No. 04-18  : 20 April 2018
[open as pdf]

NAPLAN Online Ban, Fair Funding Now, Change the Rules, Labour Day – a term of action

NAPLAN Action is making a difference

At the Education Council held on Friday 13 April, Education Ministers agreed to develop terms of reference for a review of the NAPLAN testing regime and the reporting of NAPLAN results. While this is welcome news, it is important that the terms of reference enable any review to genuinely investigate the concerns raised by teachers and school leaders and that governments are committed to responding to the findings of a review.

The action being taken by QTU members in withdrawing support for NAPLAN Online has made a difference, and teachers and school leaders in those schools must be congratulated for ensuring that the directive is being implemented in schools across Queensland. The Union directive to withdraw from NAPLAN Online remains in place.

Terms of reference are also being developed for a Queensland based review of the impact of the NAPLAN testing regime at the state level. The QTU acknowledges the respect for teachers and school leaders that Minister Grace Grace has demonstrated by committing to a review, and looks forward to consultation regarding the terms of reference and participation in the process.

The QTU has had contact from a number schools asking if the National Assessment Program Science Literacy (NAP-SL) 2018 Online Field Trial is covered by the QTU directive to ban NAPLAN Online. The short answer is no. It was not the subject of the ballot and therefore the Union has not issued a directive to not participate.

The trial affects approximately 70 schools across Queensland, including Catholic and Independent schools. If a school believes they have grounds to not participate and wishes to withdraw from the trial, they can hold a vote of QTU members and will be issued with a directive to withdraw.

Have you completed the QTU NAPLAN survey yet?

Have your say on the impact of NAPLAN by participating in the QTU NAPLAN survey.  The results of the survey will be used to identify QTU priorities for any review to be undertaken by the state or federal government and will enable the Union to tell the story of NAPLAN in Queensland. https://www.qtu.asn.au/naplansurvey.

Fair Funding Now

The official Queensland launch of the “Fair Funding Now” campaign will take place in conjunction with QTU State Council on Saturday 19 May at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre at South Brisbane.

Across the state, teachers, parents, school leaders and community supporters will be engaging with the public to ensure school funding remains in the spotlight in the lead up to the next federal election.

If you would like to be part of this important campaign then you can sign up at http://www.fairfundingnow.org.au/ and make sure you contact your local QTU regional organiser to keep up to date with any local campaign activities in your area.

Labour Day – Change the Rules

Labour Day 2018 is almost here! What better way to celebrate your membership of our great union, our past achievements, current campaigns and our future strength - and this year it’s also a wonderful opportunity to show the world your support for the ”Change the Rules campaign“.

The campaign, which is the theme of this year’s events, is now well underway, and QTU members will have the opportunity to get involved through workplace meetings and local campaigns. But why not start by coming along to your local Labour Day event over the first weekend in May and marching with the QTU?

If there is no local march for you to attend, why not get together with some QTU colleagues to celebrate Labour Day? Contact your local Organiser to discuss your ideas.

Major events are being held on Saturday 5 May (Bundaberg, Cairns, Ipswich and Toowoomba), Sunday 6 May (Gold Coast, Maryborough and Sunshine Coast), Monday 7 May (Brisbane, Gladstone, Mackay, Rockhampton and Townsville) and Friday 18 May (Thursday Island).

For more information, visit www.qtu.asn.au/labourday

Union Reps Survey

A survey of Union Reps that was scheduled to commence at the start of this term has been delayed. This is partly to ensure proper security of the conduct of the survey and the information collected. The survey will proceed as quickly as possible and QTU reps will be advised of the revised timelines.

Staying Well – Climate Control

The next week for the Climate Control Census will be Week 3 of this term (30 April to 4 May 2018). Workplace meetings originally planned for this term to discuss school based responses to heat waves will be delayed until Term 3 to enable workplace meetings regarding Change the Rules and Fair Funding Now to occur.

Suitability Rankings for Graduates

The Department advised the QTU this week that graduate teachers will no longer require a suitability ranking to gain employment in Queensland schools. Graduates will be required to successfully complete their studies in education, subject to observations during temporary engagements and probation to ensure their suitability to teach in Queensland. Further information regarding the changes can be found at https://teach.qld.gov.au/apply-to-teach/suitability-assessments.

Workers’ Memorial Day

Family, friends and colleagues who have lost someone dear through a workplace death – as well as union members, delegates and community members – are invited to a special memorial ceremony that will be held 10am at Emma Miller Place, Roma Street, Brisbane and 11am at Pratten Park, Gold Coast on Friday 27 April 2018. This is the day where we come together as a movement to mourn for the dead and vow to fight for the living. Members in schools and TAFE may wish to mark the day by hosting a workplace event. Find out more information at www.qtu.asn.au/iwmd

How is immigration control impacting school communities?

Associate Professor Leanne Weber from Monash University is asking Australian teachers to help her investigate how immigration controls are impacting on school communities by completing a national on-line survey. No identifying information is being collected about schools or individuals. Topics covered include access to school places, information exchange between schools and immigration authorities, visits to school sites by immigration officials and their agents, and actions taken by school communities to support students experiencing immigration problems. It is not necessary to have knowledge or experience on all these topics to take part in the survey. Your contribution will be extremely valuable. You can access the survey via this link.

The research is funded by the Australian Research Council and has approval from the university’s Human Research Ethics Committee.