The strategic priorities for human resources are guided by the Directorate’s Strategic plan 2010-2013: Everyone matters. This document identified the need for a continuing focus on strengthening the capability of the workforce, ensuring a safe and productive work environment, providing effective performance feedback and building an innovative and sustainable workforce.
During the first half of the reporting period, the Directorate engaged LSI Consulting to review the human resources program to ensure the efficiency and effectiveness of its processes and activities. The review provided the blueprint for a business improvement program that was implemented during the second half of the reporting period. Key outcomes from the review and the business improvement project were the development of a set of strategic goals (2012–14); a transformation plan to improve service delivery; mapping of human resource processes; and the development of a range of project management and reporting tools.
Key achievements in human resource management in 2010-11 are outlined below.
- The formation of a group of eight partner schools to begin the implementation of school autonomy. The current focus is development of a single line budget model for the allocation of staffing resources to schools and the development of processes for local selection of staff by the partner schools.
- Implementation of a common salary increment date for all classroom teachers as set out in the ACT Department of Education and Training Teaching Staff Enterprise Agreement 2009-2011 is currently underway and is expected to be completed by the end of 2011. The Directorate has agreed that no teacher will be disadvantaged by a change of increment date.
- Development of a management plan and toolkit to complement the ACT Public Service Respect, Equity and Diversity Framework. The plan outlines the steps for the early identification of and intervention in such issues as interpersonal conflict, bullying and harassment. The plan and toolkit was made available for feedback and a final version will be published in July 2011.
- Delivery of Respectful Workplaces training to 90 percent of Principals and approximately 1,000 employees. Training focused on how to maintain a respectful work environment and included guidance on the prevention and management of bullying and harassment in the workplace. This training is a key part of the Directorate’s implementation of the ACTPS Respect, Equity and Diversity Framework and demonstrates the Directorate’s commitment to reducing the risk of psychological injury to employees, as required under the Workplace Safety Act 2008 and Workplace Health Strategic Plan 2008–12.
- In collaboration with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island Education and Student Support Branch, work has commenced on the development of a Cultural Competency training package to build the capabilities of all staff through enhancing their understanding of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture.
- In response to recommendations from the Directorate’s Audit Committee, a Fortnightly Absence Record for Teachers and School Assistants was introduced across all schools from 12 May 2011. The Absence Record was piloted in
10 schools over two terms prior to its introduction. The Directorate continues to work with schools to streamline Absence Record processes.
Improving Teacher Quality National Partnership
A key initiative under the Improving Teacher Quality National Partnership (TQNP) Agreement is the establishment of the Teacher Quality Institute (TQI) as the teacher registration body for the ACT.
From 1 July to 31 December 2010 initial scoping for the establishment of the TQI was conducted. The legislation to establish the Institute as an independent statutory body was passed in December 2010, coming into effect on 1 January 2011.
The Directorate is coordinating the implementation of the ACT Final Implementation Plan under the TQNP. Key elements of the cross-sectoral reform strategy completed during the reporting period include the placement of five Associates from the Teach for Australia program in ACT public schools, partnering with the Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership to host a forum on national accreditation of initial teacher education courses, and running a pilot study in conjunction with the University of Canberra for a School Centre of Teacher Education Excellence in the Early Childhood sector.
Respect, Equity and Diversity Contact Officers
Respect, Equity and Diversity Contact Officers (REDCOs) have been identified in each of the nine central office branches and in 78 schools. REDCOs offer support to staff who feel that they may be experiencing bullying, harassment or discrimination in the workplace. The REDCOs undertake Respectful Workplaces training and participate in an ongoing quarterly network and training program.
Workplace health and safety
The Workplace Health and Safety & Injury Management Improvement Strategy 2009-2012 is the Directorate’s framework for improving performance in the areas of occupational health and safety and in managing injured employees. A number of strategies have been completed such as contractor induction arrangements, long tail claims analysis, policy reviews and manual handling in specialist schools. Other strategies such as the online Workplace Health and Safety Reference Manual and an electronic claims management tool are currently under review for implementation later in 2011.
The Directorate won the Best Workplace Health and Safety Management System – Public Sector Award on 12 October 2010. As a result, the Directorate and Shared Services were nominated for the 6th Annual Safe Work Australia Awards. The award was in recognition of a very simple and innovative solution to a workplace issue which provided a framework for principals and business managers at school sites
to manage contractors effectively. The contractor induction checklist ensures that appropriate site specific induction and safe work documentation is provided before the commencement of work. Contractors unable to meet the Directorate’s safety standards are prevented from working on Directorate sites. This model has formed the basis of a cross-government approach to be rolled out during 2011.
Classroom teacher transfer
The classroom teacher transfer/placement round, conducted during November 2010 for positions in the 2011 school year, resulted in the placement of 285 primary/ middle schooling staff and 181 secondary staff. An additional 213 newly recruited permanent staff were also placed, 92 in primary/middle schooling positions and 121 in secondary positions. Due to changing needs of schools based on student demographics, curriculum offerings and staff plans (extended leave, resignations), further placements occurred following completion of the round and prior to the start of the 2011 school year. In the period from February to June 2011, another 72 offers of permanency were made with these teachers being confirmed in existing contract positions.
Staffing Integrated Management System
Stage 1 of the School Staffing Integrated Management System (SiMS) was implemented in July 2010. Stage 1 has provided a new casual staff booking and management system. Stage 2 of the system is currently in the scoping stage and will further enhance the portal access to personal information for school staff and management access to workforce planning data and will replace the current Causal Relief System.
Graduate and trainee programs
The Directorate participated in the whole of government graduate recruitment program, which included the placement of one graduate in central office.
The Directorate has continued its commitment to participating in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Traineeship Program by taking two trainees in the 2011 program. One trainee has been placed in a school and one trainee in the Human Resources Branch.
In addition, the Directorate has employed a trainee through the ACT Government’s People with a Disability employment initiative.
The Directorate continues to review and improve induction programs to ensure that the needs of new staff are met in a timely manner. In February 2011, new arrangements for inducting school support staff and central office staff were implemented. To June 2011, 68 central office and school support staff attended these sessions.
On 31 January 2011, 285 teachers attended the system induction session. Attendees were formally welcomed to the Directorate and provided with information on their employment conditions and their obligations as employees in the ACT Public Service.
For more information contact:
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