There’s nothing casual about teaching: Professional learning and mandatory training

There is a fundamental responsibility for schools to support the professional learning of all staff, including casual and temporary teachers. This includes the mandatory training that all teachers must complete to comply with legislative and departmental requirements in order to teach in NSW public schools.

Each year the Department issues its School Staff Training Guide, which outlines training and certification to be undertaken by school-based staff. Before entering on duty, a casual teacher may be asked to produce evidence of having completed mandatory training requirements including; Mandatory Child Protection Training, Anaphylaxis e-learning and E-emergency care.

All school-based employees, including casual teachers, are required to undertake these training and certification requirements periodically dependent on the time frame set out by the Department.

The document can be found at

For teachers to meet these requirements, schools schedule mandatory face-to-face training on school development days (SDDs) throughout the year. As casual teachers perform a critical role in the operation of all schools, all teachers including part-time, temporary and casual teachers should be included in mandatory training sessions on school development days offered by the school.

The Department supports principals to encourage casual teachers to attend SDDs. In a letter to Federation (30 August, 2016) regarding part-time teachers’ access to mandatory training on school development days, the Department states: “Where a casual teacher attends a school development day they are paid for that day.”

The document can be found at

In line with the Performance and Development Framework (PDF), any teacher who works in NSW public schools on a regular basis (more than 42 days per year) should have a Performance and Development Plan (PDP). The PDF explicitly states that all teachers should be engaged in professional learning and supported in their professional development. Therefore, there is an obligation on behalf of the Department, which is delegated down to the school principal, that casual teachers should be supported to attend mandatory training sessions and professional learning activities. An opportunity should be provided by the school for casual teachers to attend SDDs and any school based professional learning in order to support their professional development.

Federation remains committed to this matter and will continue to investigate this further with the Department to ensure that casual teachers are engaged and paid for attending school development days.

Please contact the union on 1300 654 367 if you have any further questions regarding school development days.