Welcome to teaching – what you must know!

As a new educator and employee of the Department of Education and Training, there are certain formal requirements that you must fulfil during your first year of teaching.

Probation

All new permanent employees of DET (as well as those who have been converted to permanent after a period on contract) are required to undergo a period of probation, including formal induction and supervision, to satisfy the employer of their suitability for continuing employment.

For teachers, the standard probation period is eight months. You must be confirmed in your position or have your engagement terminated before the end of the eighth month of employment. For teachers appointed at the beginning of a school year, this will be immediately prior to the September school holidays.

At the end of your first three months, you will be provided with a performance review by your principal, which must be recorded on the applicable form. Any areas of concern must be identified, and an agreed action plan developed.

The induction and monitoring process will vary according to the workplace and the needs of individual employees. The program may involve classroom observations, monitoring of planning and assessment and some form of professional support/mentoring.

A formal appraisal will be conducted by the end of six months of service (usually July), resulting in a recommendation of either confirmation or termination of appointment. Employees on temporary contract are not required to undergo a probation period.

Provisional registration

Legislation dictates that only teachers who have obtained teacher registration may be employed to teach in any Queensland school. On completion of an approved teacher qualification, a teacher can be granted provisional registration, which allows them to teach for up to two years until full registration is granted by the Queensland College of Teachers (QCT). Full registration as a teacher may be granted after a year of successful full-time teaching or the equivalent (200 days). Both temporary and permanent employees can apply to transition from provisional to full registration provided the 200 days has been met, although it may take longer to accrue 200 days if working supply and contract combined.

You must demonstrate that you meet the graduate level Australian Professional Standards for Teachers (APST) during provisional registration to obtain full registration (go to www.qct.edu.au to learn more). The college requires your principal to complete the “Provisional to full registration recommendation report” to verify that you have met the standards.

This process is quite separate to the DET probationary process. More information is available on the QCT website at www.qct.edu.au

Induction programs

Many state schools around Queensland have excellent induction programs for new and beginning teachers entering the profession. These are mandatory for all new casual, temporary, and permanent employees. The mandatory induction program covers workplace health and safety, ethical decision making and curriculum activity risk assessment (CARA). An induction planner is available on the DET website. A comprehensive induction program may also contain information about the QTU, including the benefits of membership, the development of DET/QTU joint statements, and an outline of the QTU’s democratic decision-making structures and procedures for school based ballots etc. Ideally, this section of the induction program should be delivered by your school’s Union Representatives or school leaders. There are a range of other resources available for new QTU members at http://www.qtu.asn.au/advice/brochures/

Congratulations on entering the respected profession of teaching. Whether you end up teaching in Mt Isa or Manly West, the QTU will be here to support you every step of the journey.