President's comment 19 February 2013

PD decree puts policy before practice


When DETE issued a new policy in January restricting all teacher professional development to student free days or outside school hours, it was a classic example of the impact of political meddling in education practice.

This was exactly the major concern of the QTU during last year’s EB negotiations, when the State Government’s position was to turn existing industrial rights into departmental policies, with no protections or requirements for consultation.

This new policy contradicts the industrial entitlements of teachers (read Member Newsflash here), and makes no practical sense. The most cursory glance through EQ’s 2013 PD calendar shows that most PD is only offered during school hours, including QSA workshops on teaching and assessing elements of the Australian curriculum – PD required by the system.

The policy also ignores the huge range of activities that is already undertaken on SFDs, including planning, review and collegial collaboration on educational innovation – presumably exactly the kind of work that politicians and senior bureaucrats would value as improvers of education delivery in this state.

The QTU is continuing to negotiate with DETE to ensure members’ industrial rights are protected, and their professionalism is supported.

Kevin Bates