QTU members' newsflash 13 November 2018 No. 22-18 | DOWNLOAD AS PDF
IPS evaluation complete – real change in HR practices expected
After seven years and $64 million, the latest evaluation of the Independent Public Schools (IPS) initiative has found that there is no measurable difference in outcomes for students when compared to non-IPS schools.
The QTU has maintained a consistent position opposing the intent of the IPS initiative from the time that the LNP first proposed the policy during the election in 2012. Privileging a group of 250 schools over the other 1,000 schools in the state system should not be allowed to continue.
The response of the Queensland Government to the 2018 report was a commitment to extend the funding for IPS for the term of this government and to refer the recommendations to an Independent Public Schools Strategic Directions Steering Committee (IPS-SDSC), formed in the wake of the hauntingly similar 2015 evaluation of IPS, to provide an action plan for consideration by State Cabinet.
The report recommended:
- Develop and implement a model of autonomy and accountability that provides all state school principals, based on their level of capability and experience, with the flexibility to lead their school towards improved student outcomes.
- Strengthen school community engagement and networking across all schools, through mechanisms such as school councils and P&Cs, reimagined through evidence-based findings and research, to enable improvement in student outcomes.
- Collaborate with regions to develop and implement a differentiated model of support for all schools in response to increased school autonomy and local decision making.
- Implement the outcomes of the review of human resource management policies and systems, including teacher and classified officer relocation processes, seeking to embed a modern, fit for purpose system, ensuring a balance between individual school and statewide needs.
- Support the development of networks of principals to drive their own needs based professional learning and growth, utilising, where appropriate, existing professional groups.
- Provide professional learning opportunities for all school leaders and members of key school governance structures, to develop capability in consultation and collaboration, as a lever to empower principals and their communities to harness increased autonomy, accountability and local decision making, leading to improved student outcomes.
- Prioritise the development of a strategy to improve collaboration, and the promotion and sharing of evidence based best practice, between schools locally and system wide.
Department of Education consultation
The department has committed to undertake a short sharp consultation process, which started on 12 November, to share the outcomes of the 2018 report with communities across the state and seek feedback on the seven action items. Full details of the opportunities for consultation can be accessed here: Principal and staff sessions
If you are unable to attend a face-to-face session or video-conference session, at the QTU’s suggestion the department has established an online survey to capture your feedback. The short survey can be completed here: Anonymous feedback on the 2018 report recommendations
Following unanimous decisions of QTU State Council, the QTU has condemned the decision of the Palaszczuk government to extend the funding for IPS up until the next state election, due in October 2020. This extension will cost the Department of Education an estimated $25 million over two years, money not contained in the current state budget, which will have to be taken from existing programs in education. The QTU has also called on the state government to ensure that educational programs are protected by committing to delivering the full $25 million cost from state Treasury. These decisions have been conveyed to the Premier and Minister for Education in writing.
A significant concern arising from both the 2015 and 2018 evaluations of IPS was the critical state of the department’s human resources systems. While the issues pre-date the IPS initiative, clear evidence exists that specific IPS policy initiatives have driven a more rapid decline in the efficacy of both the statewide teacher transfer and promotional position relocation processes. In the 2018 transfer process some 60 teachers with high transfer points could not be accommodated in a transfer according to their stated preferences. There are currently more than 200 teachers in promotional positions on waiting lists for relocations, some having applications spanning four years.
Implementing changes to the HR systems of the Department of Education is a primary piece of work for the IPS-SDSC. QTU State Council determined a clear expectation that changes to teacher transfer and promotional position relocation processes must be implemented by the beginning of the 2019 school year. QTU State Council also resolved to support schools to take industrial action from the beginning of 2019 if those changes have not been delivered. Being cognisant of the end of the current school year, QTU Executive has determined to ballot schools on the question of industrial action now in preparation for the possibility that the changes sought are not delivered in time.
Teachers in all schools will be asked to consider the following resolutions prior to the end of the 2018 school year:
- THAT QTU members at (insert school name) condemn the decision of the Queensland Government to extend the funding for the Independent Public Schools initiative for the current term of this government.
- THAT QTU members at (insert school name) call on the Queensland Government to fully fund the $25 million cost of the IPS initiative funding extension from Treasury rather than the current and future Department of Education budget.
- THAT, should real change in human resources systems in the Department of Education not be delivered by the beginning of the 2019 school year, QTU members at (insert school name) seek a directive to undertake a 24-hour stoppage, on a date to be fixed, prior to the end of term one, 2019.
The QTU will communicate ballot processes to all Union Representatives and Principals prior to the end of this week.
QSuper – income protection (IP)
QSuper members in the accumulation fund who access extended unpaid leave (greater than 12 months) and don’t make superannuation contributions for this period need to be mindful that this may impact on their income protection policy. Where no contributions are received for a period greater than 3 months, QSuper will automatically change the IP cover from a percentage of salary cover to a unitised rate of cover (which may be significantly less than the percentage of income).
However, where no contributions are received for a period of 12 months members income protection cover will completely cease. QSuper will contact its members to notify them of this change, usually via email, when it occurs. However, we are aware that people on extended leave may miss this communication. When members return to work and start making super contributions once more (return to work, or paid leave), the reversion to a percentage of salary cover will not be automatic. QSuper members will need to notify QSuper if they wish to return to a percentage of salary income protection cover, if this is their preference.
Members taking unpaid leave may wish to cancel their IP cover but should contact QSuper prior to taking this action.
Queensland Teachers’ Journal mailing delay
An error at the mailing house responsible for sending out the print version of the November Queensland Teachers’ Journal means that some members are likely to receive their copies somewhat later than expected. Those members affected are being contacted directly.
In the meantime, you can access the latest Journal, along with the ECQ election notices and the Journal notices onsert, at www.qtu.asn.au/qtu-vol123-2018-no8
And don’t forget, if you would like to opt for receiving the Journal digitally rather than through the post, just visit the “My Communication” section of myQTU
Authorised by Graham Moloney, General Secretary, Queensland Teachers' Union