Workload Advisory Council joint communiqué and action plan
Queensland Teachers' Journal, Vol 126 No 5, 30 July 2021, page no.4
In the last week of Term 2, the QTU and the department finalised a joint communiqué and an action plan, including a list of key focus areas for the remainder of 2021.
The joint communiqué (https://www.qtu.asn.au/application/files/3816/2459/9819/19-21_-_WAC_attachment.pdf), signed by the QTU General Secretary Kate Ruttiman and the Director-General of Education, Tony Cook, outlines the key areas of focus for 2021, including SATE, ICT, HR and student behaviour.
Highlights of the action plan (https://www.qtu.asn.au/application/files/5816/2460/3288/19-21_-_Attachment_two_-_WAC_-_key_areas_of_focus_for_2021.pdf) include remote access to MyHR, an analysis of school start/finish times, the automation of Day 8 processes, a review of annual performance review/managing unsatisfactory performance processes and mandatory all-staff training, joint LCC training, and the expansion of the complex case support mediation service. Schools will be provided with timely advice regarding the Day 8 automation during Term 4.
In the first step of the campaign for the right to disconnect, every effort will be made to minimise communication with teachers and school leaders on weekends and school vacations.
Members of the Council were concerned that the introduction of functionality in QLearn would result in an expectation that teachers should use advanced real time analytics for formative assessments. The department has confirmed that there is NO requirement to use the off-the-shelf Canvass product (the new learning management system), as it is not a requirement of the P-12 CARF for teachers to maintain online formative assessments.
The council will continue to monitor the progress of the key focus areas, and further updates will be provided to members as the department progresses these key priorities. A list of further key focus areas will be developed for 2022. The QTU will be consulted on the implementation of each of the action items that have been agreed to. The QTU will also be seeking to include any outstanding items identified through the submission process that have not yet been actioned in the log of claims for the next EB.
At the 2019 QTU Biennial Conference, delegates endorsed workload reduction as the number one priority of the QTU. Immediately after that Conference, the former General Secretary wrote to the Director-General requesting the urgent establishment of the Workload Advisory Council.
The Council was set up early in 2020, and members were invited to make submissions in June last year. More than 800 submissions were received in relation to senior assessment and tertiary entrance (SATE).
Early this year, our members on the Council expressed their frustration at the lack of tangible outcomes, and additional working group meetings were set up to advance the agenda on workload.