...for the teaching professional

[updated 18 January 2018]

The QTU is the voice of more than 43,000 teachers and leaders in state schools and TAFE Institutes. We represent your industrial and professional rights. Too often, professional issues become industrial ones, and we want to remind members that there are a range of professional teaching resources to assist you and professional organisations to support you to meet the increasing demands of your role.

8 January 2018 : School education: a quick guide to key internet links

Author :Marilyn Harrington, Parliamentary Library (Australia)

This Quick Guide provides links to information about:

  • national policy and administrative framework for school education
  • Australian Government funding for schools
  • individual schools
  • statistical sources—including student achievement statistics and other international statistics
  • Indigenous school education
  • Australian organisations
  • international organisations and overseas education departments and
  • state and territory government websites.

Professional teaching resources

In today’s fast-paced world, teachers want readily available resources that can be easily modified and shared, instead of reinventing them every time.

TES Australia

TES Australia is a website where teachers can download and share user-generated resources free of charge. The site is proudly supported by our national education union, the Australian Education Union.


Many teachers are also using Scootle, an on-line resource that has been available to teachers in the non-state sector for some time. The Department of Education has reached an agreement with Education Services Australia (ESU) which allows Teachers in Queensland state schools to now register to use Scootle.

Queensland state school teachers already access Scootle resources along with other Education Queensland resources (such as C2C) through the Learning Place, which also provides a range of safe and secure spaces for curriculum delivery, collaboration and communication.

By registering with Scootle directly teachers can also access Australia’s first national social network for teachers, Scootle Community. 

enviroweek-icon100.pngCool Australia

Curriculum resources on climate change for teachers and students - Climate science is very complex but it seems everyone is suddenly an expert according to their vested interest, view of the world and political views. Why do we debate the peer-reviewed science on climate change?

Professional standards for teachers

Teachers and school leaders in all states and territories have embraced the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers, (APST) which are located on the Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leaders (AITSL) website.

The APST are explained in this QTU Facts Sheet.

Professional development

Teachers have many opportunities to attend professional development however, some training is now offered online. The QTU believes that mandatory PD should be done during school time, on pupil free days and the Department’s policy supports this. Any Professional Development undertaken after school is voluntary.

For more advice on professional development please read the  QTU Fact Sheet, "Professional development and mandatory training"

Professional reading (updated Nov 2017)

1. Do schools affect girls' and boys' reading performance differently? A multilevel study on the gendered effects of school resources and school practices / van Hek, Margriet; Kraaykamp, Gerbert; Pelzer, Ben. 10 Nov 2017. 

Subjects: education of boys; education of girls and boys; boys; education of girls; girls; academic achievement; gender issues; gender; outcomes of education; school resources; reading achievement; socioeconomic conditions; student assessment; school differentiation; Germany; classroom environment; learning environment; teacher qualifications; OECD; educational research; class groupings; class structure; learning.
URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09243453.2017.1382540 Electronic document; [[Online open access only] School effectiveness and school improvement: an international journal of research, policy and practice, pp. 1-21 [published online 10 Nov 2017]] [ID=BTXU]
Few studies on male–female inequalities in education have elaborated on whether school characteristics affect girls’ and boys’ educational performance differently. This study investigated how school resources, being schools’ socioeconomic composition, proportion of girls, and proportion of highly educated teachers, and school practices, being schools’ application of well-rounded assessment methods, influenced girls’ and boys’ reading performance differently. We hypothesised that positive effects of school resources would be greater for boys than for girls, and that more frequent use of well-rounded assessment methods would be associated with increased girls’ and decreased boys’ reading performance. Using advanced multilevel analyses of 2009 Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) data, we found that boys profited more than girls from having a large proportion of girls in school. Contrary to our expectations, girls gained more than boys from a school’s advantaged socioeconomic composition. These gendered effects of school resources were not explained by differences in school learning climate.


2. The characteristics and potential effects of the schools that Indigenous Australians attend / Biddle, Nicholas; Edwards, Ben. / ANU. Centre for Aboriginal Economic Policy Research. (published by ANU. Centre for Aboriginal Economic Policy Research) [Nov 2017].
Subjects: Australia; Aboriginal Australians; indigenous education; school entrance age; National Assessment Program - Literacy and Numeracy; Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students; literacy; numeracy; outcomes of education; academic achievement; schools; student characteristics; Educational segregation; educational history; Aboriginal history; statistics; interstate comparisons.
URL: http://caepr.anu.edu.au/sites/default/files/Publications/WP/Working_Paper_119_2017.pdf
ANU. Centre for Aboriginal Economic Policy Research. Working paper ; no. 119/2017; Electronic document; [ID=BTYE]
'This paper uses data from the National Assessment Program, Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) to document the distribution of Indigenous students across Australian schools, as well as some of the potential effects of that distribution on literacy and numeracy outcomes. The results show three main things: the Indigenous population is not evenly distributed across schools, with high rates of school segregation; using a school fixed effects model, it appears that the characteristics of schools matter in explaining change through time in Indigenous outcomes; and the distribution of Indigenous students across different schools explains some, but not all, of the difference between Indigenous and non-Indigenous students in literacy and numeracy. A key policy finding from the analysis is that the school system seems to matter. Growth through time of literacy and numeracy for Indigenous students is lowest in New South Wales, the Australian Capital Territory and the Northern Territory.'


3. Fake news! Is your reputation safe? / Burke, Edmund. (published by Australia and New Zealand Education Law Association. Conference (26th : 2017 : Surrey Hills, Sydney)) [Oct 2017].
Subjects: legal issues in education; teachers; defamation; social media; online social networks; parents; teacher rights; legislation; information technology; INTERNET; cyberbullying; cases.
URL: http://anzelaconference.com.au/resources/Papers/Burke,%20E%20-%202017%20ANZELA%20Conference%20-%20Fake%20News!%20Is%20your%20reputation%20safe.pdf Electronic document; [ID=BTXY]
Fake News! Two words that the leader of the free world uses as a weapon and a shield levelled against any news story (or even question) he doesn’t like. Most educators enjoy a more fulsome reputation that Mr Trump and teachers and school leaders have fiercely guarded that reputation from any slurs from students, parents or colleagues. Indeed, they have felt they have no choice because the trust of the wider community is essential if they are to be able to successfully perform their roles.
Defamation law has been used by educators to protect their reputation when necessary, but in the last 10 years the law have been left behind. In that time developments in social media and the internet have meant we are all publishers now yet defamation law
developed to tackle the ‘big beasts’ of the media jungle. Newspaper owners, television channels and book publishers are the traditional targets. Now reputations face the ‘stinging insects’ of media, such as disgruntled parents on Facebook or hard marking students on ratemyteachers.com claiming teachers are bullies or neglectful of children or simply bad at their jobs. Hurtful defamations surely, but worth an application to the court?
Put simply, defamation law cannot cope with these lower level defamations on internet platforms and it may be that, rather than swatting publishing mosquitoes with expensive defamation actions, teachers must instead concentrate on growing thicker skins. This
paper is a largely first-hand account of the legal profession’s attempts to protect teachers’ reputations in this new environment.


4. Safe for whom? Regligious school employers, employees and discrimination exemptions : is it possible to protect both? / Knott, Andrew Edward, 1947-. (published by Australia and New Zealand Education Law Association. Conference (26th : 2017 : Surrey Hills, Sydney)) Oct 2017.
Subjects: legal issues in education; teachers; civil rights legislation; religion; religious cultural groups; Queensland. [Anti-Discrimination Act 1991]; employers; employees; discrimination legislation; religious discrimination; conscientious objection; legislation; employment law.
URL: http://anzelaconference.com.au/resources/Papers/Knott,%20A%20-%202017%20ANZELA%20Conference%20-%20Safe%20for%20Whom.pdf Electronic document; [ID=BTXZ]
The background to this paper is that it is common for exemptions (including in relation to employment) in anti-discrimination legislation for religious bodies to be based on concepts such as “conforms to the doctrines of that religion” or “necessary to avoid injury to the religious susceptibilities of the adherence of that religion” or “discriminates in good faith in order to avoid injury to the susceptibilities of adherents of that religion or creed”.
For nearly 15 years the relevant Qld provision, section 25 of the Anti-Discrimination Act 1991 (Qld), has been based on concepts much more closely linked to conduct in the workplace. The paper will analyse that provision and its underlying rationale and submit that the respective needs of employers and employees are more appropriately met by such a test. The paper will also consider whether, if there were no religious exemption provision, the gap would (on that rationale) be filled by the employee’s duty of loyalty or fidelity.


5. Teacher liability in negligence for mandatory reporting failures / McConaghy, Hannah Faye. (published by Australia and New Zealand Education Law Association. Conference (26th : 2017 : Surrey Hills, Sydney)) [Oct 2017].
Subjects: legal issues in education; teachers; mandatory reporting; negligence; child protection; Queensland; student safety; teacher responsibility; duty of care; child abuse; legislation; child sexual abuse; cases.
URL: http://anzelaconference.com.au/resources/Papers/McConaghy,%20H-%202017%20ANZELA%20Conference%20-%20Teacher%20Liability%20in%20Negligence%20for%20Mandatory%20Reporting%20Failures.pdf Electronic document; [ID=BTYA]
The mandatory reporting laws for child protection covering Australian teachers, particularly in Queensland, have been instigated to ensure the safety of all students.
While most teachers attempt to follow the guidelines for reporting, it can be difficult for them to fully comprehend their reporting requirements and, furthermore, the ramifications they could face should they fail in their responsibilities.
Given there is yet to be a case in Queensland where a teacher has been found liable in negligence for failing to submit a mandatory report of their suspicions of child abuse, it is difficult to determine whether it is actually possible for a teacher to be found negligent in
this area. There is evidence within the court system of both successes and failures in other sectors in determining whether a third party could be held to have a duty of care to report abuse. This leaves it open for the potential for this to occur in the future in the
education sector.
While the ultimate focus for mandatory reporting laws is to protect the child, it is also important for teachers to feel safe in their profession in order to complete their role and tasks with the children effectively. Therefore, given written legislation and case law cannot confirm or deny the possibility of a teacher being found liable in negligence for failing in their mandatory reporting duties, the conversation is one that needs to be started.


6. Relying on luck of providence : recent research findings on how school principals ensure the legal safety of their schools / Trimble, Allison. (published by Australia and New Zealand Education Law Association. Conference (26th : 2017 : Surrey Hills, Sydney)) [Oct 2017].
Subjects: legal issues in education; principals; schools; legal aspects; legal education; legal responsibility; Tasmania; research; Australia; duty of care; student safety; child abuse; child sexual abuse; workers compensation; occupational health and safety; teacher registration; family law; welfare services; discrimination; copyright; criminal law; privacy; fundraising; immigration; defamation; Tasmania. Department of Education.
URL: http://anzelaconference.com.au/resources/Papers/Trimble,%20A%20-%202017%20ANZELA%20Conference%20-%20Relying%20on%20luck%20or%20providence.pdf Electronic document; [ID=BTYB]
This paper outlines recent research conducted in Tasmania concerning the impact of legal issues on the working lives of school principals across the Government, Catholic and
Independent school sectors. The study focused on the areas of principals’ legal literacy (encompassing the legal areas they deal with, the accuracy of their legal knowledge and confidence in that knowledge, and sources of their legal information) and legal
consciousness; the legal context faced by principals; negative impacts of their legal dealings, and ways principals consider their legal supports might be improved. Whilst some of the findings from this research accord with the previous studies conducted by Stewart (1996) and McCann (2006), a number of the findings present new perspectives on school principals’ dealings with legal issues.
The research was based on a quan + QUAL mixed methods inquiry in which data were collected through an on-line survey of Tasmanian principals and a series of semi-structured interviews with a range of people in Tasmanian education, including principals, principal supervisors, system leaders, administrators and a Government education lawyer. The study was the first of its kind in Australia to begin to address the experiences of Independent
school principals together with their colleagues from other systems, as well as providing a more complete and rounded picture by including the views of practising principals and other informed perspectives.
Two findings from the study have particular relevance in relation to Education for a Safe World: the impact of principals’ legal consciousness (beliefs, not knowledge) regarding school safety; and safety for principals, in terms of the legal support framework within which they make legal decisions.


7. How should schools respond to problematic or harmful sexualised behaviour between children? / Waterhouse, Michael. (published by Australia and New Zealand Education Law Association. Conference (26th : 2017 : Surrey Hills, Sydney)) [Oct 2017].
Subjects: legal issues in education; teachers; mandatory reporting; negligence; child protection; teacher responsibility; duty of care; legislation; child sexual abuse; cases; students; sexual abuse; sexual behaviour; child behaviour; criminal law.
URL: http://anzelaconference.com.au/resources/Papers/Waterhouse,%20W%20-%202017%20ANZELA%20Conference%20Paper%20-%20How%20Should%20Schools%20Respond%20to%20Problematic%20or%20Harmful%20Sexualised%20Behaviour%20Between%20Children.pdf Electronic document; [ID=BTYC]
Case study number 45 of the Royal Commission dealt with institutional responses to children with problematic or harmful sexual behaviours in school.2 It was held between October 2016 and
February 2017. The study examined allegations relating to three government primary schools and three nongovernment
secondary schools. For the 3 primary schools, nonpublication
orders remain in place3 made so that the identities of the school are not publicly known. This was primarily to protect the identities of individual children involved in the cases, a number of whom are still children and might be able to be identified if their school and other facts were made known.
Despite the nonpublication orders, there is useful information to be learnt from generalised expert evidence before the commission.
The case study concluded in February 2017 and the Royal Commission is due to hand down its findings and recommendations by December 2017. So, this remains a topic of probable policy
development and reform as school authorities consider and implement reforms arising from this case.


8. STEM education in NSW schools / Gotsis, Tom. / NSW. Parliamentary Research Service. (published by NSW.Parliamentary Research Service) Website of the NSW Parliament; September 2017.
Subjects: NSW; educational policy; primary education; secondary education; Science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM); outcome based education; curriculum.
URL: https://www.parliament.nsw.gov.au/researchpapers/Documents/STEM%20Education%20in%20NSW%20schools.pdf
e-brief (New South Wales. Parliamentary Research Service); no. 5/2017; Electronic document; [ID=DFFL]
This e-brief reviews government policies aimed at improving STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) outcomes in NSW schools. It also discusses whether the focus on STEM education undermines the concept of a comprehensive education and risks creating an oversupply of STEM graduates.


9. Teacher unions / McCollow, John Edward. (published by Oxford University Press) September 2017.
Subjects: teacher unions; education; change; development; educational policy; politics; globalisation; economics; society; education reform; neoliberalism; education unions; teaching conditions; teachers; teachers work; Education International; teacher unionism; enterprise bargaining; social movements; strategies.
URL: http://education.oxfordre.com/view/10.1093/acrefore/9780190264093.001.0001/acrefore-9780190264093-e-201?print=pdf Electronic document; [in 'Oxford research encyclopedia of education' / Oxford University Press, USA, 2016.] [ID=BRTR]


10. Shifting the dial : 5 year Productivity review / Australia. Productivity Commission. (published by Australia. Productivity Commission) 3 August 2017.
Subjects: Australia; economics; productivity; labour productivity; performance indicators; health; education; public policies; government funding; vocational education and training; lifelong learning; lifelong education; infrastructure; transport; market economics; government administration.
URL: http://www.pc.gov.au/inquiries/completed/productivity-review/report/productivity-review.pdf
Australia. Productivity Commission. Inquiry report ; no. 84; Electronic document; [ID=BTXT]
I, Scott Morrison, Treasurer, pursuant to Parts 2 and 3 of the Productivity Commission Act 1998, hereby request that the Productivity Commission (the Commission) undertake an inquiry into Australia’s productivity performance and provide recommendations on productivity-enhancing reform. This inquiry
will be the first of a regular series, undertaken at five-yearly intervals, to provide an overarching analysis of where Australia stands in terms of its productivity performance
Productivity growth is the main long-term driver of growth in Australian incomes and living standards.
Governments have an important influence on productivity growth, including through policies and regulations that affect investment in human and physical capital and the functioning of markets, including with respect to trade, competition and other regulatory constraints and incentives.
Policy settings can support productivity growth by ensuring that the economy is flexible, able to adapt in the face of economic challenges and opportunities, and imposes the least cost in achieving governments’ policy objectives.
It is particularly important at present that policy settings facilitate structural change and productive investment in the economy to support its transition from the resources investment boom, and promote its efficiency and competitiveness given population ageing and the evolving global economy.
The Commission will undertake an inquiry of Australia’s productivity performance and make recommendations, as necessary to support productivity growth. This task will be undertaken every five years.
Scope of the Inquiry
The Commission is to review Australia’s productivity performance and, in the light of its findings, make recommendations to assist governments to make productivity enhancing reforms.
Without limiting related matters on which the Commission may report, its report to the Government should:
1. analyse Australia’s productivity performance in both the market and non-market sectors including an assessment of the settings for productive investment in human and physical capital and how they can be improved to lift productivity
2. examine the factors that may have affected productivity growth, including an assessment of the impact of major policy changes, if relevant
3. prioritise potential policy changes to improve Australian economic performance and the wellbeing of Australians by supporting greater productivity growth.
The Commission should have regard to other current or recent reviews commissioned by Australian governments relating to Australia’s productivity performance such as the Harper Competition Policy Review and include comparisons of Australia’s productivity performance with other comparable countries.
The Commission should support analysis with modelling where possible and qualitative analysis where data is not available and this is appropriate.
The Commission should consult widely and undertake appropriate public consultation processes, accepting public submissions.
The Commission should consult with Commonwealth, state and territory governments.
The final report should be provided to the Government within 12 months of receipt of these terms of reference.
Scott Morrison
[Received 16 September 2016] CONTENTS
Terms of reference 3
Foreword 7
Recommendations 9
1 Introduction 27
1.1 Scope and aim of this inquiry 29
1.2 What has been happening to productivity? 32
1.3 Government policy and productivity 35
1.4 Identifying a policy reform agenda 36
2 Healthier Australians 41
2.1 How is Australia’s health system faring? 43
2.2 The scope of this chapter 48
2.3 Towards better integrated care 48
2.4 Regional flexibility is critical 50
2.5 Funding models are problematic 51
2.6 Governments need to commit to a patient-centred
approach and measure their achievements
2.7 Information sharing can be akin to ‘pinning the tail
on the donkey’
2.8 Disseminating best practice 69
2.9 Community wide public health initiatives 73
2.10 Dollars on the pavement that we have not yet picked up 77
2.11 The estimated impacts of the recommendations 79
3 Future skills and work 81
3.1 A well-functioning labour market to support living standards 83
3.2 Strong foundational skills 88
3.3 Confidence and stability is needed in the VET system 92
3.4 Independent skills assessment framework to support
innovative forms of learning 96
3.5 Improving university outcomes 100
3.6 Revisiting lifelong learning: an expanding role for education
and training throughout life 112
4 Better functioning towns and cities 121
4.1 The importance of large towns and cities 123
4.2 Policy focus 128
4.3 Many hands are at work in cities policy 128
4.4 Public infrastructure 129
4.5 Transport 132
4.6 Realising the productive potential of urban land 143
5 Improving the efficiency of markets 153
5.1 Fixing the energy mess 157
5.2 Enabling an innovation culture 164
5.3 Improving the performance of the regulatory system 168
5.4 An agenda for regulation reform 170
6 More effective governments 177
6.1 Introduction 179
6.2 How are governments performing? 179
6.3 Progressing reform 182
6.4 Public finances 184
6.5 Capabilities of governments 192
6.6 Supporting Local Government 205
A Review participants 209
B Regulation Reforms 219
B.1 Improving competition 223
B.2 Removing unnecessary regulatory burdens 236
R References 245


11. Educate Australia fair? : education inequality in Australia / Cassells, Rebecca; Dockery, Michael; Duncan, Alan. (published by Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre (BCEC)) June 2017.
Subjects: educational disadvantage; education regions; educational advantages; geography; early childhood education; post secondary education; primary education; secondary education; higher education; vocational education and training; NSW; Victoria; Queensland; South Australia; Western Australia; Tasmania; Northern Territory; ACT; interstate comparisons; outcomes of education; educational funding; federal funding; state education funding; school fees; private education; public education; needs based funding.
URL: http://bcec.edu.au/assets/099068_BCEC-Educate-Australia-Fair-Education-Inequality-in-Australia_WEB.pdf
Focus on the states series; no. 5; Electronic document; [ID=BTCG]
EDUCATE AUSTRALIA FAIR?: Education Inequality in Australia
List of figures
List of tables
Executive summary
Key findings
Introduction xvi
Early Childhood Education
Pre-school Access
Developmental Outcomes
School Education – Primary and Secondary
Student Engagement
Student Retention
Student Performance
Post-school Education and Training
Higher Education
Vocational Education and Training
Education and social mobility
Geography and educational disadvantage
A geographical index of educational disadvantage
Educational inequality in Australia
How do states and territories compare?
New South Wales
South Australia
Western Australia
Northern Territory
Australian Capital Territory
Drivers of educational inequality: what do we learn?
How much do educational outcomes vary by level of disadvantage?
How much does school income per student vary by level of disadvantage?
Summary and Discussion
Glossary and Technical Notes


12. Preparing students for success in senior secondary : senior assessment and tertiary entrance supporting state schools for day 1, 2019 / Queensland. Department of Education and Training. (published by Queensland. Department of Education and Training) 2017.
Subjects: Queensland; Senior Assessment and Tertiary Entrance; Year 10; Year 11; Year 12; tertiary entrance; senior secondary years; senior syllabus; national curriculum; student resources; student assessment. electronic document; [ID=QTAD;1107]


13. Out in the open : education sector responses to violence based on sexual orientation and gender identity/expression / UNESCO. (published by UNESCO) website of UNESCO; 2016.
Subjects: education; violence in schools; student violence; sexuality; gender identity; homophobia; Africa; Asia; Europe; Argentina; Chile; Colombia; Ecuador; Mexico; Peru; Caribbean; Canada; USA; Pacific; harassment; UNESCO; discrimination; inclusive schooling; young adults; young adolescents; children.
URL: http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0024/002447/244756e.pdf Electronic document; [ID=BTCF]
"All forms of discrimination and violence in schools are an obstacle to the fundamental right to quality education of children and young people and no country can achieve inclusive and equitable quality education if students are discriminated against or experience violence because of their actual or perceived sexual orientation and gender identity.
In 2011, UNESCO convened the first-ever UN international consultation on homophobic bullying in educational institutions, recognizing that this complex and sensitive issue needs to be addressed as part of wider efforts to prevent school-related violence and gender-based violence, in order to achieve quality education for all.
Since then UNESCO has expanded its work on school-related gender-based violence, including preventing and addressing homophobic and transphobic violence in educational settings, as part of its mandate to ensure that learning environments are safe, inclusive and supportive for all and its contribution to the achievement of the new global 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
As part of this work, and within the framework of a three-year programme supported by the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Education and Respect for All: Preventing and Addressing Homophobic and Transphobic Bullying in Educational Institutions, UNESCO has provided support for efforts to improve the evidence base, including the global review of homophobic and transphobic
violence in educational settings and of education sector responses that provided the basis for this report. These efforts have contributed to a better understanding of the nature, scale and
effects of violence in schools, including the links between school-related gender-based violence and violence based on sexual orientation and gender identity/expression, and of the elements of
a comprehensive education sector response.
This report presents the main findings of the global review. It aims to give an analysis of the most up-to-date data on the nature, scope and impact of violence based on sexual orientation and gender identity/expression and of current action. It also intends to provide education sector stakeholders with a framework for planning and implementing effective responses to violence based on sexual orientation and gender identity/expression as part of wider efforts to prevent and address violence in schools." [p. 5]