QTU Members' Newsflash

30 October 2014 No. 20-14 | Download as PDF

Master teachers to be in schools for 2015

This afternoon the Minister for Education, John-Paul Langbroek, announced the commencement of the master teacher program in schools. While master teacher was initially announced as part of Actions 5 and 6 of the government’s Great Teachers = Great Results program, the new position is different from that initially envisaged.

Following extensive negotiations, the QTU has been successful in protecting the existing classification structure by ensuring that there is no requirement for a master teacher to hold a Masters qualification, nor be an experienced senior teacher.

The role itself is one that focuses on providing support for the teaching of literacy/numeracy in schools. The master teacher role is similar to the role of literacy and numeracy coach or pedagogical coach. The master teacher is to develop teacher capability through:

  • delivering professional development
  • researching and modelling “quality” teaching 
  • coaching teachers
  • providing targeted student support
  • using evidence based assessment to inform teaching and learning
  • supporting staff in analysing and responding to systemic and student data.

Master teachers will be appointed to the role for a period of three years and will be remunerated at the level of a head of curriculum - stream 2, band 1 step 1 (the former band 5 step 1). Teachers or classified officers applying for the role of master teacher within another region or location will have the right to return to their substantive location upon completion of the role. Master teachers will not be classroom teachers and cannot be used for non-contact time release, except in extenuating circumstances. Applications for master teacher open today on the SmartJobs website.

There will be 300 master teacher positions next year, working in 463 schools across Queensland. Consequently, a number of schools will be working in a cluster arrangement with a master teacher. Approximately 200 master teacher positions will be in primary schools and 100 in secondary schools. The QTU also called on the department to provide access to a master teacher for special schools – a number of special school clusters have since been established. Schools that have been allocated a master teacher will be advised today.

The process for allocating master teachers to schools was developed by DETE and not negotiated with the QTU. It automatically excluded schools at band 5, 6, 11 and executive principals and outdoor and environmental education centres (OEECs). The remaining schools were identified using two headline indicators from the School Assessment and Performance Framework:

a)     a comparison of NAPLAN mean scale score for similar Queensland state schools (SQSS) across year 3,5,7 and 9 reading and numeracy

b)     a comparison on NAPLAN relative gain thresholds for SQSS of year 3-5, combined across reading and numeracy, and year 7-9, combined across reading and numeracy.

Despite strong and consistent advice from the QTU, the allocation for schools within a cluster has not been determined by DETE. It is the department’s belief that schools within clusters will negotiate and agree to the relevant allocations of master teachers per school. The QTU has grave concerns about the lack of a more precise allocation and has raised this concern repeatedly with the department. If agreement cannot be reached, the department will convene a dispute resolution process to facilitate access by the schools within the cluster to a master teacher.

Further information regarding master teacher can be found on the QTU website.

World Teachers’ Day

Tomorrow Queensland teachers will have the opportunity to celebrate World Teachers’ Day in their schools. World Teachers’ Day provides students, parents and school communities with an opportunity to reflect on the outstanding work that teachers do every day in education settings across the state.

The Queensland Teachers’ Union celebrates and acknowledges the professionalism, collegiality and dedication to the children and young people of Queensland demonstrated by our members.


 Authorised by Graham Moloney, General Secretary, Queensland Teachers' Union