C8 Learning and development

Learning and development activities are crucial for generating new and innovative ideas. The Directorate maintained a strategic approach to learning and development to build capability of the workforce.
In 2011-12, professional learning was provided to staff at the Hedley Beare Centre for Teaching and Learning, Stirling and through partnerships with institutions such as the University of Canberra and various other providers.
Directorate staff also received professional learning through the ACT Government's Shared Services division and the Chief Minister and Cabinet Directorate as part of their whole of government professional learning programs. These programs and number of participants are listed in Table C8.1.

Table C8.1: Participants in whole of government professional learning initiatives, 2011-12

Initiative

Number of participants

ACT Public Service Graduate Program

2

Future Leaders Program

1

Executive Development Program

1

Public Sector Management Program

1

Source: Shared Services, Treasury Directorate and Chief Minister and Cabinet Directorate

A number of training programs were made available to Directorate staff through the ACT Public Service (ACTPS) Training Calendar. Directorate staff were able to access study assistance through grants and time allowance. The number of participants and the associated cost is shown in Table C8.2.

Table C8.2: Participants and cost for ACTPS training and study assistance program, 2011-12

Program

Number of participants

Cost

ACTPS Training Calendar

105

$33,082.80

Study Assistance

43

$19,158.96

Source: Shared Services, Treasury Directorate

The Directorate delivered a number of learning and development programs: Respectful Workplaces training; Induction; Career development for school support and administrative staff; Professional development for teachers and principals; New Educator Support Program; and Leadership development.

Respectful Workplaces

A total of 20 training sessions were delivered to over 400 staff as part of the ongoing delivery of the Respectful Workplaces training. The sessions were attended by principals, central office managers and senior officers (Grade C). This training forms the cornerstone of the Directorate's implementation of the RED Framework and its commitment to reducing the risk of psychological injuries in the workplace.

Induction programs

A number of induction sessions were held for teachers, school-based and central office staff and newly appointed or promoted and acting principals. A total of 337 teachers, 26 school-based and 20 central office staff attended induction sessions. The training focused on the following topics:

  • ethics, professional conduct and entitlements
  • workplace health and safety
  • information management
  • professional learning
  • conditions of service.

Induction training for principals provided orientation to support strategic management and leadership initiatives in schools. The training focused on:

  • financial and human resources management
  • governance and legal matters (duty of care, complaints, family law and privacy)
  • school improvement (using data for school planning and reporting)
  • leading instructional practice
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander education, student engagement and support
  • reflection, evaluation and planning.

Career development for school support and administration staff

Training and professional development for school support and administration staff (SSAS) was offered in-house and through private providers such as CIT on a range of topics. Non-government school administrative support staff were also invited to participate in some sessions offered by the Directorate. Professional learning programs were offered in areas such as: ICT; safety training; library management; and records management.
In semester 2, 2011, 17 courses were offered with 245 participants. In semester 1, 2012, 13 courses were delivered with 112 SASS attending these courses. On 31 January 2012, a conference for SSAS was held with 583 participants attending a total of 41 workshops on a range of professional topics. Table C8.3 provides information on traineeships offered to SSAS in children's services and education support.

Table C8.3: School support and administration staff attendance at traineeships with CIT, 2011-12

Program

Courses offered

Number of participants

Traineeships with CIT – semester 2 2011

Cert III in Children's Services

18

 

Cert IV in Education Support

12

Traineeships with CIT – semester 1 2012

Cert III in Children's Services

27

 

Cert IV in Education Support

9

Source: Learning and Teaching Branch

A handbook of training events for SASS was developed and distributed to schools in early 2012. The handbook provided information on learning opportunities available through the Directorate's Professional Learning and Events Calendar such as: Height Safety Training; Sharps Handling; Clicker 5 Learning Books; Photoshop; iPads in Special Education; Records Management; Prevention of Bullying; and Job Interview Panel Scribing.

Professional learning for teachers and principals

The Directorate values professional learning of teachers and principals to enhance their effectiveness and performance for better outcomes for all students in public schools. There were two funds in place to achieve this objective: the Teacher Professional Learning Fund (TPLF) and the Principal Professional Learning Fund (PPLF).

The TPLF provided funding of $1.25 million to facilitate teacher professional learning identified as a priority. Part of this funding ($250,000) was specifically allocated as scholarships for teachers undertaking academic study.

A range of scholarships were available to teachers to undertake study in personal capability building or targeted areas. In 2011-12, the following scholarships were awarded:

  • 28 teachers were awarded individual scholarships in early childhood education
  • 18 teachers were awarded individual scholarships in Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL)
  • 21 teachers were awarded individual scholarships, with total funding of $74,000. Scholarships were offered in a range of areas including: Masters in Education; Educational Leadership; Teacher Librarianship; Psychology; Second Language Acquisition; and Health Promotion. Seven teachers withdrew prior to commencing study due to other commitments
  • 23 teachers were awarded targeted scholarships for the Graduate Certificate in Early Childhood Education, with total funding of $105,800.

The PPLF provides funding equivalent to 1 percent of the total of principal salary costs (approximately $170,000) to build capability of principals, whether in schools or central office.

In 2011-12, a number of principals benefited from professional learning and development opportunities:

  • eight principals attended Harvard University courses covering aspects of leadership for educational improvement
  • three principals attended an International Baccalaureate Conference in Singapore
  • two principals attended a seven day study tour to the Chinese National Training Centre for Secondary School Teachers at East China Normal University in Shanghai
  • 10 principals attended the International Confederation of Principals Conference in Canada.

New Educator Support Program

The New Educator Support Program provides every newly appointed teacher with 15 days release from classroom teaching for professional learning in first three years of service. Each school term, an intensive professional learning program was offered to teachers from early childhood, primary and high schools and colleges. The program focused on curriculum and quality teaching, literacy and numeracy, ICT and student management. A total of $60,000 (including funding from TPLF) was allocated to support the development of new educators.

Table C8.4: Attendance at New Educator Support Program sessions, 2011-12

Program

Session

Attendance

Quality Teaching with ICT

Term 3, 2011

133

Reflection and the Way Forward

Term 4, 2011

114

You and Your Core Business

Term 1, 2012

129

Essential Skills for Classroom Teachers

Term 2, 2012

128

Source: Learning and Teaching Branch

A mentor training program was conducted for mentors of new teachers and teacher coordinators in 2011. Training that focused on the National Professional Standards for Teachers was organised in conjunction with the University of Canberra, the Australian Catholic University and the ACT Teacher Quality Institute. The training was delivered in 2012 to mentors in public, Catholic and independent schools.

Leadership development

The Directorate's School Leadership Strategy was launched on 11 April 2012. The strategy is underpinned by the National Professional Standards for Principals. To support the implementation of the standards, mentoring programs were conducted for teachers in school leadership teams: principals; deputy principals; and heads of school departments.

A leadership conference for 297 executives from schools and the central office was held from 9 to 11 May 2012. The conference focussed on three themes: Leading, learning and teaching; Developing self and others; and Leading improvement, innovation and change. The themes comprised the first three practice areas of the National Professional Standards for Principals.


For more information contact:
Director
Learning and Teaching 
(02) 6205 9205