Learning and development
Students in ACT public schools are taught by great teachers so they can learn, thrive and are equipped with the skills to lead fulfilling productive and responsible lives.
The Australian Charter for the Professional Learning for Teachers and School Leaders (The Charter):
- affirms the importance of learning in improving the professional knowledge, practice and engagement of all teachers and school leaders to achieve improvement in student outcomes;
- articulates the expectation that all teachers and school leaders actively engage in professional learning throughout their career; and
- describes the characteristics of a high quality professional learning culture and of effective professional learning, to assist teachers, school leaders and those who support them to get the most from their professional learning.
The Directorate promotes a culture where teachers and school leaders expect and are expected to be active in professional learning. Quality professional learning activities are offered ensuring they:
- are of significant intellectual or professional content and must deal primarily with matters related to the practice and content of teaching;
- address a teacher's identified professional development and career stage requirements;
- specifically address individual, team, school, system or other priorities; and
- assist teachers to respond to student learning needs.
Induction is the first phase in a continuum of ongoing professional learning, and is premised on the belief that well designed and targeted induction activities have a significant impact on building the capacity of teachers and education support and administrative staff. School based induction should occur in a timely manner and anchor new staff in the Directorate's strategic vision and individual school practices.
The first phase of induction is the Director-General New Staff Welcome, designed to anchor new staff in the strategic direction of the Directorate and provide an opportunity to set expectations for the forthcoming school year. The key note address from the Director-General and supporting presentation from a beginning teacher emphasises powerful messages associated with being welcomed, being supported and being challenged to excel.
The second phase of induction is about supporting schools to lay solid foundations. The Directorate has built on the quality resources developed by the Australian Institute of Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL) and has published supporting materials such as the New Educator Support Guidelines which are available on line to support schools. This phase also incorporates the Introduction to the Profession forum, which includes formal presentations from the Teacher Quality Institute (TQI), the Australian Education Union (AEU), Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU) and United Voice Union. A panel of educators share a high expectations, high performance message with the audience. Staff also have the opportunity to hear directly from key service providers about the role they perform in supporting the teaching profession and build their professional networks.
Phase three acknowledges the ongoing and sustained nature of understanding the work and the school. It is guided by identified individual professional learning needs. New Educator support programs are developed and enacted within this stage, as are professional pathways plans and performance development plans that target support and learning needs. The school-based professional learning is expected to be of the highest quality, in accordance with the ACT Teacher Quality Institute Act 2010 and associated Regulations, Directions and procedures, which can be accessed at www.tqi.act.edu.au.
Two hundred and twenty three teaching staff and one hundred and fifty seven support staff were inducted into the Directorate at the beginning of the 2015 school year. As part of their induction process, new staff also completed four online mandatory training modules:
- Health and Safety;
- RED Framework;
- Teachers' Code of Professional Practice; and
- Mandatory Reporting.
To ensure compliance with mandatory training, the Directorate takes the following actions:
- quarterly workforce profile reports are provided to School Network Leaders outlining compliance by individual schools; and
- reports are provided to principals at the end of each school term providing details on module completion rates.
In July 2014 Education and Training Directorate Corporate Executive members were involved in a strategic discussion relating to reconciliation and cultural awareness.Corporate Executive members reflected on their level of cultural awareness and their professional contribution to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people's inclusion in employment, educational outcomes and community engagement at the local level across the ACT region.
All Corporate Executive and at least one Senior Manager from their area attended a Cultural Competency Strategic Day in February 2015. The key themes that arose from this were:
- the need to develop and acknowledge authentic cultural practices;
- Directorate processes in relation to developing documents underpinned by genuine Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander consultation, review and input;
- the need to develop, sustain and maintain authentic relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples both internally and externally; and
- the need to document where artefacts and artworks throughout the Directorate are displayed and maintained and supporting schools to acknowledge connection to local sites of significance in their school or local area, in collaboration with the Ngunnawal community.
A framework for change has been structured to include personal leadership commitments, Branch responses and Directorate responses.
Teachers continue their professional learning and accreditation through their careers by accessing a range of professional learning opportunities.
In the 2014-15 financial year the Professional Learning and Events Calendar had 224 events for professional learning and training with a total enrolment of 7,225. These events do not constitute all the professional learning available to staff as there are many instances of school based professional development.
Key professional learning opportunities
- Funding for professional learning is available through school based funding, centrally held funding and the Teacher Professional Learning Fund (TPLF) and the Principal Professional Learning Fund (PPLF). In 2014, $924,000 was allocated to teachers through the TPLF and $89,200 to principals through the PPLF.
- The ACT Teacher Scholarship Program continued to support learning as well as supporting the Directorate's strategic priority related to Inspirational Teaching and Leadership: through building the capacities of our teachers and leaders-by design, not by chance. In the 2014-15 financial year, 51 scholarships were awarded, amounting to $244,350.
- The Aspiring Leaders Program aims to enhance the knowledge, skills, and attributes of aspiring leaders to support school and system improvement and enhance student learning outcomes. The program utilises three underpinning principles: research in schools, qualification/accreditation and personalised learning.The program aligns with the Australian Professional Standards for Principals and supports the actions within the Directorate's Action Plan for building leadership capacity. In 2014, 41 permanent staff commenced the program. The total expenditure of the Aspiring Leaders Program for 2014-15 was $214,878.
- School Leadership Forums are held once a term and provide an opportunity for school leaders to contribute to the strategic agenda of the Directorate. Guest presenters for forums in 2014-15 have included: Professor Stephen Lamb who discussed the implications of a new school funding model; Maxine McKew highlighted success stories of schools detailed in her book Class Act and Trevor Fletcher, current principal of Eastern Fleurieu School, South Australia and member of the Teacher Education Ministerial Advisory Group (TEMAG) who shared his experiences and school improvement journey.
A number of other professional learning events have been conducted by the Directorate and are reported within other areas of the annual report.
School support staff professional learning
The Building Services Officer Network meetings, the Learning Support Assistant Network and professional learning group meetings provided a number of opportunities for professional learning for School Support Staff. Training was provided for Business Managers related to school budgeting.
In 2014 and 2015, 18 Business Managers from Canberra Public Schools were sponsored to complete the Education, Business Leadership, Finance and Resource Management Program at Deakin University.
The Directorate supported the annual Non-Teaching Staff Conference. The Conference was a professional learning opportunity for Business Managers and Aspiring Business Managers, School Support Staff and Building Service Officers. Training was provided in Human Resource Management, Facilities Management and Workplace Health and Safety.
In 2014 all Business Managers and Building Support Officers were trained in Asbestos Awareness and completed other training related to Workplace Health and Safety as required.
Attraction and retention
The Directorate has a deliberate, multifaceted strategy to attract and retain excellent teachers. These strategies include:
- supporting early career teachers to build their skills and practices by reducing face to face teaching in the first year for coaching and mentoring;
- salary progression is based on teachers meeting expectations of performance and professional responsibilities at three career stages;
- accelerated incremental progression for outstanding classroom teachers;
- school based recruitment of teachers at the local level by identifying outstanding teachers and offering permanency or recruiting through school based selection procedures;
- recognising and rewarding staff who achieve high standards of excellence, and
- early offers to graduates.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education Action Plan 2014-2017
The Directorate's Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education Action Plan 2014-2017 outlines the Directorate's plan for achieving the goals in the ACTPS Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Employment Strategy 2011-2015. The Action Plan articulates 35 initiatives relating to attraction; retention; capacity building and cultural competency.
The Action Plan aims to empower:
- non-Indigenous employees through creating opportunities to build cultural integrity and providing cultural supervision to managers and principals;
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employees through the ongoing support for the Directorate's Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Staff Network, including the provision of consultation and mentoring and career development opportunities; and
- future employees through building pathways for potential employment and career development.
Attraction retention incentives
Attraction and Retention Incentives (ARIns) are made in accordance with the provision of the relevant enterprise agreement. ARIns are part of the Directorate's attraction and retention strategy, enabling the Directorate to deliver on strategic goals through the attraction and retention of officers with specialist skills and qualifications.
Tables B8.1 and B8.2 provide data on ARIns and classifications and remuneration of officers.
|Number of ARIns at 30 June 2015||3|
|Number of ARIns transferred from Special Employment Arrangements (SEAs) in the period||0|
|Number of ARIns entered into during period||1|
|Number of ARIns terminated during period||2|
|The number of ARIns providing for privately plated vehicles as at 30 June 2014||0|
|Officers on Attraction Retention Incentives||Classification Range||Remuneration as at 30 June 2015|
|Individual and Group SEAs||Senior Officer C - Senior Officer A||$121,815 - $144,112|
The number of staff employed in the Directorate increased from 6,170 at 18 June 2014 to 6,189 at 17 June 2015. The majority of these staff are employed in schools to meet the increase in student enrolment.
The ratio of female to male staff (3.4:1) remained consistent for the last four financial years. The average length of service increased slightly from 8.8 years during 2013-14 to 9.0 years during 2014-15. The average age of the workforce is 44 years old.
The Directorate currently employs 72 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff members, representing 1.2 percent of the Directorate's total headcount. In the 2013-14 financial year the Directorate employed 64 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff members, representing 1.0 percent of the Directorate workforce. This is still under the ACTPS and Directorate's target of 2 percent.The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employment strategy will assist the Directorate meet its target of 2 percent.
The information presented in this section is for paid headcount and Full-Time Equivalent (FTE) staff as at 17 June 2015, and as provided by Shared Services.
The statistics exclude staff not paid by the ACT Public Service and people on leave without pay. Staff members who separated from the ACT Public Service prior to 17 June 2015 but received a payment have been included.
Table B8.3: FTE and headcount by gender
|FTE and Headcount||Female||Male||Total|
|Full Time Equivalent||3,911||1,249||5,160.1|
|FTE and Headcount||Female||Male||Total|
|Percentage of workforce (based on headcount)||77.3||22.7||100.0|
|General Service Officers & Equivalent||4||119||123|
|Health Professional Officers||4||0||4|
|Information Technology Officers||4||25||29|
Table B8.5: Headcount by employment category and gender
Table B8.6: FTE and headcount by Division/Branch
|Office for Schools||4,302.6||4,848|
|Casual Relief Staff||362.9||798|
|Teacher Quality Institute||13.8||14|
Source: Education and Training Directorate.
|Office for Schools||4,187||646||15||4,848|
|Casual Relief Staff||0||0||798||798|
|Teacher Quality Institute||10||2||2||14|
|55 and over||1,049||326||1,375|
|Length of Service (years)||
1. Born prior to 1946
2. Born from 1946 to 1964 inclusive
3. Born from 1965 to 1979 inclusive
4. Born from 1980 and onwards
|Years of Service||Female||Male||Total|
|Average years of service||9.0||8.9||9.0|
|Diversity Group||Headcount||Percentage of agency workforce|
|Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander||72||1.2|
|Culturally and Linguistically Diverse||617||10.0|
|People with Disability||95||1.5|
Note: Employees may identify with more than one of the diversity groups.
|Division/branch||Recruitment rate (percent)||Separation rate (percent)|
|Office for Schools||7.9||5.3|
|Teacher Quality Institute||10.7||0.0|
|Classification Group||Recruitment rate (percent)||Separation rate (percent)|
|General Service Officers & Equivalent||10.6||10.6|
|Health Professional Officers||0.0||0.0|
|Information Technology Officers||11.8||11.8|
For further information contact:
People and Performance
(02) 6205 9202
Melba Copland Partnership Schools Commemorate ANZAC
The Melba Copland partnership schools invited all students, parents and carers, friends and community members of the local school network to an ANZAC Commemorative Service on Friday April 10, 2015. Schools in the partnership included Melba Copland Secondary School, Fraser Primary School, Latham Primary School, Evatt Primary School, Mount Rogers Primary School, Charnwood-Dunlop School and Miles Franklin School. The service was a culmination of learning journey units, field trips and community service involving the seven schools, two campuses and the active participation of Belconnen RSL. The Commonwealth Department of Veterans' Affairs, and the Humanities Faculty of Melba Copland Secondary School provided interactive activities after the service, together with morning tea for all present.
Educational learning outcomes around increased understanding of ANZAC Day were clearly met, as students responded to the project with critical thinking and research across a range of primary and secondary sources.
The commemorative service was the third Network Community ANZAC Service coordinated by Melba Copland Secondary School and follows their recognition as national winner and ACT winner in the 2014 Anzac Day Schools' Awards.
INSET: Melba Copland Secondary School students and staff photographed on their field trip to Parliament House, with Veterans (seated, front row), and Senator the Hon. Michael Ronaldson (back row, third from right), Minister for Veterans’ Affairs and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Centenary of Anzac.