Highly accomplished and lead teacher classifications – what next?
Queensland Teachers' Journal, Vol 123 No 2, 9 March 2018, p15
The pilot of highly accomplished teachers (HAT) and lead teachers (LT) continues in Far North and North Coast, with more than 500 applicants initially applying to participate in the trial of the national certification process in Queensland, agreed to by the Department of Education (DoE) and the QTU as part of EB8.
The initial group of applicants was so large that three distinct cohorts were formed. To date, two of those cohorts have completed the process. The third cohort of teachers is due to receive face to face professional development provided by the Queensland College of Teachers (QCT) and DoE, which will be held towards the end of term one.
Participants will then have 12 weeks to collect evidence of the relevant teaching standards and prepare their portfolio to be submitted to the QCT, which is the approved accreditation body for the pilot. When the HAT and LT process is fully implemented from January 2019, and there is no restriction on preparation time, the QTU recommends that teachers apply for the positions when they are ready to commence the process. It will not benefit teachers to apply prior to being completely prepared to undertake the HAT and LT process. This means that those contemplating applying in 2019 should be commencing collection of evidence on an ongoing basis.
The QTU preparations are well underway for the “value of role” case in the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission in July. The Union will be tendering evidence in the commission to enable the commissioner to determine the pay level for highly accomplished and lead teachers. Once determined, the QTU will be seeking for those teachers who have successfully achieved national certification to receive a back-dated payment from the point of certification. This issue is to be determined by the relevant commissioner.
The QTU has also participated in an external evaluation of the pilot, which is being undertaken by an external party. QTU Officers were interviewed by consultants from Grant Thornton, which is also interviewing officials from DoE and QCT, with a view to compiling an evaluation report with recommendations by the end of March.
Members will continue to be updated on the progress of the pilot. Many teachers across Queensland are already gathering evidence, visiting the QCT’s website to watch its informative webinars, and familiarising themselves with the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers in the highly accomplished and lead teacher career stages. In addition, some schools have commenced providing professional development to all staff, as another way of showing their commitment to maintaining high standards in the teaching profession.
Research Officer – Professional issues