No more suitability rankings
Queensland Teachers' Journal, Vol 123 No 4, 1 June 2018, p8
Following QTU advocacy, the teacher suitability assessment ranking process for graduate teachers has been discontinued.
A suitability rating system has been in use since 1998. However, in recent years it has been inconsistently used across the state, creating uncertainty and inequity, and the Union is therefore pleased that the department is trialling a more consistent process.
Teacher eligibility for Queensland state schools is now dependant on a set of minimum entry requirements. You must:
- be registered with the Queensland College of Teachers, or have evidence of application or eligibility for registration
- have, or be eligible to obtain, a valid Australian Visa with work rights (if you are not already an Australian citizen or resident)
- have made an application for employment
- not previously have been excluded from employment as a teacher with the department.
These minimum requirements demonstrate that teacher applicants may be eligible to be employed in any capacity, permanent, temporary or supply, by the department.
Aside from these minimum mandatory requirements, a principal or departmental hiring authority may request further information or evidence to determine the suitability of an applicant for their school, such as academic transcripts and copies of practicum reports. Interviews may be conducted for specific contracts where there is an oversupply of candidates who meet the minimum requirements. Oversupply interviews will be undertaken after the transfer cycle and conversion processes to ascertain which candidate best fits the needs of the school.
The department’s communication stipulates that teachers who have already undergone a suitability assessment interview and have received a ranking of outstanding applicant, high performing applicant, high sound applicant or low sound applicant are considered to have met the minimum requirements and are eligible for all categories of employment.
The exit summary observation report (ESOR) process may ultimately replace the old suitability ranking system. It was successfully trialled in the Far North Queensland region last year, and the department is continuing to trial the process in the North Queensland and Darling Downs South West regions for the remainder of this year. The trial involves temporary teachers who have been engaged for a term or more. The principal (or classified officer delegate) will observe a lesson, and the report (a two-page document) is completed. A discussion between the temporary teacher and the principal/delegate occurs, and both parties sign the document. This document can be used by temporary teachers when seeking future engagements. If there is disagreement, escalation occurs to regional office.
We have confirmed with the department that schools that include teachers in the annual performance review (APR) process and conduct classroom observations as part of that process can complete the ESOR, based on the same classroom observation. We have been advised that the only time a second observation during the same engagement would occur is by mutual agreement, and so this process remains consistent with the Joint Statement on Collegial Engagement.
While for temporary teachers outside the trial regions the status quo remains, the ESOR trial means significant progress is being made to ensure temporary teachers have the opportunity for feedback and that a fairer system applies. If the trial is successful, the ESOR process will likely apply statewide from next year.
Members with feedback on the ESOR trial should email firstname.lastname@example.org with ESOR in the subject line.