Members may be aware that the NSW Minister for Education and Early Childhood Learning, Sarah Mitchell, has recently launched the revised Highly Accomplished and Lead Teacher Accreditation Policy (HALT policy (2022)). The NSW Government has set a target of 2500 teachers achieving these higher levels of accreditation by 2025.
The IEU has always been an in-principle supporter of higher accreditation levels, with the proviso that important protections and accessibility provisions are in place.
Over several years, the IEU has been engaged with NESA on HALT accreditation policy development, seeking modifications that would make it more accessible to classroom teachers and reduce the risk of an unsuccessful outcome after engaging with the process over time. The current form includes clearer guidelines and a modularised program that allows for ongoing feedback and provides more flexibility for teachers whose circumstances require a different pathway through the process.
NESA has provided some preliminary information to the IEU that will impact both those already engaging with the process and those considering it, as follows:
The streamlined policy will better support teachers to apply and achieve recognition at the higher levels.
Broken into three modules, the new process will provide teachers with:
- clearer guidelines on annotations and evidence required
- specific feedback at the end of each module, with the opportunity to respond and resubmit evidence
- workshops, information sessions and an online resource hub to support reflection on teaching practice.
NESA has developed some resources to assist teachers interested in engaging with the HALT accreditation process. An introductory video on the HALT policy (2022) for new applicants and policy information can be found on the NESA website: educationstandards.nsw.edu.au/wps/portal/nesa/teacher-accreditation/apply/higher-levels#starting-2
We remind members that accreditation at higher levels is a voluntary process. The IEU believes there are many teachers who would meet the criteria to achieve Highly Accomplished or Lead Teacher accreditation status. We continue to lobby for appropriate remuneration for HALT teachers and would welcome feedback from members on their experience with the process.