Recommendations of the Teacher Shortage Taskforce

22 August 2022

Recommendations of the Teacher Shortage Taskforce

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1. The Education Directorate will develop a five-year Classroom Teacher Attraction and Retention Plan by 2023 to recruit teachers to meet projected demand and retain current teaching workforce. Based on current modelling, the Directorate will need to recruit approximately 250 to 300 teachers annually to meet growth demand and attrition rates.

2. The Education Directorate will review and update the teacher workforce projections and additional teacher recruitment targets on an annual basis or as required. The Directorate will provide to the AEU a bi-annual progress report (end of Term 1 and Term 3) on the number of additional teachers employed against the recruitment targets.

3. The Education Directorate will establish the process for temporary engagement of Permit to Teach holders with the rate of pay at the 3-year trained classroom teacher classification level of the Agreement. The new rate of pay for PTT holders will be implemented by Term 4, 2022.

4. The Education Directorate will implement the expansion of conditional offer of employment in the ACT Education Directorate to students in their 3rd year of teaching qualification studies.

5. The Education Directorate will consider incentives for current staff in schools such as School Assistants to complete a teaching qualification.

6. The Education Directorate will undertake further work to consider incentives for preservice teachers to be employed in ACT Public Schools to access additional studies assistance and other supports.

7. The Education Directorate will develop strategies with the AEU to support parents and carers to return to the teaching workforce, such as facilitating access to early learning centres and out of school hours care programs.

8. The Education Directorate will encourage the use of inbuilt relief teachers in all schools to support schools in managing teacher absences. This will enable more secure form of employment through permanent appointment or long-term temporary engagement and less reliance on casual employment. The system approach will be developed in conjunction with the AEU.

9. The Education Directorate will develop centrally funded incentives for recently retired teachers or teachers to return from long-term leave including paid time for mandatory training completion and other supports such as payment of professional teacher registration and Working with Vulnerable People registration costs, and other relevant out-of-pocket expenses.

10. The Education Directorate will actively monitor and identify schools that are experiencing acute and ongoing teacher shortage due to high rates of teacher absences, unable to fill vacant teacher positions, and/or ongoing instances of splitting and combining of classes to respond and address these challenges.

11. The Education Directorate will implement targeted and differentiated strategies and initiatives to meet and support staffing requirements for identified schools with teacher shortage challenges. This will include considering incentives to encourage experienced teachers to be placed in these schools and strengthening teacher mobility process to enable the system to deploy teaching resources where they are needed the most.

12. The Education Directorate will continue to maintain a centralised engagement of temporary classroom teachers through the implementation of the ACTPS Secure Work Conversion Policy.

13. The Education Directorate will promote clear advice and guidance to ensure system-wide implementation of the EDU and AEU Class Sizes Policy and Class Sizes Procedures, specifically on what constitutes excessive class size.

14. The Education Directorate will continue to progress the Schools Workforce Profile and Plan Project which will identify drivers for teacher shortage and develop workforce data on teacher specialisations and expertise for each individual school and across all sectors.

15. The Education Directorate will develop and implement an assurance framework to ensure that the New Educator Development Program is implemented for all beginning teachers across all schools.

16. The Education Directorate will develop workforce data on beginning teachers to better inform strategies and interventions required as they transition into the teaching profession.

17. The Education Directorate will communicate formal advice and clear expectations on core role and reasonable working hours for teachers and school leaders. This will include supports available in relation to workload management and working hours for teachers and school leaders. Further, the Directorate will consider communications approach with school communities to promote reasonable expectations of teachers.

18. The Education Directorate will continue to assess, plan and respond to COVID-19 impact on school operations in conjunction with the AEU, including continued implementation of school workload reduction strategies that were introduced in Term 2, 2022 as required.

19. The Education Directorate will establish a Sustainable Workload Management Committee at a system level to identify drivers of teacher and school leader workload and address these challenges. The Terms of Reference and membership of the committee will be agreed with the AEU.

20. The Education Directorate will undertake a system-wide safety review to strengthen the safety culture within ACT public schools for teachers and students and provide additional resourcing for training, communication, and project management to support the teaching workforce.

 

Contact

02 6272 7900

Authorised by Patrick Judge for the Australian Education Union ACT Branch, Level 1, 71 Leichhardt Street, Kingston, ACT 2604

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