach to the test, and encourages parents to shop around for schools based on student scores.

NAPLAN is also the subject of a separate review by Victoria, NSW and Queensland to see whether the test is working appropriately. Victorian Education Minister James Merlino has suggested students sit it one year later than now – in years 4, 6, 8 and 10.

But Mr Tehan accused NAPLAN critics of damning the test to distract from poor results.

Peter Titmanis, ACARA general manager of assessment and reporting, said focus groups and community surveys had shown that parents valued the opportunities to look at their children’s progress through NAPLAN.

Mr Titmanis said the test also encouraged principals of similar schools to share best practice.

Literacy and numeracy are a “fundamental part of our education and there are lots of people like the Indigenous foundations who say literacy is freedom,” he said.

 

College and High School qualifications survey

We have members with both teaching degree qualifications and trade/industry qualifications who are delivering VET subjects. To better understand how widespread this ‘double’ qualification is and if you are utilising your industry/trade qualification in your teaching, a survey of members will be conducted over the next two weeks.

Thank you for your support, members in colleges and high schools look out for the survey in your email inbox soon.