23 March 2016 : No. 08-16

New joint DET/QTU statement on the purpose and use of data in Queensland schools

Membership dues reminder

Union dues are payable by 31 March 2016. Make sure you retain all the rights and protections of financial membership.

Payment options are available at www.qtu.asn.au/myQTU

If you have any questions, please contact the QTU Membership section on 3512 9000.

The QTU has reached an agreement with the department on a joint statement on the purpose and use of data in Queensland schools. It is an important step in managing and reducing teacher and school leader workload associated with data collection. The statement, endorsed by QTU State Council on 12 March, reinforces the view that the most important data pertaining to student achievement is that relating to the curriculum being taught within the classroom.

“The intent of data collection and analysis at the school should be discussed and developed so as to maximise impact on teaching and learning, recognise the professionalism of teachers and school leaders and minimise the impact on workload.”

According to the joint statement, schools should develop, in consultation with the LCC, a school data plan which documents the approach to data that will be taken by the school.

“It is the expectation of DET and the QTU that workload considerations will be assessed at each school and addressed through the school data plan. Additionally, systemic and regional initiatives will also take into consideration workload and resourcing implications for schools”.

Negotiations commenced in August last year, after the Director-General of Education, Dr Jim Watterston, gave a public commitment to address the issue at the QTU Professional Issues Conference. The willingness of the department to reach agreement around this is a significant indication of shared concerns.

The joint statement, signed by the DET Director-General and the QTU General Secretary, is available on the QTU website.

The QTU will be developing supporting documentation that can be used as a resource by Union Reps and school leaders in determining what data is important in the school, how this is to be collected and reported, the frequency of this process etc.

Senior assessment changes announced

The Minister for Education recently announced changes to the senior assessment system for students in year 12 in 2019. The changes have been debated for some time now, and the QTU position and policy in relation to the recommendations and external assessment more generally have been developed in a democratic way, including consistent reporting to members. The proposals put on the table by the current and former state governments have been the subject of lengthy discussion by members at branch meetings, QTU State Council meetings and at QTU Biennial Conference last year. A number of QTU position statements, a QTU response to the Matters/Masters report, as well as formal policy have been developed and have been made available to members on the QTU website.
For a detailed QTU response to the Minister’s latest announcement, see the President’s Comment on the QTU website.

EB negotiations commence

Preliminary negotiations commenced with DET on the QTU’s EB8 claim on Monday, 21 March, 2016. At this stage, discussions relate more to bargaining procedures and protocols rather than the content of the claim. A schedule of negotiations has been established.

A new agreement is due from 1 July, 2016.

The QTU’s EB8 claim was endorsed by the QTU State Council on 12 March after member consultation in 2015 and earlier this year (see Newsflash No. 07-16 and the QTU website).

Happy Easter

The officers and staff of the QTU would like to wish all members a safe and enjoyable Easter break! QTU offices will be closed on Good Friday and Easter Monday, but will continue to operate normal working hours during the autumn vacation period.

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