22 October 2015

Investing for Success (I4S)

On October 7, principals in every school in the state should have received a message from the Minister confirming their school’s Investing for Success (I4S) initiative funding for 2016 and 2017.  This funding will distribute the remaining additional Australian Government Students First funding. If you have yet to see this email, contact the department for the specific allocation for your school.

The QTU has been able to negotiate a new model for distributing funding with the state government.  The new model is much closer to the model proposed by the Gonski review and gives greater certainty of funding, with the model applying for 2016 and 2017 and then into the future.

This means that schools can commit to programs and commit to permanent employment for people engaged in those programs.

It is important that the money is spent to address areas of educational disadvantage.  As one of the Gonski reviewers, Ken Boston, says: “The Year 5 student who can benefit from this funding will only be in Year 5 once.”

As the department materials set out, consultation with the school community, including teachers and other staff, should occur in establishing the school agreement for use of the funds.  Depending on the nature of the agreement, this should include the LCC.

For more information about the funding figures and loading, read the QTU Members’ Newsflash sent out on 7 October.

Executive principals

Throughout this year, the QTU has been meeting with representatives of the department to discuss entitlement to executive principal appointments. A broader review has also been carried out into access to executive principal positions as a direct nexus to student enrolments of 1,600 or more over two annual census periods, as well as access to executive principal positions as a result of school complexity.

The possibility of seeking approval from the Public Service Commission (PSC) to extend the current executive principal scheme to accommodate predicted eligibility for executive principal entitlement has also been discussed. Seven schools have already been identified as likely to be eligible for entitlement in semester 2, 2016, in accordance with the current scheme criteria.

As a result of this lobbying from the QTU, the Director-General has approved the allocation of an additional five executive principal positions, in accordance with the existing executive principal scheme. The Public Service Commission has also advised that these five additional executive principal roles can be accommodated within the existing scheme.

In accordance with the certified agreement, all incumbent principals in these five schools will participate in a closed merit selection process.  As with existing executive principal allocations, these roles will be appointed under Section 122 (S122) agreements for an initial period of three years.

The Executive Principals Review Reference Group will reconvene as soon as possible.  The membership for this group is:

  • two representatives of the QTU
  • three representatives of DET HR
  • a representative of State Schooling Division
  • a regional director (or nominee)
  • an executive principal (nominated by the regional directors).

Additional guidance officer positions

One of the ALP’s pre-election commitments in education was the allocation of an additional 45 full-time equivalent (FTE) guidance officer positions in secondary schools over three years, to ensure that every school with more than 500 secondary school students had access to at least a full-time guidance officer.

This commitment has also been the subject of negotiation with the QTU.  The department proposed that, in addition, the allocations for schools with fewer than 500 secondary students should also be increased, to ensure that there is not a significant jump in allocation when enrolments reach 500.  To achieve this objective, The QTU agreed to the allocation of five FTE from the 875 additional teachers to supplement the numbers of guidance officers.

The QTU has supported the proposal for the phasing in of the additional secondary guidance officer numbers, subject to the quarantining of the additional positions from conversion to other roles.  This means that these positions are not subject to workplace reform.

Independent Public Schools timelines

The panel considering expressions of interest in becoming an Independent Public School in 2016 will meet this week, and will make recommendations to the Director-General as a result of this meeting.

Schools will be notified if they are selected to become an Independent Public School later in the term.

Graham Moloney           Paige Bousen
General Secretary         Assistant Secretary – Education Leaders