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C6 Human resources performance

C6 Human resources performance

The Directorate implemented a range of initiatives during 2012-13 to build a performance culture with a focus on the development, recognition and rewarding of high quality teaching to improve student outcomes in ACT public schools. The following initiatives are to attract and retain quality teachers in ACT public schools.

Annual professional discussion

Introduced under the previous enterprise agreement, the annual professional discussion gained prominence during 2012-13 as a key planning tool for principals in managing their school workforce and building high performing teams. The annual professional discussion is a forum for each classroom teacher and the principal and/or supervisor to reflect on and discuss the teacher's current performance and professional responsibilities and to plan opportunities for continuing improvement and professional growth. It enables the principal to give the teacher constructive feedback on achievements and areas for development and, where required, work through any performance issues. Incremental progression, where applicable, is discussed in relation to expectations of performance and professional responsibilities for the teacher's career stage. Opportunities are explored for the teacher to undertake professional responsibilities within the school to further their career development. The principal plans with the teacher the optimum time for placement in the school and opportunities for transfer.

Enhanced support for beginning teachers

Targeted support is a key aspect of attracting, retaining and developing early career teachers in order to build quality teaching across the public education system. The Directorate introduced a new provision to support beginning teachers in July 2012. Teachers in their first year of teaching have reduced face-to-face teaching hours in order to access coaching and mentoring programs designed to meet their developmental needs. For secondary beginning teachers the reduction of one hour per week in the face-to-face teaching load (from 19 hours to 18 hours) provides an allocation of 40 hours over their first year of teaching. For primary beginning teachers the reduction of one and a half hours per week in the face-to-face teaching load (from 21.5 hours to 20 hours) provides an allocation of 60 hours over their first year of teaching. This provision is in addition to the existing allocation of 15 days over three years to each beginning teacher for professional learning and support.

Accelerated progression through the salary scale for outstanding classroom teachers

Movement through the classroom teacher incremental scale is based on performance and is in recognition of competence, developing expertise and the assumption of broader professional responsibilities.

Accelerated incremental progression, introduced in June 2013, provides additional recognition and financial reward for classroom teachers in their second to seventh year of teaching experience who demonstrate outstanding performance. A rigorous assessment process by a central panel includes evaluation of a portfolio of evidence presented by the teacher, classroom observation and discussion with relevant colleagues, supervisor and principal. The process may be repeated each year by a classroom teacher continuing to demonstrate outstanding performance at the relevant career stage until the top increment is reached.

Box C6.1: ACT public school teachers top the class in the National Excellence in Teaching Awards

Group photo of ACT public school teachers with their colleagues who won the 2012 National Excellence in Teaching Awards

The National Excellence in Teaching Awards (NEiTA) is a community initiative of the Australian Scholarship Group (ASG) to promote public recognition of the teaching profession. Each year the ASG provides communities with the opportunity to encourage, recognise, honour and reward their dedicated, innovative and inspiring teachers by nominating them for the National Excellence in Teaching Awards for Inspirational Educators. Parents, student representative councils, school boards/councils and community organisations are invited to nominate local teachers for the national awards.

The theme for the 2012 awards was 'great teaching: great students' and resulted in 18 teachers from 10 (2 non-government and 8 government) schools across Canberra chosen as the ACT finalists.

Four teachers from ACT public schools were selected to receive NEiTA 2012 Australian Scholarship Group Inspirational Teaching State and Territory Awards. The four recipients are: Gerard Clementine, Curtin Primary School; Roz Lambert, Arawang Primary School; Andrew Buesnel, Wanniassa School; and Allison Edmonds, Harrison School.

Pictured are finalists, Roz Lambert, Tina Wilson, Amy Clark, Laura Bond, Kate Williams,
Amy Kovaks-Thomas and Lynne Kowalik of Arawang Primary School.

Executive Teacher (Professional Practice)

Newly created Executive Teacher (Professional Practice) positions provide an alternative career and leadership opportunity for teachers with a focus in the classroom. Roles and responsibilities of these promotional positions include:

Teachers are selected through a merit process, involving presentation of a portfolio of evidence for teaching practice, classroom observation and interview and were matched to 21 identified centrally funded positions in schools commencing in 2013 and a further 19 positions commencing in 2014. Schools are also able to self fund Executive Teacher (Professional Practice) positions filled through the same merit process.

Respect, Equity and Diversity

Respect, Equity and Diversity Contact Officers (REDCOs) are identified in schools and central office. REDCOs promote respect, equity and diversity in the workplace and offer support, guidance and information to workers experiencing bullying, harassment or discrimination in the workplace. In March 2013, 42 newly appointed REDCOs undertook training in their role which was delivered by CIT Solutions. REDCOs also participate in the quarterly network meetings where opportunities are provided to develop their skills and knowledge in the role to enable them to facilitate a positive work culture. There are currently 92 REDCOs in schools and 12 in central office.

Box C6.2: Respect, Equity and Diversity (RED) Day

Photo of students forming the acronym RED: Respect, Equity and Diversity

Following the success of initiatives implemented at Stromlo High School in 2011 to battle homophobia and discrimination, students and staff were joined by Melrose High School and Telopea Park School to hold a Respect, Equity and Diversity (RED) Day at Tuggeranong Town Park in term 4, 2012.

Conflict Management Coaching

Conflict Management Coaching combines dispute resolution and coaching principles in a confidential and voluntary process to assist employees to resolve disputes in the workplace. The Directorate currently has 13 trained Conflict Management Coaches. During 2012-13, there have been 44 formal conflict management coaching sessions, resulting in fewer disputes requiring formal resolution. An additional 12 Conflict Management Coaches will be trained in 2013.

Performance improvement

Guidelines for managing performance improvement have been developed to assist principals, managers and supervisors to effectively support employees where areas for improvement have been identified. These guidelines provide a clear step-by-step process to follow in accordance with the relevant enterprise agreements.

Revised Building Service Officer classification structure

The Directorate implemented a revised Building Service officer (BSO) classification structure at the beginning of the 2013 school year. The new structure provides a career path for BSOs and supports the attraction and retention of skilled and experienced personnel in this role.

There are now four classifications of BSO, including:

Classroom teacher transfer

The annual classroom teacher transfer round supports staff to gain a broad experience in a range of schooling structures and to contribute to renewal of school communities through incorporation of new perspectives.

In the 2012 classroom teacher transfer and placement round, a total of 293 classroom teachers transferred to new settings or were provided with their initial permanent placement, effective from January 2013. Of this number, 155 were in the primary sector, 39 in P-10 settings, 45 in high schools, 39 in colleges, nine in specialist schools and six in specific system programs such as Instrumental Music or Student Support.

In addition, a total of 615 teachers continued in existing placements. This comprised
294 in the primary sector, 108 in middle schooling, 192 in secondary settings and 21 in specialist schools.

Continuations provide consolidation for staff initially appointed to one year positions or contract teachers who gain permanency during the year; facilitate succession planning; support parenting provisions and transition to retirement arrangements.

Workplace health and safety

The Directorate is dedicated to improving workplace health and safety across schools and central office. Key actions for the reporting period included:

The Directorate continued to support the holistic, 'one service' approach to improving the health and return to work outcomes of ACTPS injured workers outlined in the ACTPS Workers' Compensation and Work Safety Improvement Plan (The ACTPS Plan).

Graduate and trainee programs

The Directorate participated in the whole of government graduate recruitment program, which included the placement of two graduates in central office.

The Directorate continued participating in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Traineeship program. Two trainees are participating in the program, one trainee has been placed in a school and one trainee in central office.

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