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C6 Human resources performance

Managing our people

The human resource management initiatives and strategies employed by the Department aim to improve the capabilities of staff support a positive working environment and create an innovative and sustainable workforce. These strategies actively manage current and future workforce challenges including succession management and an ageing workforce.

New initiatives

  • Phase 1 of the School Staffing Integrated Management System (SiMS) is at implementation stage. SiMS will provide portal access to personal employment information for teaching and administrative staff; a new casual booking system; and school access to workforce planning data. This system facilitates increased school- based decision-making in staffing matters.
  • A job share register was developed to support classroom teacher access to part- time employment opportunities.
  • Planning for the commencement of Teacher Quality Institute in 2011 is well advanced. A project officer was appointed in November 2009 to prepare the project plan and commence consultation with teacher registration bodies in other jurisdictions. A Reference Group, comprising representatives from key stakeholders, has provided advice on draft legislation, policies and procedures. Funding for the Institute was provided in the 2010-11 ACT Budget.
  • The Department is coordinating the implementation of the ACT Improving Teacher Quality Implementation Plan. Key elements of the cross-sectoral reform strategy completed during the reporting period include establishing the ACT Teacher Education Committee and the Professional Experience Committee, and consultation on the draft National Professional Standards for Teachers.
  • During 2010 a Building Services Officer relief pool pilot study commenced. The relief pool provides more efficient access to trained Building Services Officers to cover absences in schools. The pilot study will be evaluated in the second half of 2010.
  • The Department’s Excellence Awards were held in November 2009. The Excellence Awards are now replaced by the Public Education Awards which were presented for the first time during Public Education Week in May 2010.
  • The new Awards are a joint initiative between the Department and the ACT Branch of the Australian Education Union (AEU). Prizes of $5,000 for professional development were presented to the Outstanding Principal and Outstanding Teacher. Outstanding Education Support Employee Award, School Hero and the AEU Public Education Award were also presented.
  • The 2010 Reconciliation Awards, to honour those who have made outstanding contributions in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education, were presented during Reconciliation Week in June. This was also a joint initiative between the Department and the AEU. The Department presented the Outstanding Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Collaboration award. The AEU presented the AEU Reconciliation Award.
  • The winner of the Outstanding Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Collaboration award was Ms Sharon Roberts from Jervis Bay School.
  • A new Executive Leadership Framework was implemented to embed a high- performance culture of continuous improvement. The framework provides the performance management toolkit for the Department’s Senior Executive Service and School Network Leaders and focuses on three key elements of executive performance: leadership, accountability and results. The Executive Leadership Framework fosters a high-performing organisational culture which exemplifies the Department’s corporate values: honesty, excellence, fairness and respect.

Recipients of the 2010 Public Education Awards

Recipients of the 2010 Public Education Awards (l-r): Sue Billington (Public Education Award); Grace Dunlop (Outstanding Principal—Kaleen Primary School); Sharon Roberts (School Hero— Jervis Bay School); Laurie Fiddian (Outstanding Education Support Award—Cranleigh School); and Zac Hain (Outstanding Teacher—Amaroo School).

Ongoing initiatives

  • Following feedback, process improvements to on-line staffing mechanisms were made. These improvements strengthen records management and enhance the quality of workforce planning, including planning and operation of the annual classroom teacher recruitment and classroom teacher transfer/placement rounds.
  • The new system of criminal history background checking (the National Criminal History Checking Support System, managed by CrimTrac) has increased efficiencies and response times in clearing new staff for employment within schools and central office.
  • Staffing contact network forums, established in 2009, continue to be held to enhance communication between school leaders and staffing officers about integrated workforce management practices, with a focus on supporting new recruits through feedback and reporting processes.
  • The Department participated in the whole of government graduate program, which included placement of three graduates in central office.
  • The Recognition of Service Awards ceremony was held during Public Education Week. This ceremony recognises the contribution of officers who have retired or resigned from the Department with 10 or more years’ service.

Optimising the workforce

The teacher recruitment campaign has been influenced by local and national initiatives, including reduction in class sizes, changed qualification requirements for teachers in early childhood settings to meet new national requirements, and the implementation of the Literacy and Numeracy Strategy.

During 2009, the Teacher Recruitment team visited 19 university campuses across Australia. Advice and information about employment was provided at Careers Fairs and information sessions. These visits helped to provide personalised information about the application process and raised awareness about teaching and living in the ACT.

Over 855 applications from qualified teachers were received for classroom teaching positions commencing in 2010. From these applicants, 265 teachers were offered permanent appointments with the Department. In accordance with the Department’s continuous recruitment practices, applicants continue to be assessed and offers are made on a merit basis in line with school staffing needs.

The average age of a teacher (excluding casual relief staff) as at June 2010 was 40.7 years, compared with 42.0 years at June 2009. During the reporting period the average age of appointed teachers was 30.7 years, compared with 32.6 years in 2008-09.

The classroom teacher transfer/placement round, conducted in term 4 2009 for positions in the 2010 school year, resulted in the placement of 203 teachers in the primary sector, 132 in secondary schools and 35 in specialised system programs operating across schools and age groups. Additional placements occurred following completion of the round and prior to the start of the 2010 school year, in response to the changing needs of schools based on student demographics, curriculum offerings and staff plans (extended leave, resignations).


The Department continued to review its induction program to meet the needs of new employees. In July 2009, induction sessions were held for newly appointed teaching and administrative staff, with a total of 91 staff attending.

In January 2010, 295 teachers attended the system induction session. Attendees were formally welcomed to the Department and provided with information necessary for them to operate as informed employees of the Department.

Performance management

The guidelines and templates for the performance management and development framework for teachers, Professional Pathways, have been updated to reflect the Department of Education and Training Teaching Staff Enterprise Agreement 2009-2011.

Revised professional descriptors and a planning and reflection tool have been included to assist self-reflection and professional discussion. Planning templates now include reference to career planning to comply with the annual professional discussion provisions of the Agreement.

The performance management and development framework for principals has also been reviewed and enhanced. Principals now develop a Principal’s Performance and Development Agreement, which is based on an analysis of leadership strengths and developmental needs and recognises the responsibility of each principal to lead continuous school improvement.

Employee assistance program

The employee assistance program is a short- term solution-based counselling service available to departmental staff and their families at no cost. The service is available for both work-related and personal issues. The average usage rate during 2009-10 was 8.4 percent, calculated on the number of new referrals as a percentage of total staff numbers over the reporting period.

Staff equity contact officers

Staff Equity Contact Officers act as an initial point of contact for staff who have concerns about discrimination or harassment in the workplace. Contact officers provide information and support to staff on equity and diversity matters and grievance or complaint resolution.

Indigenous traineeships

The ACT Government continued the Indigenous Traineeship Program in 2009-10. The Department participated in the program by taking three trainees. One trainee is currently working towards a Certificate III in Business Administration and on completion will be permanently employed as an Administrative Officer in the central office.

The Department is committed to providing opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders to enjoy successful careers across a range of work areas.

For more information contact:
Human Resources
Telephone: (02) 6205 9202

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