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Just a few days left to tell inquiry what’s needed to support students with disabilities

“Every school and every teacher needs to ensure that they have made a submission into the NSW parliament inquiry into students with disability, Guildford West Public School assistant principal and Federation executive member Kathryn Bellach says. “Write a school one together and then encourage every teacher to select a part out of it and use it as the basis for an individual submission — the more the better.”

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Closing the Gap education targets in jeopardy without full Gonski dollars

How can the Prime Minister cut schools funding when the target to halve the gap in reading and numeracy for Indigenous students by 2018 is not on track, Federation President Maurie Mulheron asked today. The Closing the Gap: Prime Minister’s Report 2017, published yesterday, states: “The latest data show of the eight areas measured (reading and numeracy for Years 3, 5, 7 and 9), only one (Year 9 numeracy) is on track.”

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Workload stresses need to be addressed with adequate resources

Rising stress levels among principals has prompted a renewed call from the Australian Education Union for governments to properly resource schools. The Australian Principal Occupational Health, Safety and Wellbeing Survey released by Teachers Health Fund reports the main cause of rising stress levels for principals is the “sheer quantity of administrative work” they are required to perform, plus a lack of time to focus on teaching and learning.

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PSA staff take strike action over privatisation of public disability services

NSW Disability Services employees will take strike action today to call on the NSW Government to stop the privatisation of public disability services.

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Action not just words needed for Indigenous students

The Prime Minister’s sentiments that Indigenous children should be given every opportunity to get the most out of their education are admirable but need to be accompanied by action, Federation President Maurie Mulheron said today. “He needs to support full implementation of the Gonski model at the COAG meeting in April,” Mr Mulheron said.

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Teachers affected by pension cuts – how you can speak out

Retired teachers are among those hit by recent changes to the aged pension entitlements. The cuts affect middle Australia — a couple who own their own home now lose eligibility for the full pension if they have around $350,000 in assets. The amount retirees lose tapers away much more steeply than before. A couple who previously received a part-pension of $250 per week now get no pension.

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Turnbull’s “Alternative Facts” on schools funding

Malcolm Turnbull today repeated the claim that school funding has increased by 50 per cent in the past decade’ in a speech at the Canberra Press Club. This figure is one that has been ‘pulled out of the air’, according to Federation President Maurie Mulheron, and has not been substantiated with any evidence by either the Prime Minister or his Education Minister, Simon Birmingham.

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Fair Work gives green light to TAFE EA

The Fair Work Commission has approved the TAFE Commission of NSW Teachers and Related Employees Enterprise Agreement 2016 that members voted to accept last November. This means members will begin receiving the benefits of the new Enterprise Agreement – including a 2.5 per cent annual pay rise over three years with all current conditions locked in – from February 3, in accordance with Section 54 of the Fair Work Act. The nominal expiry date of the Agreement is February 3, 2020.

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Call for Baird government’s school funding legacy to continue

The finest way to recognise and acknowledge retiring NSW Premier Mike Baird will be for the successor leadership to continue the state Coalition government’s commitment and full, long-term funding support for Gonski, teacher organisations said in a joint statement today.

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Comprehending the world of poetry for your classroom

xHow to create a poetry-loving classroom and meet K-6 syllabus outcomes will be covered in a Centre for Professional Learning course on May 1. The course will explore reading, writing and comprehending poetry, mention a variety of poems to share with students and strategies for developing students’ writing of poetry. How to use poetry in key learning areas other than English will be discussed, plus how to plan a unit of work to teach poetry.

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Salaries Increases for 2017

The new salaries and conditions voted for by members on December 8, 2016 under the 2017-2019 Award have now commenced. The 2.5% per year salary increase will start from the first pay period after January 1, 2017 – teachers will receive the increase in their pay for the period January 13 – January, 26 which is the first full pay cycle for 2017. Casual teachers are reminded that their pay cycle is now aligned to that of permanent and temporary teachers.

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College collapse shows why TAFE must be properly funded

The dire situation of students caught up in the collapse of another private training college shows why public funding of vocational training must be directed to TAFE rather than shared among unreliable private operators. “The 800 students who had signed up to Australasian College should have had the opportunity and security of admission to TAFE courses that deliver guaranteed programs based on quality teaching that delivers qualifications respected by industry,” acting Federation President Denis Fitzgerald said.

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