CANTRA Clarifier

Update Wednesday November 11: ETD has provided an update on CANTRA, as well as a Q&A document. ETD states in part: Existing staff who were on contract with the Directorate in Term 4, 2015 will not need to demonstrate personal literacy and numeracy levels equivalent to the top 30% of the population in order to secure a permanent role until 1 December 2016. As such, contract teachers are not required to sit the CANTRA assessments next week.

The AEU is vigorously representing widespread member concerns about the implementation of the Canberra Teacher Recruitment Assessment. 

Q. What is the AEU’s position on CANTRA?

A. At its meeting on October 24, Branch Council passed the following resolution: "Branch Council requests the Secretary to convey to ETD its profound concerns about the current implementation of CANTRA, with permanency as the threshold rather than entry to the profession, and asks the Secretary to impress upon ETD senior officers the need for an immediate reconsideration of this approach." We are activelycommunicating this position to the Education and Training Directorate and will notify members as soon as further developments arise.

Affected members, sub-branch leaders and school leaders have also expressed concerns about a lack of clarity as to what exactly is being proposed at the present time. ETD employee relations (6205 9149, is in the best position to explain its plans. The following reflects our understanding of the current implementation proposals.

Q. Are teachers currently on a contract with ETD required to sit CANTRA?

A. Contract teachers need to successfully sit CANTRA in order to be eligible for permanent employment with ETD. ETD has advised that if a contract teacher is not seeking permanency they do not need to sit or successfully complete CANTRA. ETD has not provided any advice that successfully sitting CANTRA will be regarded as desirable for teachers applying for a new contract.

Q. Will ETD pay teachers, currently employed on contract, to sit CANTRA?

A. ETD has indicated that teachers employed on a contract who sit CANTRA on November 16, 17 and 19 will be regarded as being at work and paid, as on any other day.

Q. Will ETD centrally fund provision of relief for contract teachers who are required to sit CANTRA?

A. ETD has advised it will not fund provision of relief teachers to replace the approximately 300 teachers who sit CANTRA on November 16, 17 and 19. Schools will be required to fund relief teachers out of their budgets.

Q. Do casual relief teachers need to successfully complete CANTRA to get work in 2016?

A. Casual relief teachers do not need to sit CANTRA to continue working on a casual basis. Casual relief teachers only need to sit CANTRA if they wish to apply for permanent employment.

Q. Are there any grounds on which people can be exempted from the requirement to sit CANTRA, for instance if they have years of teaching experience or postgraduate qualifications?

A. ETD has indicated there will be no exemptions of any sort – no matter how much individual circumstances may make it clear that a requirement to complete a numeracy and literacy is superfluous.

Q. What happens if a candidate does not pass CANTRA?

A. If a candidate doesn't pass CANTRA, they will not be eligible for permanent employment with ETD. To become eligible, they will need to sit the test again when it is administered next (it will be conducted every fewmonths). 

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