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Every Student Every School (ESES) Update
On 5 and 13 June, Federation Officers met with Department of Education and Communities (DEC) Officers from the Disability Programs Unit, Industrial Relations Directorate and Staffing Services as part of a series of meetings set to address issues with the cost capping initiative Every Student, Every School.
Reallocation of teachers
Most affected teachers have by now been advised by Region of where their new placements are. As teachers prepare to transition into their new roles many questions are arising with very little information been provided by the Department. It is critical that the DEC be held accountable for the changes they are imposing, particularly given that they are actioning this upheaval mid-year and provide the necessary information and support.
Members are advised to:
• Put your detailed concerns and questions in writing and direct them to the DEC ESES Regional Implementation Team Leader
• Consider the DEC regional coordinator’s written response. The Federation is particularly interested in any advice from the DEC that either undermines your rights and entitlements and/or fails to provide you with appropriate support to successfully negotiate the transition to your new role in your school/s.
• If you believe that either of the above issues is evident in the DEC response to your queries, you should call your Organiser to discuss the matter in more detail.
Changes and reductions to school resource allocations
Since the Federation’s meeting with DEC on 9 May well over 100 schools have indicated changes to their support teacher and funding allocations that will negatively impact on the learning programs and support structures for students with disability and special needs
In light of this, Federation requested a moratorium on the positions and funds being lost by schools for at least one term, to give schools the time to transition and/or seek betterments to the new arrangements. The Department rejected this request but indicated they are willing to consider the needs of schools on a case by case basis.
Schools where the principal and teachers consider that their capacity to meet the needs of their students will be diminished or disrupted under the ESES changes are strongly encouraged to contact their local Federation Organiser. Where Regions are unable to provide a satisfactory resolution or the necessary resources, Federation will take up the Department’s offer and make representation on behalf of the school at the next state office meeting.
Though we note that many schools have now got direct access to what before were regional resources, the new model fails to meet the needs of every student and eliminates external support for schools. It is critical that members make their concerns for these changes known by engaging in the SSS Campaign and continue the fight for additional investment in public education and guarantees for all students.
The following were other issues clarified at the meeting:
• The ‘placement model’ continues as the predominant means for re-allocating teachers but teachers are requesting allocations to regions a significant distance from their current appointment, they will need to put in a service transfer.
• DEC reiterated that any teachers who did not want to take on the new LAST position are entitled to a nominated transfer and as per normal procedures, they will need to enter on duty in the new role until such time as their transfer is successful.
• DEC claims that there is no legal difference between appointment and assignment. They indicated that an appointment is given under a different set of circumstances. An assignment follows a placement process. Federation has requested a written definition of ‘assignment’ from the DEC and will investigate its impact on entitlements/legal ramifications.
• DEC review cases of temporary teachers who had an offer of work beyond term 2 and that due to the ESES changes have been displaced from their position. For Federation to pursue the matter, teachers in this situation need to contact their local Federation Organiser.
• Re-allocated teachers should have received correspondence from Region on 14 June and will be receiving a letter of assignment from Staffing after this date.
• DEC confirmed that as per the award, Learning and Support Teachers (LASTs) will have a ‘headquarter’ (generally the school where most time is spent) but that some flexibility does exist for local arrangements that serve the school and teacher better.
• Federation raised concerns that the new codes proposed by DEC for LASTs did not reflect all 9 categories of specialist position that DEC claims are ‘included’ in the LAST role. Staffing is currently considering and developing the eligibility criteria for the new codes and what areas will be flagged/formal requirements.
Training and development:
• Federation requested that the DEC quarantine some of the 300 scholarships for teachers new to support teaching. DEC indicated that scholarships are open to all permanent teachers and that consideration will be given for more scholarships to be made available for temporary teachers.
• A brief overview of the progress with the Induction Package and its 8 modules was provided to Federation. DEC reported that the modules will be progressively made available through MyPL and used to establish the role of the new Learning and Support role.
• Federation asked for DEC to consider state funding for the Early School Support Program as they do Primary and High School IM classes. DEC rejected this and reiterated that where schools want to make a case for the maintenance of this program or a language or reading class, DEC would consider it. Federation put on record their disappointment in regards to DEC making individual schools advocate for these resources in the absence of a state-wide evaluation of the programs.
• A number of issues were raised on behalf of SSPs including the tight timelines for submissions and implementation of the project, casual supply, workload, interruptions to their own programs due to the project’s networking component, loss of regional support and the future of SSPs. DEC indicated that these concerns are similar to those they are receiving and no doubt SSP principals would have had the chance to raise many of these issues at the meeting with DEC Friday 15 June.
• DEC indicated that the tight timelines were due to future funding from the National Partnership (NP) being contingent on deadlines.
• DEC assured that the intention of ESES is not for SSPs to be the permanent support network of SSPs and that SSPs are only required to develop a product and share this product over a network within the duration of the NP.
• DEC indicated that in the absence of regional resources their support would be the Assistant Principal Learning and Support.
• Schools are not expected to fund the release time for LAS teachers to undertake the induction and optional online training. Each Region has been allocated funds under ESES to support schools with professional learning.
• Most affected members will have by now seen the draft role statement for the new positions.
• Federation gave DEC feedback on the current Learning and Support Teacher (LAST) and Assistance Principal Learning and Support (APLS) draft role statements. The feedback sought to maintain the integrity of the role of a support teacher, protect face to face support provision for students, conserve parental collaboration, highlight the specialist nature that the position needs to deliver on and reflect in some way the positions that have been absorbed into the single new roles. Most of this feedback was accepted.