Without explicit professional support in the first few years of teaching many will leave the profession.
The hard struggle for the Catholic Systemic Schools Enterprise Agreement and associated diocesan Work Practices Agreements now embrace the notion of not only setting out the provisions for additional release time (for early career teachers and their allocated mentor) but making it incumbent upon the principal to advise the teacher that the support is there and can be utilised.
Certain dioceses have advised that their allocated budget to support early career teachers seeking Proficient teacher status is under spent. It is vital that early career teachers feel comfortable accepting the provision of additional release time.
NESA policies advise and encourage mentoring but it is the ‘work’ of industrial instruments to make it happen. A study from the Queensland University of Technology showed that a lack of mentoring and support programs among early career teachers was responsible for low job satisfaction and retention rates. At the time of going to print, the following arrangements were agreed to:
"CSO Armidale will provide an allocation of 18 days per beginning teacher to assist the beginning teacher by providing extra release time for planning, programming and consultation and to release other staff members for the specific purpose of assisting the beginning teacher.
Some of the 18 days allocated are to be used to support the beginning teacher’s attendance at induction sessions provided by CSO Armidale. Similarly, some of the allocation can be used to assist with mentoring to support the attendance of the supervisor(s) / mentor(s) within the school at induction sessions.
The principal should advise the beginning teacher on commencement of the support that will be provided.
Second year in teaching allocation
The allocation is nine days per teacher and must be used to assist the teacher by providing extra release time for planning, programming and consultation and to release other staff members for the specific purpose of assisting the teacher.”
Broken Bay – primary and secondary
Support for provisionally or conditionally accredited (graduate) teachers
"The CSO provides a share release allocation of 16 days to all early career teachers to work with a supervisor/coach over the first two years of their teaching career. The release is allocated as eight days in Year 1 and eight days in Year 2 and is prorated for part time appointments. The release is to be used for meetings between the early career teacher and their supervisor/coach, observing in colleagues’ classrooms, being observed by the supervisor/coach, working with specialist coaches, collection and preparation of evidence for accreditation at Proficient.
“The Principal has a key role in ensuring the early career teachers and returning teachers received their entitlement as outlined above.”
Support for graduate teachers
"The Principal shall inform the graduate teacher on commencement of the entitlement to release.
Year 1 16 days in the first year – four (4) of these are systems days
Year 2 eight days in the second year – four (4) of these are system days."
Primary schools mentor allocation is 10 days per year shared between the selected mentors. It is strongly encouraged that primary schools designate one person to be the mentor of the identified graduate teachers.
Secondary schools Mentor allocation is 10 days per year with a maximum of 30 days per year allocated for schools with a higher number of graduates.
"The Employer will implement a program of support and mentoring Provisionally and Conditionally Accredited Teachers. The allocation of 0.05 FTE (1/2 a day per fortnight pro rata for part time teachers) release time will be provided to each Provisionally and Conditionally Accredited Teacher other than casuals in their initial year of service with the employer and 0.05 FTE (1/2 a day per fortnight) release time for the teacher’s mentor (pro rata for part time teachers. If this release is not completely used in the initial year the remaining time may be used in the second year, particularly in the case of a Teacher whose service has been part time or has consisted of temporary blocks. Release days will only be available up until Proficient level is attained.
Principals must inform the teachers of this entitlement at the commencement of their employment. When a teacher has been accredited as Proficient, further entitlement to release will cease."
Sydney – primary and secondary
Support for graduate teachers
"Additional release from face to face teaching will be provided to support Graduate Teachers, by providing 12 days release per teacher from the commencement of employment of which, one day is to participate in the SCS’s new teacher orientation day, seven days for teacher support and four days for the teacher’s supervisor. The principal will consult with the Graduate Teacher on commencement and the supervisor as to how the seven days and four days are to be scheduled; provided that such days shall be directed to assist the teacher in meeting Proficient Teacher accreditation requirements."
Support for beginning teachers
"A loading of 0.075 FTE is available for each full time beginning teacher on 1.0 FTE in their first year of teaching. This may be prorated for staff not on full time or on less than 1.0FTE. 0.075 FTE equates to a total of 15 days, five of which may be utilised by the CEO for the purposes of providing induction, mentoring support, classroom management, programming support and religious education formation. Five days must be used by the school to assist the beginning teacher by providing extra release time for planning, programming and consultation, and the balance of five days used to release other staff for mentoring activities directed at assisting the beginning teacher.
A loading of 0.025 FTE is available for each full time beginning teacher on 1.0 FTE in their second year of teaching. This may be prorated for staff not on full time or on less than 1.0FTE. 0.025 equates to five days. These days must be used by the school to assist the beginning teacher by providing extra release time for planning, programming and consultation, and may also be used to release the mentor(s) for the purpose of assisting the beginning teacher.
These provisions aim to assist early career teachers seeking accreditation for proficiency. The IEU welcomes the arrangements."
In August 2017, the endorsed syllabus was forwarded to the Minister for signing off. Unusually, NSW Education Minister Rob Stokes requested the syllabus to be reconsidered in certain areas. The committee (including an IEU teacher representative) was reconvened and a small number of modifications to terminology and definitions were agreed to. The syllabus has now been endorsed by the NESA Board. Importantly, the implementation timeline is:
2018planning and familiarisation
2019optional implementation K-6, implementation Years 7 and 9, and
2020full implementation K-10.