Report-back from November 21 Council

Every school is urged to complete a Workload Reduction Plan in coming weeks. Completion of these plans will unlock the additional resources won in the new Enterprise Agreement. 

Workload Reduction Plans

  • ETD requires each school to complete a Workload Reduction Plan in order to obtain additional resources set out in the new EA to relieve the burden of non-teaching tasks.
  • Each School Workload Committee should meet as soon as possible to devise a Workload Reduction Plan: by completing it in coming weeks schools will ensure they have access to additional resources at the start of the 2016 school year.
  • The Workload Reduction Plan has three elements: effective use of new resources; identification of measures within the school to reduce teacher workload; data collection and evaluation processes.
  • ETD will distribute a Workload Reduction Plan template later this week. However, schools don’t need to wait for this to get started.
  • The Hughes Primary Sub-branch have already created their Workload Reduction Plan and President, Trina Cleary, and Councillor, Mat McRae, talked to Council about both the substance of their plan and the process through which they created it.
  • The Section Q Guidelines are an indispensable support in developing your Workload Reduction Plan and Workload Committees should start by referring to the lists of tasks teachers should no longer do or only have limited involvement in.

Shaddock Report – Call For More School Psychologists

  • Email the letters section of the Canberra Times ( add your support to our call for the Government to implement the Expert Panel’s recommendation that we have one School Psychologist for every 500 students. Guidance on writing the letter can be viewed here. 
  • Glenn summarised some of the main recommendations of the Expert Panel on Students with Complex Needs and Challenging Behaviour.
  • The Expert Panel recommended a ratio of 1 School Psychologist for every 500 students in ACT public schools. The ratio is currently 1:750, if we are being generous to the Government.
  • Minister Burch stated that she accepts all the recommendations. However, there has not been a statement that additional funding will be provided to employ any of the approximately 35 new School Psychologists to meet the recommended ratio.
  • Glenn pointed to media we have already done to highlight the importance of additional School Psychologists in our system.
  • We will continue to actively pressure the Government to implement the recommendation in full.

Student Resource Allocation

  • Glenn discussed the new Student Resource Allocation and its implications, including an ETD Q&A document that will be provided to principals this week. Concerns were expressed by some Councillors about potential negative consequences of the model's application at their school. Further details are being actively sought and high level meetings will be convened. 

Election for Vacancy on Branch Executive

Addressing Disadvantage in ACT Schools – Possibilities for Collaboration between Schools and The Community Sector

  • The Director of the ACT Council of Social Service (ACTCOSS), Susan Helyar, spoke to Council about the urgent priority of improving outcomes for students from disadvantaged backgrounds in ACT public schools. Susan discussed how schools and community services could be better co-ordinated and opportunities for ACTCOSS and the AEU to work together. A briefing paper summarising the issues will be distributed shortly.

AEU ACT Submission to the ACT Government 2016/17 Budget Consultation

Our submission addresses the following matters:

  • Improvements in energy efficiency & heating and cooling needs in ACT public schools
  • Increase in number of school psychologists in ACT public schools
  • Maintain recurrent funding of ‘extra resources for sustainable reduction in teacher workload’ commitment make in part settlement of the Teaching Staff Enterprise Agreement 2014-2018
  • Payment of course fees for a mandatory certificate 3 in education and care or equivalent for all school assistants in ACT public schools
  • Older schools renovation, as promised in 2012 and as yet undelivered.

School Uniforms

ETD has released a new draft school dress standards and uniform policy. Members can provide input for our submission here. We intend to submit in regard to the following matters:

  • Uniforms should be purchased from ethically accredited businesses wherever possible
  • Uniform policy should not be discriminatory against any students, particularly transgender, intersex or queer students.
  • Uniform policy should not impose a financial burden on low-SES students and families.
  • Finalisation of the policy should be preceded by an analysis of workload impact; additional resources should be provided where there is additional work; Section Q Guidelines must be adhered to
  • There must be maximum input from staff, students, parents and other members of the school community in considering any change to the status quo.

People’s Climate March

The People’s Climate March is happening all over the world as the Paris climate negotiations take place. Join the AEU ACT contingent at the Canberra march on the Parliament Lawns at Midday this Sunday, November 29. Wear your AEU ACT t-shirt and bring your sub-branch flag.

Next Meeting - February 20, 2016

Councillors, please note you remain in your role until March next year. The first meeting of 2016 will be on Saturday February the 20th (Week 3 of Term 1). 

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