Professional Learning (PL) – is time undertaken within the 70 hours per fortnight schools and college teachers’ work (if you are full time).
PL can include award-bearing courses and agreed activities arising from PDP’s and school/system activities such as:
- seminars to introduce new syllabus curriculum, methodology, administrative and conceptual changes
- activities for individuals or groups which have been approved by the employer
Whole of school PL occurs on Student Free days.
Student Free Days
Student Free Days are determined each year by DoE and can include Moderation Days, strategic planning and professional learning workshops. Part time teachers who do not normally attend school on a particular day cannot be expected to attend PL if a Student Free Day is held on their day off, but this can of course be negotiated with the staff member. Student Free Days are days of normal teacher attendance (without students) and should not be confused with Professional Activity Days.
Professional Activity (PA) Days
PA days will be reduced, a maximum of 4.5 PA days (31.5 hours) are required in 2023, then a maximum of 4 days (28 hours) in 2024.
PA days are days to be worked throughout the year. These additional days may be used for purposes such as curriculum development, school planning or any other purpose as determined by the employer including: report writing, parent teacher meetings, presentation evenings or activities that require teacher supervision of students.
A plan for the use of PA days should be established annually by the principal in consultation with staff.
Three of the 4.5 days must align with the AITSL Standards. This will change to 2 out of the 4 days in 2024.
Part –time teachers are only expected to attend on a pro-rata basis and this should be discussed with them at the beginning of the year. It is acceptable for Principals to express a preference as to which PA activities are undertaken, and then negotiate with the part-time teacher.
Preparation Days are worked within your teaching year. For Primary and High school teachers you must be in attendance three days prior to students first school day each year, and one day after students’ final school day (unless you are working in an isolated school, when you would leave on the same day as students). In colleges, teachers shall commence and complete the teaching year one week earlier. Preparation Days are allocated for teachers to get themselves ready for the beginning and the end of the school year. Whilst it is acceptable for schools to have staff meetings on the first day, it’s not acceptable to have all-day meetings or PL. If you are part-time you are only required to attend on your ordinary days of work.
An AEU win in the new 2023 Teachers Agreements is that Professional Activity days will be reduced over the coming years. We have also secured a joint AEU/DoE Review of PA Days to consider best practice use of this time and ways to ensure consistency across all workplaces, this will take place over the next 12 months.