Workload Advisory Council gets down to work for the first time
Queensland Teachers' Journal, Vol 125 No 2, 20 March 2020, page no.13
Tuesday 18 February was an important day in the QTU’s ongoing battle to reduce teacher workload – marking the official launch of the Workload Advisory Council, the new body secured by the Union during last year's EB negotiations.
The council, which is comprised of representatives from the QTU and the department, met to begin analysing the causes of the workload explosion and find potential solutions.
The first meeting covered a lot of ground. Here are some of the highlights.
The council committed to providing examples of the workload imposts of implementing the new senior assessment and tertiary entrance (SATE) system. The department has been asked to inform schools eligible for the additional TRS to support the implementing of SATE the number of hours that will be provided.
Instrumental music instructors and teachers
The council agreed to maintain a watching brief of the implementation of the MoA and joint communiqué and their impact on the workload of IMIs and IMTs.
Principal health and wellbeing
The council was advised that the strategy was close to completion. The QTU believes that, for the strategy to have a positive impact, it must also address school leaders’ workload. It was also stated that principal wellbeing is not just the sole responsibility of the individual – it is also a system responsibility.
Annual performance reviews, new processes associated with RAIS payments, school reviews and Day 8 returns were identified as potential workload issues. While work has already commenced around school reviews, other accountability issues will be considered between council meetings. The department indicated that it believes that the Day 8 process can be improved, and it will commence a review following the completion of the 2020 Day 8 audit process.
The impact of Nationally Consistent Collection of Data (NCCD) on the role of HoSES was explained. There was a call for transparency regarding the funding of the NCCD and clarity about the recording of students with verified and other disabilities.
The impact of inclusion on the workload of classroom teachers and heads of programs, including the need to develop resources for students on individual curriculum plans (ICPs) and different resources for students with other learning disabilities, is significant. While no solutions were discussed, these issues, along with others such as the collection and use of teaching data and reporting to/contacting parents, were identified as being expectations of the profession that have not been accompanied by additional resources or time.
School behaviour management processes
A number of issues have been raised by principals, deputy principals and heads of department regarding the new processes. The department committed to continuing to work with principal members to provide more streamlined exemplars. It will also consider elements of the student disciplinary absence (SDA) process that impact on workload.
Duties of teachers and school leaders
The QTU provided the council with a document from the ACT which identifies the duties of a teacher and articulates what a teacher must do, what they should contribute to and what is not their duty. The QTU has suggested that a similar document is developed for Queensland.
Processes for making submissions
It is hoped that the council will begin taking submissions from workplaces before the end of term one, probably via a web form. These submissions will then be reviewed to identify consistent themes and issues that impact on workload. The council will make determinations about which issues will be adopted and reviewed, and will then provide advice on how the associated workload may be addressed.
The Council meets quarterly, but work will continue on these and other issues between meetings. Visit the QTU website to keep up to date with what is going on.
QTU members are represented on the Council by Beck Humphreys (a classroom teacher from Barcaldine SS), Peter Darben (a classroom teacher from Cavendish Road State High School), Andrew Thompson (principal of Redlands Special School), and Kate Ruttiman (QTU Deputy General Secretary).
Deputy General Secretary (Member Services)