From the President: Ensure your voice is heard in review processes
Queensland Teachers' Journal, Vol 126 No 1, 12 February 2021, page no.7
Congratulations to every member who has been involved in senior secondary processes in the past few years. As if the first year of a move to ATAR in Queensland wasn’t enough, a global pandemic certainly complicated matters. So, to every single person who contributed to a successful year of the new QCE – well done. This was a mammoth undertaking.
Additionally, we thank those of you who have continued to provide feedback to the QTU. Feedback has been consistently provided through branch, Area and State Councils. Members have also contacted us directly or worked through our committee structures to let us know of both the positives and negatives. Acting on the broad range of your feedback, we formally wrote to the Queensland Curriculum and Assessment Authority (QCAA) in November to seek a review of the 2020 new QCE.
As a consequence, in Term 1, QCAA will conduct its inaugural post-cycle process review of the implementation of the new QCE in 2020. This review will use a range of tools to seek feedback from stakeholders, including surveys, focus groups and school-developed submissions, which will inform improvements to Queensland’s senior assessment and certification processes. A full program evaluation of the new QCE system will also occur after the initial years of implementation. Further information on these activities will be available via the QCAA website (www.qcaa.qld.edu.au). The department is also seeking feedback from schools and members on the same issue.
We can’t emphasise enough how important it is for members to provide their feedback into all processes open to them. Your commitment to your students and the new process ensured educational success for the school leavers of 2020. Your continued engagement will continue to shape outcomes and ensure educational success for the school leavers of 2021 and beyond. We will also continue to advocate and work on your behalf.
Prep-10 Australian Curriculum
While work progresses on the new Queensland Certificate of Education, the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) is currently undertaking a review of the prep-10 Australian Curriculum. Public consultation on revisions to learning areas, general capabilities and cross-curriculum priorities will occur from 29 April to 8 July. Queensland’s unmodified implementation of the Australian Curriculum means our teachers are well placed to understand how the curriculum can be improved. We encourage all teachers to provide feedback on the proposed revisions. The QTU, along with the IEU-QNT, has nominees on all of the groups convened for this review, and representatives from both unions have been meeting regularly with our nominees for feedback and support, and we thank them for the work they are doing.
Given the importance of the curriculum for daily learning outcomes, we appreciate the work you do and strongly encourage active involvement in the review, providing feedback with a particular focus on the impact on your workload and associated timelines and the reality of day to day teaching and learning.
Au revoir Kevin
This is the first Journal in 26 years in which Kevin Bates has not played a formal part. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Kevin for his dedication and service to the Queensland Teachers’ Union as a Regional Organiser, Industrial Advocate and finally, as President. I first met Kevin at the Keppel Seminar in 2000. His calm demeanour and willingness to share his vast experience and knowledge, even that long ago, was transformative.
Kevin’s leadership and presence during the COVID crisis was unsurpassed. He was available, responsive and articulated the many serious emerging issues that members had to the department, government and media. This was especially so at the beginning of the pandemic, when information was changing so rapidly.
Throughout his career, Kevin remained heavily involved with our TAFE members. He was involved in many of their enterprise bargains and kept an open-door policy for members and the hierarchy of TAFE in Queensland.
His leadership, feedback and support of members hit by natural disasters has enabled significantly improved departmental procedures and guidelines. This was especially true of the post 2011 Queensland floods, but the impact of Kevin’s leadership extends well beyond that.
While Kevin has completed his terms of service with the QTU, he will not be far from us and we wish him the very best as he moves to the next chapter of his life.
In saying au revoir to Kevin, it is my pleasure to welcome Leah Olsson to the position of Vice-President. Leah has been a teacher in Cairns for a number of years. In her time at Cairns West she held many roles, including most recently behaviour teacher for some of our most vulnerable students. Prior to teaching in Cairns, Leah had a long history as a primary specialist music teacher. She is very well placed to support members as we continue to work for improved conditions, with you and for you. Leah will introduce herself in the next Journal.
We also take this opportunity to acknowledge Jenny Swadling, principal of the Charleville School of Distance Education, who continues in her role as Honorary Vice-President.