30 October 2014 

Today the Minister announced the introduction of 300 master teacher positions into schools.  The master teacher position arises out of Action 5 of the Great Teachers = Great Results [GTGR] Action Plan.  The QTU  has been meeting with the department on a weekly basis to negotiate elements of this plan to ensure that they do not impose additional workload, or breach any employment conditions that members currently enjoy.

Master teacher is an additional classified teacher position provided to selected Queensland state schools that fall within the measures determined by the department.  Approximately 200 positions have been tagged for primary schools and 100 for secondary schools. At the start of negotiations, only experienced senior teachers with a Masters of Education degree would have been eligible to apply, however, as the QTU believes that all teachers should have the opportunity to access a higher classification irrespective of their formal qualifications, the Queensland Teachers’ Union  was successful in having this specific criteria removed.

The QTU has negotiated a memorandum of agreement (MOA) and a position description for master teacher. It will be open to all eligible teachers, who, if successful, will commence at the start of 2015.

The department, in conjunction with the Union, has developed a set of frequently asked questions (FAQs) which will also be released today.

The process for allocating Master Teachers to school was developed by DETE.  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 and

b)     A comparison on NAPLAN Relative Gain thresholds for SQSS of Year 305 combined across Reading and Numeracy and Year 7-9 combined across Reading and Numeracy

Principals should be informed today if  they are eligible for a master teacher position at their school, via an email from their ARD.  Nearly 60 per cent of all master teacher positions will be allocated to a single school. On the advice of regional office, some smaller schools have been grouped together in a cluster arrangement, either geographically or because they share a similar pedagogical framework. Principals in these schools need to be aware that they will not be provided with a specific allocation of their master teacher.  Principals will be required to negotiate with the other principal/s in the cluster with regards to the best use of the master teacher across the schools, and to formalise the arrangements with a written agreement.  The QTU has grave concerns about the lack of a more precise allocation and has raised this concern repeatedly with the department. If cluster arrangements with regards to master teacher cannot be resolved, the department has set up a dispute resolution process that can be accessed through the GTGR implementation team in central office.

Action 6 of Great Teachers = Great Results identifies an additional $75,000 resource package, which will be provided over three years to support master teachers.  This additional $75,000 will not be available to secondary schools with master teachers as Action 6 only states that master teachers in primary schools will be supported in this task by an early years resource package of up to $75,000 over three years.  Where primary schools receive an allocation to master teacher as part of a cluster, the host primary school within the cluster will receive the additional $75,000. The other primary schools within the cluster will be required to  negotiate with the host primary school to access part of the resource package .  These decisions were made by the department and separate to the negotiations with the Union. 

The advertisements for the master teacher positions will go live on the Smart Jobs and Careers website today.  Please note that applications will be due after a very short time frame.

The QTU will be sending out a Members’ Newsflash today which will provide more information to members, Union Reps, principals and anyone wishing to apply for a master teacher position. 

We are also advising our members to visit the QTU website, which will have more detailed information, or to contact the Queensland Teachers’ Assist Desk, via the website or on 1300117823, for further advice.

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